About this Recording
8.574088 - SKORYK, M.: Violin Concertos (Complete), Vol. 1 - Nos. 1-4 (Bielow, Ukraine National Symphony, Sirenko)

Myroslav Skoryk (b. 1938)
Violin Concertos • 1


The Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk was born in Lviv in 1938. He graduated from the Lviv Conservatory as a composer and musicologist, and studied at the graduate school of the Moscow Conservatory in the class taught by Dmitry Kabalevsky. Skoryk is a professor at the Mykola Lysenko Lviv National Music Academy and the P.I. Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine, serving as head of the composition department and the history of Ukranian music. He has taught and influenced many famous Ukranian composers such as Yevhen Stankovych, Ivan Karabits, Oleh Kyva, Volodymyr Zubitsky and Viktor Stepurko, among many others. For many years, he was secretary of the Ukrainian and USSR Union of Composers. Skoryk is a professor and a member of the Academy of Arts of Ukraine, he holds the title of People’s Artist of Ukraine and was awarded the Taras Shevchenko National Prize of Ukraine. He has also been granted the titles of Chevalier of the Order of Merit and Hero of Ukraine.

Skoryk’s works include the opera Moses, the ballets Masons, Caprices and Return of the Butterfly, the cantatas Spring and Gamaliya, Carpathian, Concerto for Large Orchestra and Paganini: 24 Caprices (the first transcriptions for symphonic orchestra). He has written numerous concertos, including nine for violin, three for piano, two for cello, one for viola and one for oboe, as well as six partitas for various instrumental configurations. His output also includes solo instrumental works and music for films such as Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors and The High Pass, and numerous animated cartoons.

Skoryk’s works are performed in the Ukraine and throughout the world, such as Canada, Australia, the US, Japan, China, and in most European countries.

One of his most popular pieces is Melody in A minor, which he often performs as a conductor and pianist.

 1  Concerto No. 1 (1969)
Recitative Intermezzo Toccata

First performance: Kyiv; soloist Olga Parkhomenko; conductor Volodymyr Kozhukhar.

The Concerto consists of three parts: Recitative, Intermezzo and Toccata. The first part, Recitative, is an expressive dialogue between the violin and the orchestra that ends with a long violin cadenza, drawing on Carpathian folklore intonations. In the second part, the chorale of woodwinds continues the dialogue that is interrupted by sharp violin cues. The third part is a wave of violent energy, the elements of the general movement of the orchestra and soloist.

 2  Concerto No. 2 (1989)

First performance: Las Vegas; soloist Oleh Krysa; conductor Virko Baley.

The Concerto is infused with a lyrical mood that underlies the violin solo. This time, the theme is interrupted by contrasting episodes, the character of which varies from elegy to intense expressivity, while the violin cadence leads to a culminating rhythmic apotheosis. In the reprise, the theme of the violin turns into a sad march-like motif that ends with the lyrical violin address.

 3  Concerto No. 3 (2001)
Moderato – Espressivo. Rubato

First performance: Kyiv; dedicated to the first performer Yury Kharenko; conductor Mykola Dyadyura.

The composition begins with a great solo violin fugue, the main subject of which becomes the Leitmotif of the Concerto. It dominates and saturates the very fabric of the concerto in the majority of its fragments, which vary in their tone from lyrical to intensely dramatic. These intonations are transformed into a rhythmic formation that is associated with a funeral march. Yury Kharenko has said that the culmination of the work makes him think of the events of September 11 in New York. The final address of the violin is like an epitaph to a tragic event.

 4  Concerto No. 4 (2003)

First performance: Lviv; dedicated to the first performer Yuri Mazurkevych; conductor Myroslav Skoryk.

The ascending intonation of a fifth in the lower registers of the orchestra gives an impression of the ‘fluctuations in the earth's crust’. It is superimposed on the main theme of the violin which is accompanied by the chords of the orchestra’s ‘earthquake tremors’. These episodes continue, further developing the rhythmic impulse. After the climax, a transition to the lyrical melody of ‘feeling’ takes place. However, the main rhythmic pattern becomes more complicated, resembling the hoof-beats of stampeding horses: first soft, as if at a distance, then gradually reaching a thundering culmination, after which it stops completely. Following this, the bewildered voice of the violin is heard, exhausted by the emotions it had just experienced.

Myroslav Skoryk
Additional English translations by Anastasiya Lebedev

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