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John Bell Young
Fanfare, November 2015

STANKOVYCH, Y.: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 and 4 (Ukraine National Symphony, Kuchar) 8.555741

Of exceptional note is a recording of the Stankovych Symphonies 1, 2, and 4, conducted by Theodore Kuchar at the helm of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Ethelbert Nevin
La Folia, May 2015

This gallant Second powerfully denounces war’s horrors. Scored for strings, both Nos. 1 and 4 pulse with emotive and tuneful dissonance. © 2015 La Folia

John Bell Young
Fanfare, March 2015

The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, which has long distinguished itself as among the oldest, most polished and virtuosic ensembles in the world, offers spectacular, even larger than life readings under the impressive baton of Theodore Kuchar. The power and opulence of Stankovych’s music demands a recording technology equal to the task, and that is precisely what Naxos has delivered. © 2015 Fanfare Read complete review

Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, March 2015

The playing is perfect… © 2015 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, February 2015

…the orchestra was going from strength to strength. Its rich sound is admirable and Kuchar leads it to produce a wonderfully integrated texture that is so important in repertoire such as this. © 2015 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Erik Levi
BBC Music Magazine, January 2015

Ukrainian composer Stankovich follows in the footsteps of Schnittke with bold symphonic canvases that contrast music of garish violence with moments of lyrical reflection. Powerful music performed with fervour. © 2015 BBC Music Magazine

David Denton
David's Review Corner, November 2014

With the arrival of Yevhen Stankovych, Ukrainian music had entered into a new era, though sadly on the international scene his sizable output is still largely unknown. That, to some measure, has been brought about by the ambivalent attitude to his music by those who stood in judgement over such matters in the ruling Communist Party. His pedigree as a student included Boris Lyatoshynsky, whose symphonies I also review this month, and you will find his mentor’s influences in Stankovych’s style of orchestration, though in these three symphonies, the Second in particular, we find more discordant and aggressive sounds. He uses a kind of tonality as its basis, and has a passing similarity to Shostakovich in such moments as the barren wasteland that begins the Second symphony’s central movement. Though subtitled, Heroic, it is Stankovych’s response to the futility of war, his finale a message that the gigantic Second World War has not ended conflict. Composed in 1975, and requiring an enormous orchestra, it came two years after the First which was a much more concise score in one continuous movement and lasting for little more than fifteen minutes. Scored for fifteen solo strings, it was intended to have its roots in the Baroque period, though I guess you will find little evidence of that, the pungency created by such a small ensemble coming as evidence of Stankovych’s imposing piece of scoring. Two years on the other side of the Heroic symphony saw the emergence of the Fourth, another symphony in one movement with the subtitle, Sinfonia lirica, and calling for sixteen solo strings. Here we have a mood of sadness that has a link with the late-Romantic era. Throughout the playing of the Ukraine orchestra, with the conductor, Theodore Kuchar, is highly impressive, and the 1995 engineering is very good. The disc was first issued on the Marco Polo label. © 2014 David’s Review Corner

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