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STANKOVYTCH: Symphonies Nos. 1, 2 & 4
The Classical Shop
release date: April 2008
Originally recorded in 2008
Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra
Naxos - Marco Polo
Total Time - 70:01
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Symphony No. 2, "Heroic"
II. Largo molto
Symphony No. 1, "Sinfonia larga"
Symphony No. 4, "Sinfonia lirica"
During the second half of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union was responsible for producing as much internationally regarded "classic" repertoire as any country in the world. In the period between 1970 and 1980 came works which to this day may be regarded as pinnacles of technical achievement and musical mastery. Schnittke’s Concerto Grosso No.1 (1976), in terms of composing for the most limited of orchestral resources, and Gubaidulina’s Violin Concerto "Offertorium", utilizing the full strength of a large symphony orchestra, may be seen as best exemplifying the greatest potential of "sound" from the resources available.
For slightly over a decade, my own activities as an orchestral musician (which finished approximately eight years ago), chamber musician and conductor brought me in regular contact with the greatest exponents and musicians most closely associated with the two best known living Soviet composers, Schnittke and Gubaidulina. As an orchestral solo violist, I had the fortune of working under Gennady Rozhdestvensky. Appearing as soloists under my direction and as chamber music partners have been Oleg Kagan, Oleh Krysa, Isabelle van Keulen, Alexander Ivashkin, Torleif Thedeen and Boris Berman.
As a Ukrainian, I am embarrassed to say that my association with the music of Yevhen Stankovytch came later than I would have wished. After having performed the Second Symphony for the first time approximately two years ago, I was immediately "knocked out" by a massive energy and exploration of sound, a personal reaction so strong which I had never experienced with compositions of our time. Subsequent performances have brought me closer to the musical and emotional core of the work. The more aware I have become of many of his orchestral, stage and chamber works the more convinced I am that this is a composer who deserves of a similar reputation to those distinguished musicians mentioned above.
As was for so long the case with Boris Lyatoshynsky, Stankovytch is, in my opinion, a major composer although unknown in the West. As was the case with so many gifted composers during the Soviet era, their work and international reputations were tampered with. I hope that the three symphonies on this disc succeed in finally establishing a man and composer I admire as one of the great musical figures of the final third of the twentieth century.
"Marco Polo is to be commended for exposing the work of a composer belonging to the same generation as Schnittke and Gubaidulina but not yet as fashionable in the West as they are and who is perhaps more immediately communicative... Kuchar leads his musicians in performances of transfiguring devotedness, involvement, and clarification."
Fanfare - June 1995
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