Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Kolessa, Skoryk, Earle|
Symphony 1 / Carpathian Concerto
Listen to Samples
A mildly interesting release
G.D. | Norway | 03/15/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The long-lived Ukrainian composer Mykola Kolessa (1903-2006) belongs, on the evidence of his first symphony at least, to those composers who really took the Soviet decrees regarding accessibility in music seriously, and even though it was written in 1950 the symphony wouldn't have raised an eyebrow sixty years earlier (the same goes for his countryman Mayboroda, whose hugely enjoyable opera Mylana is well worth tracking down - there is an excellent recording from the Ukrainian record company Vega available). Kolessa's symphony is broadly in the style of Tchaikovsky or early Gliere with just the merest hint of evidence that he was aware of more modern trends - and then I mean Myaskovsky or thereabout. The mood is primarily pastoral and sunny and Kolessa does indeed have some good ideas, effectively worked out and finely scored, although he too often seems to lapse into mere repetition; the overall impression is thus of a relatively slight, almost bizarrely conservative work. But if that sounds appealing, then by all means go ahead - the Odessa PO seems intent on making the most of it under the direction of Hobart Earle, and although the strings lack some body they generally do a fine job.
Myroslav Skoryk (b.1938) is more modern - meaning for the most part Khachaturian, Karayev in lighter mood and perhaps Bartok but making use of some striking sonorities and effects. The Hutsul Triptych is based on music for the film `Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors', with a lively folk music-based first movement, a dreamy middle one and a more abrasive and dark final movement where the composer plays around with some less conventional sonorities and instrumental effects. The Carpathian Concerto subjects lively folk music to some mildly interesting compositional techniques, pushing and pulling the themes around and apart (here the use of the cimbalom ensures some effective sonorities). It works relatively well, and Skoryk strikes me as a composer worth hearing. Again the performances are relatively fine, but do lack some fire, being clearly better at mystery than ferocity. To sum up, then, this disc is mostly for the adventurous - I am happy to have heard it, but I cannot imagine listening to it very often, even though Skoryk seems to be a composer worth investigating."