The title of this CD, "Ukraine - Journey to Freedom", may read as a political slogan suggesting its content is patriotic music, but that would be a serious misreading. It is an artistic endeavor by the brilliant violin and piano duo of Solomiya Ivakhiv and Angelina Gadeliya to bring to audiences a program of major works for violin and piano music composed by Ukrainian composers over the course of a century. So why choose such a provocative title? Because until August 24, 1991, when Ukraine officially restored itself as an independent state encompassing most of its traditional lands with internationally recognized borders, a fully independent state of Ukraine simply did not exist. Only at that watershed moment did the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic become simply Ukraine. Culturally, 1991 brought Ukrainian artists and organizations of all kinds the ability to interact directly across national borders. Before then, Moscow had crippled the culture's ability to communicate directly with the rest of the world by bestowing or withholding its approval.
This musical journey began in the last quarter of the 19th century with the emergence of the composer, pedagogue, organizer, and acknowledged founder of the national movement in Ukrainian music, Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912). Lysenko stood in contrast to such eighteenth-century representatives of the Ukrainian Baroque and Classical styles as Artemiy Vedel, Maksym Berezovsky, Mykola Dyletsky, and Dmytro Bortniansky.
Trained in Leipzig, Lysenko chose to return to Ukraine and develop schools and music organizations. An indefatigable and nurturing teacher, he produced and influenced the first wave of professional Ukrainian composers of exceptional quality, which made possible the full bloom of the next generation in the 1920s and 1930s (the twentieth-century renaissance of Ukrainian cultural development). Thus, the chronological program of this CD begins in the epochal year of 1919.
Two works on the CD, Kosenko's Two Pieces, Op.4 and Lyatoshynsky's Sonata Op.19, represent that important decade in the history of Ukrainian music, 1919-1929, when release from cultural bondage created artistic fervor and optimism – albeit short lived. Viktor Kosenko (1896-1938) and Borys Lyatoshynsky (1895-1968), together with Levko Revutsky (1889-1977), are arguably the three most renowned composers of Ukrainian instrumental tradition of that period. This was the period when much of the traditional Ukrainian territories, except for Western Ukraine, became integrated into the Soviet Union as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Until the end of the 1920s, this new state retained a degree of cultural autonomy, including direct international contacts that were lost in the 1930s and finally regained in 1991.
The Gina Bachauer Steinway piano used for the recording sessions was provided by Klavierhaus in NYC (Sujatri Reisinger, President).
Source: CD Booklet
Ukraine - Journey to Freedom: A Century of Classical Music for Violin and Piano
Viktor Kosenko (1896-1938)
♪ Two Pieces Op.4 (1919)
Myroslav Skoryk (b. 1938)
♪ Hutsul Triptych (1964-1965)
Ivan Karabits (1945-2002)
♪ Muzýka – Musician (1974)
(For solo violin, first recording)
Borys Lyatoshynsky (1895-1968)
♪ Sonata, Op.19 (1926)
i. Allegro impetuoso
ii. Tempo precedente
iii. Allegro molto risoluto
Alexander (Oleksandr) Shchetynsky (b. 1960)
♪ An Episode in the Life of a Poet (2014)
(Fantasy based on the opera Interrupted Letter, first recording)
Valentyn Silvestrov (b. 1937)
♪ Post scriptum Sonata (1990)
i. Largo – Allegro
iii. Allegro vivace con moto
Yevhen Stankovych (b. 1942)
♪ Angel's Touch (2013)
Bohdan Kryvopust (b. 1975)
♪ Capriccio (2014)
(For Solomiya, first recording)
Solomiya Ivakhiv, violin
Angelina Gadeliya, piano
Recorded July 2015 at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City
Labor Records 2016
(HD 1080p – Audio video)
The dynamic Ivakhiv-Gadeliya Duo was founded in 2006 and has performed to high critical acclaim in venues and festivals across the United States, including the MATI Series at the Ukrainian Institute of America and Merkin Concert Hall, both in New York City; the Institute of Modern Art in Chicago; and the Bach Festival of Philadelphia. Comprised of violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv and pianist Angelina Gadeliya, the duo has been hailed for its "contemplative and sophisticated" playing (America, Philadelphia).
Both natives of Ukraine, Ivakhiv and Gadeliya met and formed their duo at Stony Brook University while working on their doctorates in performance. The duo has collaborated with such artists as members of the Emerson Quartet, members of the New York Philharmonic, pianist Gilbert Kalish, and violinists Ani Kavafian and Pamela Frank. In December of 2014, the duo gave the world premiere of Oleksandr Shchetynsky's "An Episode in the Life of a Poet", which was written for them, at Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko's bicentennial celebration in New York. The Ivakhiv-Gadeliya Duo always strives to create innovative programming, has a passion for promoting new music, and brings their individual artistry and similarity of backgrounds into a unity of style and spirit.
Ukrainian violinist Solomiya Ivakhiv performs with "distinctive charm and subtle profundity" (Daily Freeman, New York) and "crystal clear and noble sound" (Culture and Life, Ukraine) in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, and the CBC Glenn Gould Studio. In addition to making solo appearances with the Charleston Symphony, the Bach Festival Orchestra in Philadelphia, the National Symphony of Ukraine, and China's Hunan Symphony, she has been featured at many prestigious chamber music festivals, including Tanglewood, Ottawa Chamberfest, Newport Music Festival, and Prussia Cove. Since 2010, she has been the Artistic Director of the "Music at the Institute" (MATI) Concert Series in New York City, where she also regularly appears as a performer. An avid proponent of new music, Ms. Ivakhiv has premiered works by Eli Marshall, David Ludwig, John B. Hedges, Bohdan Kryvopust, Yevhen Stankovych, and Oleksandr Shchetynsky. As an educator, Ms. Ivakhiv has conducted master classes at Yale, Columbia, Boston Conservatory, and Curtis SummerFest. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at the University of Connecticut, and on the violin faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. Born in Lviv, she holds degrees from the Curtis Institute, M. Lysenko Music Academy in Lviv (Ukraine), and a Doctorate from Stony Brook University.
Pianist Angelina Gadeliya was born in Sukhumi, Georgia where she began her musical studies at the age of 5, continuing afterwards in Ukraine before moving to the US in 1990. She subsequently studied at the Oberlin Conservatory, the Juilliard School, Mannes College, and holds a Doctorate from Stony Brook University. Her work with Ensemble ACJW and the Decoda ensemble brought her to the stages of Carnegie Hall, Germany, Abu Dhabi, Princeton University, and the Trinity Wall Street series. She has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, and at festivals including Tanglewood, Fontainebleau, Aspen, Banff, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Emerson String Quartet's 2007 Beethoven Project. Ms. Gadeliya's debut solo album, Music of Tribute: Schnittke and His Ghosts, was released in 2015 with Labor Records. She has given many premieres of new works and has worked closely with composers John Adams, Thomas Adès, Steve Reich, Steven Mackey, Matthias Pintscher, John Harbison, and others. Angelina currently serves as piano faculty at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs, where she resides with her husband Misha, her son Felix, and her daughter Anastasia.
Hidden Music of the Russian Church: Sacred Chants after the Revolution 1917 – Moscow Patriarch Choir of Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Ilya Tolkachev (Audio video)
Mihkel Kerem: Symphony No.3 "For the Victims of Communism" – Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Mikk Murdvee (Audio video)