On December 13, the Berlin Philharmonic will host a concert by the Lviv National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra entitled “Sound of Ukraine”. The purpose of the concert is to present the sound of one of the oldest symphony orchestras in Ukraine (the orchestra is 120 years old!) and to showcase a special program for the listeners: a combination of contemporary Ukrainian music and outstanding works of European Romanticism. The orchestra will be lead by Theodore Kuchar, the collective’s principal conductor and a well-known Ukrainian-American musician.
First of all, the audience will be offered an orchestral suite from a folk opera by the outstanding contemporary Yevhen Stankovych. His work, based on the ancient ritual of searching for a magic flower for the Midsummer holiday, is titled “So the Fern Blooms”. It has had a difficult fate: in 1978, during the dress rehearsal of the play, it was banned by the Soviet authorities, and the sets and costumes for the production were destroyed. The brightly original work with innovative sounds and folk motifs now lives on in an orchestral version.
Jan Sibelius’s Violin Concerto will be performed by the famous Ukrainian soloist Bohdana Pivnenko. For many years, Pivnenko has been actively promoting contemporary Ukrainian music in Ukraine and abroad, including in such venues as the Berliner Philharmonie, Weill Hall Carnegie Hall, Palau de la Musica Catalana, and others. This time, she will play music full of bright feelings, sublime and trembling impulse. However, it is not left of drama moments, which will let the listener into the universe of deep personal experiences of the lyrical hero.
The last piece of the program will be Antonin Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor. It is subtitled “From the New World”. By creating this piece at the end of the 19th century, the Czech composer recorded in the score his impressions of the American continent, its music, and folklore. At that time, America was a new, unexplored world for Europeans, which aroused considerable interest and admiration. Now Ukraine and its people, who courageously oppose agressor, protecting and defending the most important thing – Independence, have become that New World for everyone.
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