British conductor Paul Mann about INSO cooperation: interview

  • What, in your opinion, is the mission of a musician, and composer during the war? 

I can only speak for myself, and the reason I am here in Lviv.  Musicians can bring solace, a renewal of energy, and emotional sustenance at a time when these things are most needed.  The only meaningful thing I have to contribute at a time of war is whatever I can offer as a musician.

  • Both of the symphonies announced in the program are heroic; what, in your opinion, is the basis for the difference in their perception?

There is, of course, a difference in history: one was written over two hundred years ago, and the other in 1975, when I was ten years old. They speak different languages, and of different times.  But they are both about the same thing: the power of the human spirit, and what happens when evil turns human frailty to resilience. 

  • Your program is filled with the common idea of heroism. In your opinion, what is heroism now and what is it in art? 

Heroism is found everywhere in Ukraine at the moment.  Among those who fight, those who mourn the loss of loved ones, and those who somehow survive the destruction of their lives around them.  But music can’t be destroyed, and it expresses itself more precisely than words. Those who create it are also heroes.

  • Have you ever worked on the music of Ukrainian composers? How did the work with the music of Yevhen Stankovych differ? How exactly did you get to know his music? What, in your opinion, are the main features and difficulties of Yevhen Stankovych’s music?

Stankovych was the first Ukrainian composer whose music I got to know. The premiere of his Viola Concerto was part of the programme for my first ever visit to this country, for concerts in Kyiv in 1999.  This 2nd Symphony, although the work of a young man, is astonishingly powerful and very well written for the orchestra.  Every section makes an important contribution, and there are some especially eloquent solos for such instruments as the horn and flute.  And the ending of the work is one of the most dramatic expressions of sheer anger I know in all of music.



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