Mykola Lysenko


Click on the title of each song to download the linked zip file which includes both pdf and .sib. If you wish to use the .sib files in the web browser you will have to have installed and turned on, the current version of Scorch for web, you can down-load it here (scorch for web).  All links to the Scorch web plug-in, and the Scorch iPad app are also available at the bottom of each composers section.  Click the appropriate button and follow the instructions to down load and install the version of scorch you would like to use.

All songs are free to download and perform, so kindly consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can, to support and sustain this archive.

Thank you

support the library

To download a song: 

  1. Click the link with the name of the song which will download a zip file.
  2. Open the zip file and then the subfolder with the name of the song.
  3. Open the file with the format you wish to work with - either PDF or Silbelius.  If you want to keep the file, ensure you save it to a local drive.

For further information about downloading the scores and also using the Scorch plugin or app to play and transpose the scores, please click below.


MYKOLA LYSENKO

MYKOLA LYSENKO

Mykola Lysenko (1842 - 1912) is the father of modern Ukrainian classical music.  His prolific life’s work laid the foundation for the further development and expansion of Ukrainian musical culture. He influenced a large group of Ukrainian composers, including Stetsenko, Stepovyi, Leontovych, Koshyts, and Liudkevych. A compilation of Lysenko’s works in 22 volumes was published in Kyiv in 1950–59.

Lysenko was a composer, ethnomusicologist, pianist, and conductor. He studied at the Kharkiv and Kyiv universities and, later, at the Leipzig Conservatory under Reinicke and Richter (1867–69). From 1874 to 1876 he studied orchestration under Rimsky-Korsakov in St. Petersburg. In 1904, he founded his own School of Music and Drama in Kyiv.

The list of Lysenko’s operatic compositions include Black Sea Cossacks (1872); three operas based on the works of the Ukrainian writer Mykola Hohol – Christmas Night (1873–82),
The Drowned Maiden (1883) and Taras Bulba (1890); and the operettas Natalka from Poltava (1889) and Aeneas (1911).  Himself a well-known pianist, Lysenko composed a piano sonata, two rhapsodies, a suite, a scherzo and a rondo, as well as an abundance of smaller pieces, including songs without words, nocturnes, waltzes and polonaises. He also wrote a number of works for strings. Of the Ukrainian composers, Lysenko was the most committed to the art song genre. Lysenko’s 133 art songs (lirychni pisni in Ukrainian) relate a wonderfully descriptive and passionate story of 19th- and early 20th-century European life.

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SONG LIST




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Yakiv Stepovyi


Click on the title of each song to download the linked zip file which includes both pdf and .sib versions of that song in all four voices. If you wish to use the .sib files in the web browser you will have to have installed and turned on, the current version of Scorch for web, you can down load it here (scorch for web).  All links to the Scorch web plug-in, and the Scorch iPad app are also available at the bottom of each composers section.  Click the button and follow the instructions to down load and install the version of scorch you would like to use.

Support the Library

All songs are free to download and perform, so kindly consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can, to support and sustain this archive.

Thank you

TO DOWNLOAD A SONG: 

  1. Click the link with the name of the song which will download a zip file.
  2. Open the zip file and then the subfolder with the name of the song.
  3. Open the file with the format you wish to work with - either PDF or Silbelius.  If you want to keep the file, ensure you save it to a local drive.

For further information about downloading the scores and also using the Scorch plugin or app to play and transpose the scores, please click below.


YAKIV STEPOVYI

YAKIV STEPOVYI

From Imperial choirboy to Soviet composer, much of the life story of Yakiv Stepovyi is lost in the historic upheavals that ravaged Ukraine in the 20th century. Even so, Stepovyi’s legacy of art songs, piano pieces, and other vocal works survives almost intact. It reveals a composer who could adapt to changes in politics, culture, and society. His eclectic preludes and other ephemeral piano pieces give way, after WWI, to revolutionary mass songs and arrangements for bandura, a lute-like Ukrainian folk instrument. But there was one constant in Stepovyi’s life: the art song. Each one is an uncompromising declaration of the composer’s artistic ideal. Stepovyi was one of the first modern Ukrainian composers to avoid the direct use of folk material. He sought to transform the traditional language of music into a new modernist idiom and thus create a new national identity.  

Yakiv Yakymenko (pseudonym Stepovyi) was born in the city of Kharkiv, in north-eastern Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire. His father was a poor, retired non-commissioned officer. In 1886, Yakiv’s older brother, composer Fedir Yakymenko (aka Theodore Akimenko), was sent to the Imperial Chapel as a choirboy. Nine years later, Yakiv joined him there in St. Petersburg. Within three years, Yakiv's voice broke and he was forced to leave the choir. Somehow he managed to continue his music studies. A year later, in 1899, he composed the liturgical Cherubic Hymn, opus 1. Then, in 1902, Fedir arranged an interview for his younger brother with Alexander Glazunov and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Both Russian composers were so impressed with Yakiv’s talent he St. Petersburg Conservatory. The studies lasted for twelve years, until 1914, when Stepovyi finally graduated. 

Meanwhile, Stepovyi began to compose art songs and small piano pieces. The first two sets of art songs Barvinky (Periwinkles, 1905–1907), opus 3–4, were published by Idzikowski in Kyiv under his pseudonym. Mykola Lysenko, the father of Ukrainian musical nationalism, reviewed the first nine and found Stepovyi’s music lacking in traditional folk idioms. However, Kyrylo Stetsenko, a fellow composer, praised Stepovyi, especially his song ‘Zymoiu’ (In Winter) on a text by the as-yet unpublished Oleksander Oles. Encouraged, Stepovyi composed the song cycle Nastroї (Moods, 1907–1908), opus 6, based entirely on the poetry of Oles. Then, in 1911, Stepovyi set to music three poems by the fifteenyear- old Maksym Rylsky, the opus 8 song cycle. Both Oles and Rylsky would become giants of 20th-century Ukrainian literature. Nevertheless, Olena Pchilka, editor of Ridnyi (Native Land) and mother of the poet Lesia Ukrainka, refused to publish the Rylsky song cycle in its entirety because it was too modern, too far removed from the folk idiom and, therefore, un-nationalistic. Stepovyi found a more worldly audience in St. Petersburg and Moscow. As early as 1904 he had met a fellow Kharkivite in the northern capital, the renowned opera singer Ivan Alchevsky. They became lifelong friends and supporters of each other’s endeavours. Alchevsky often performed the composer’s songs, and Stepovyi likely wrote some especially for him. It is surmised that it was the Alchevsky family that introduced Stepovyi to the poetry of Oles. After his father’s death in 1911, Stepovyi embarked on a series of journeys in Ukraine and Europe.  In the summer of 1912 he visited Alchevsky in Paris, where the opera singer was engaged. Upon his return, he also tried his hand at music criticism, writing a number of articles for the Moscow journal Muzyka. 

Stepovyi’s music career was interrupted at the beginning of WWI, when he was conscripted into the army as a secretary on a hospital train. It was only in 1917, when the Russian Revolution broke out, that Stepovyi was able to obtain a discharge. Immediately, he went to Kyiv to start teaching at the newly established Conservatory. There he resumed writing his art songs, which became more and more complex, formalistic.

During the last five years of his life, Stepovyi was caught up in the Ukrainian-Soviet War (1917–1921) and the creation of the new Socialist order. By siding with the Socialists, Stepovyi soon found himself in key bureaucratic positions. He became the music director of the Ukrainian State Theatre of Music and Drama, director of the Folk Conservatory, director of music education in the Ministry of Education, and organizer of the Ukrainian State Symphony Orchestra, the State String Quartet, and the “official” vocal ensemble that toured and performed in factories, refineries, and other industrial complexes. With the demand for proletarian music on the rise, Stepovyi found himself increasingly occupied with writing simple pedagogical pieces for children, working with ensembles of folk instruments, and arranging folk and revolutionary songs for amateur choirs.

Like all revolutions, the new Socialist order also consumed its children. Yakiv Stepovyi died of typhus at the beginning of the first man-made famine in Soviet Ukraine (1921–1923). Within the Soviet paradigm it was impossible to assess Stepovyi’s contribution to the genre of the art song.

SONG LIST


CD 1

CD 2


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Kyrylo Stetsenko


All songs are free to download and perform, so kindly consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can, to support and sustain the work of the Ukrainian Art Song Project.

support UASP

To download a song: 

  1. Click the link with the name of the song which will download a zip file.
  2. Open the zip file and then the subfolder with the name of the song.
  3. Open the file with the format you wish to work with - either PDF or Silbelius.  If you want to keep the file, ensure you save it to a local drive.

For further information about downloading the scores and also using the Scorch plugin or app to play and transpose the scores, please click below.


KYRYLO STETSENKO

KYRYLO STETSENKO

Kyrylo Stetsenko was born in central Ukraine. His father was a painter of icons and his maternal uncle was an Orthodox priest. At age 10, Kyrylo was taken by his uncle to Kyiv to study art.  There, he enrolled at Saint Sophia's Church School and later at the Seminary.  In school Kyrylo studied the masters of Ukrainian church music Dmytro Bortniansky, Maksym Berezovsky, Artem Vedel, and others. He also met Mykola Lysenko, the most important Ukrainian composer of the time, and participated in several ethnomusicological expeditions.  Completing his studies in 1903, Stetsenko chose not to become a priest.  Instead, he began working as a music teacher, music critic, church conductor and composer.  

Stetsenko has to his credit 42 art songs, over 100 sacred and secular choral pieces, including two liturgies and a requiem, and music to a dozen stage works. Political events constantly affected the composer's life. When the Russian Revolution of 1905 fanned the flames of independence in Ukraine, Stetsenko published the Ukrainian national anthem and other patriotic songs.  Although the authorities could not prove his complicity, he was nevertheless exiled from Kyiv in 1907.  By 1909 he managed to return to the city but political and economic pressures forced him to leave one year later.  In 1911, urged by his uncle, Stetsenko decided to become an Orthodox priest.  Financial security, however, came at a price.  The composer was required to serve in an obscure village in south-western Ukraine, far from the cultural life of Kyiv.  There, in his self-imposed exile, Stetsenko weathered the political storm of World War I.  

As soon as the Russian Revolution of 1917 began, Stetsenko immediately returned to Kyiv.  When the Ukrainian National Republic was declared, Stetsenko was appointed head of the Music Section in the Ministry of Education.  Two national choirs were created. One choir, led by composer Oleksander Koshyts, toured Europe and North America to promote Ukraine as an independent nation.  The other, led by Stetsenko, toured at home to promote national unity.  With the Bolshevik takeover of Ukraine in 1920, the Koshyts choir was stranded abroad.  Meanwhile, Stetsenko's choir was disbanded by the Communists and the composer again abandoned Kyiv to work as a village priest south of the city.  As political repressions were renewed against Ukrainians, famine and disease began to spread. Kyrylo Stetsenko died of typhus while tending to the sick during an outbreak of the disease in the spring of 1922.



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