Polish-Ukrainian musical dialogues


Media about the concert series “Polish-Ukrainian musical dialogues”

October 20 in Warsaw was full of high-level artistic events. The legendary Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed at the National Philharmonic, while the Chamber Orchestra of the Khmelnytsky Philharmonic performed at the concert hall of the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music. So the competition was great, but the concert by the Ukrainian orchestra attracted a large audience, including many prominent personalities of Polish musical life.

The “Polish-Ukrainian Musical Dialogues” series of concerts, organized by the Warsaw-based “Pro Musica Viva” foundation, took place this year in Ukraine’s largest cities, where it was very well received. So it was good that Warsaw music lovers also had the opportunity to get acquainted with works of Polish and Ukrainian chamber music in a professional performance by a Ukrainian ensemble, led with a sure hand by Roman Revakovich – an excellent conductor and composer, as well as a tireless advocate of Polish-Ukrainian cultural cooperation.

The Khmelnitsky Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, in existence since 1992, operates on a daily basis under the direction of Oleksandr Drahan, performing regularly in various Ukrainian cities and at prestigious music festivals at home and abroad. The ensemble consists mainly of young musicians, playing with great commitment and verve, which is especially important in the difficult contemporary repertoire – for it is the music of the 20th and 21st centuries that is the orchestra’s most important area of interest.

The first work performed at the Warsaw concert was Grażyna Bacewicz’s Concerto for String Orchestra, one of the greatest masterpieces of Polish chamber music. Roman Rewakowicz led the orchestra rather carefully, but brilliantly highlighted its neoclassical, energetic character of the work, especially its last movement. This was followed by a performance of Serenade for string orchestra by Valentin Sylvestrov, perhaps the best-known Ukrainian composer in the world today. A difficult piece, requiring great sensitivity in sound and enormous precision in performance, it found worthy interpreters in the orchestra.

The first part of the evening ended with Henryk Mikołaj Górecki’s Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra, one of the most highly regarded works by the great Polish composer. József Örmény – a sensational pianist from Lviv, who is also well known to Polish audiences for his numerous performances not only in the Ukrainian repertoire – offered an innovative interpretation of the work, completely different from the Polish performance tradition. Full, decisive sounds dominated, technical virtuosity and great sensitivity to timbre were a delight – so it’s no wonder that the pianist was applauded for a long time and called back to the stage several times. The Górecki concerto was, in my opinion, by far the most interesting item on the program.

József Örmény also performed after the intermission, performing Igor Shcherbakov’s beautiful Piano Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra. Two years ago, Piano Concerto No. 2 was performed during the Fourth Days of Ukrainian Music, and recently the composer has created a third work in this genre – it is to be hoped that Roman Revakovich will soon create an opportunity for Warsaw music lovers to get acquainted with this composition as well, since Shcherbakov’s music is one of the most interesting phenomena in the panorama of Ukrainian contemporary music. This time, too, Örmény showed the fullness of his pianistic artistry, and the orchestra worthily accompanied him in creating a masterful interpretation. Both the performers and the composer, who was present at the concert, were given an ovation by the audience.

Other highlights of the program were Myroslav Skoryk’s Diptych – originally composed for string quartet, here sounded in a version for chamber orchestra – and Wojciech Kilar’s Orava, a “hit” for many Polish orchestras, allowing the ensemble to showcase its technical and interpretive capabilities in a bravura manner. The Khmelnytsky Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Roman Revakovich, did not disappoint this time either, so it’s no surprise that the audience forced the musicians to give an encore – Myroslav Skorik’s beautifully performed Melody sounded as a farewell. The concert was organized by the “Pro Musica Viva” foundation and the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music, with support from the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, GALCA Lviv Coffee Factory, the City of Warsaw, the Mazovian Institute of Culture and Bohdan Batruch. “Our Word” was the media patron of the event.

Paweł Markuszewski
Polish-Ukrainian musical dialogues in Warsaw
Nasze słowo, Nr 44, 2nd of November 2014

On Sunday, the concert Polish-Ukrainian Musical Dialogues” was held, performed by the Khmelnytsky Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra with the participation of conductor Roman Revakovich and pianist József Örmény. (…) What sounded was not ordinary classical music, but contemporary classical music. Music of the heavy and dark 20th century. There is, as is well known, a rather contentious approach to it, which seems to stem primarily from the impossibility of hearing and understanding it properly. But here it is – a possibility, the art of organizing sounds in a temporal, sonic and timbral scale has come true. (…) Valentin Sylvester’s performance of “Serenade for Strings” captivated the audience by surprise. Confused listeners looked around among themselves and began murmuring from not understanding the music. They didn’t know what to listen for. But closer to the middle of the piece, when a pleasant-sounding melody appeared, listeners finally tuned in to the concert’s waves and followed the orchestra’s work and Roman Revakovich’s bright conducting with bated breath. “Concerto for Harpsichord and String Orchestra” by Henryk Górecki and “Piano Concerto No. 1” by Igor Shcherbakov were played by the chamber orchestra with the participation of József Örmény, a well-known performer of avant-garde techniques. His active, confident playing gave the orchestra new ground. Örmény’s playing was a mainstay for the orchestra, around which more and more new sounds appeared. The orchestra seemingly danced with its sound. The performance of “Piano Concerto No. 1″ Shcherbakov became the unexpected climax of the concert. The quiet, focused piece rang out like a commentary on our days. Every sound reminded the audience of what was happening just a few days ago not far away. With the next piece, the listeners plunged deeper and deeper into the most cloudy corners of human history. (…) After such immersion, it was worthwhile to relieve the atmosphere, which is why we heard bright and light pieces by Myroslav Skorik and Wojciech Kilar. Compared to the previous ones, they sounded all too understandable to the listener, but it was a necessary time to stop thoughts, relax and receive pleasure from the beauty of the playing. Also, the orchestra chose to express to the listeners all the spirit accumulated during this concert – and these were truly wonderful moments.”

Volodymyr Bilyk
Polish-Ukrainian musical dialogues in Zhytomyr
1ZT.UA – the first national information portal
24th of March 2014

“Music that unites”. Famous musicians Roman Rewakowicz and József Örmény visited Ostrog Academy. The performance titled Polish-Ukrainian musical dialogues” brought together many lovers of the classical sound of instruments. Poised violin, low-sounding double bass and delicate piano sounds. “Polish-Ukrainian Musical Dialogues” was performed by famous artists – Roman Rewakowicz, a conductor from Poland, and József Örmény, a distinguished Ukrainian artist from Lviv. Their performance was supported by the Chamber Orchestra of the Khmelnytsky Philharmonic. The concert featured performances of works by contemporary Ukrainian and Polish composers that were premiered in our country, attesting to the new musical trends of the 20th century, where traditions are giving way to symbolic innovation. It is not the first time that well-known musicians have come to Ostrog Academy. They say that it is here that they feel the breath of centuries and the connection with the younger generation. In this difficult time for Ukraine, the artists believe that it is music that can bring people together and restore spiritual balance.”

Famous musicians Roman Revakovich and József Örmény came to the Rivne region with a concert.
Sfera TW
27th of March 2014

Yesterday, March 20, the Ternopil Philharmonic held a concert entitled Polish-Ukrainian Musical Dialogues,” during which the works of Ukrainian and Polish composers were performed by the Chamber Orchestra of the Khmelnytsky Philharmonic – Roman Rewakowicz (Warsaw, Poland), conductor. The soloist that evening was the distinguished artist of Ukraine József Örmény (piano, Lviv). (…) In general, the music that sounded that evening reproduced the moods and rhythms of life in the 20th century. It was a bit trippy and dreamy, overly fast and barely audible, aggressive and puzzling.”

Janina Czajkiwska
A dialogue of two cultures took place in Ternopil
Wieczorny Tarnopol
21st of March 2014

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