:LYATOSHYNSKI: Symphony No. 1 in A minor, Op. 2. Grazhyna, Op 58 (Symphonic Ballac)
Ukanian State Symphony Orch/Theodore Kuchar, cond.
NAXOS 8555578 TT: 57 min.
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LYATOSHYNSKI: : Symphony No. 4 in B flt mnor, Op. 63. Symphony No. 5 in C, Op. 67 "Slavonia"
Ukranian State Symphny Orch/Teodore Kuchar, cond.
NAXOS 855580 TT: 55:00 min.
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LYATOSHYNSKI: Symphony No. 2 in B minor, Op. 26. Symphony No. 3 in B minor, Op. 50.
Ukranian State Symphony Orch/Theodore Kuchar, cond.
NAXOS 8555580 TT: 77 min.
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Today's audiences know little about Ukrainian composer Bois Lyatoshynsky (1895-1968), which is unfortunate as his music is worthy of attention. He was a pioneer of modern music in the 20th Century, recognized as the leading composer of his country, and an important teacher as well His works include three operas, five string quartets, five symphonies, choral music, and works for solo instruments. Very little of his music has been recorded, a mystery indeed as judging from these symphonies, Lyatoshynsky had a lot to say knew how to say it. He was a master of orchestration, and I cannot help but wonder if he was influenced by Glière's mighty Ilya Muromez symphony which was composed in 1911 (see he feature on this work on this SITE) Actually, Glìere was one of Lyatoshynsky's teachers. Symphony No. 5 actually includes a fanfare depicting Murometz. .In the mid-'90s all of the symphonies were recorded by the Ukrainian State Orchestra conducted by Theodore Kuchar, and issued on the Marco Polo label. These have not been readily available and collectors are fortunate that now they have been remastered and issued on Naxos. His first symphony was composed in 1915, the fifth in 1951. Symphony No. 1 strongly shows the influence of Tchaikovsky and is the least interesting of the five. Symphony No. 2 (1919) clearly shows the political turmoil of the time. Completed in 1954, Symphony No. 3 in B minor (as was Ilya Murometz), shows the composer now exploring orchestral textures as never before.This brilliant orchestration continues in Symphony No. 4 (1963) and Symphony No. 5 (1966). One disks is filled out with the symphonic poem, Grazhyna, described by the composer as a "symphonic ballad" to commemorate the centenary of the death of the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz. It is considered to be one of the composer's finest works, but I find it to be of less interet than symphonies 2-5..Lyatoshynsky's orhestraton is rich, filled with harps, gentle woodwind solos and strong brass statements. It is amazing that all of this music, particularly the last three symphonies, isn't played and recorded more often. And there are many other works by Lyatoshynsky yet to receive their first recording, including overtures, suites and film music. In the meantime, check out these superb and very important budget-priced disks.

R.E.B. (February 2015_

R.E.B. (February 2015_