Parnassus – is releasing Great Musicians of Ukraine. All proceeds from sales of the album will be donated to support Razom for Ukraine, a non-profit Ukrainian-American human rights organization established in 2014 to support the people of Ukraine.

In this recording, Parnassus is featuring notable musicians born in Ukraine, among them Emil Gilels, Aleksander Kipnis, Nathan Milstein, David Oistrakh, and Sviatoslav Richter.

MUSIC AND ARTISTS (all names in bolds are Ukrainian artists)

Mykola Lysenko: Intermezzo for Piano in F MajorRyda Lysenko, piano – 1957

Felix Blumenfeld: Etude for the Left Hand in A-Flat Major – Simon Barere, piano – 1935

Anton Rubinstein: Barcarolle in F Minor, Op. 30Benno Moiseïwitsch, piano – 1922

Sergei Prokofiev: Suggestion Diabolique – Sergei Prokofiev, piano – 1937

Sergei Prokofiev: Rondo for Piano, Op. 52 No. 2Sviatoslav Richter, piano – 1952

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 3 in A MinorEmil Gilels, piano – 1984

Sergei Prokofiev, arr. Piatigorsky: MasquesRomeo and JulietGregor Piatigorsky, piano – 1945

Sergei Prokofiev: Piano Sonata No. 3 in A MinorEmil Gilels, piano – 1984

Frédéric Chopin, arr. L. Auer: Nocturne No. 19 in E MinorBorys Kroyt, violin & Ilonka von Pathy, piano – 1922

Igor Stravinsky, arr. S. Dushkin: Berceuse from L’Oiseau de feuNathan Milstein, violin & Leopold Mitman, pianist recorded 1940

Reinhold Glière: Russian Sailor’s Dance from The Red Poppy Ballet – London Philharmonic / Anatole Fistoulari -1957

Traditional: Ol’MamoNina Koshetz, soprano & Boris Lang, pianist – 1922

Mykola Lysenko: Taras BulbaWhen I Am Weakened by the YearsMark Reizen, bass & Alexander Orlov, conductor USSR Radio Orchestra – 1940

Charles Gounod: Romeo et JulietteNon, ce n’est pas le jour (sung in Russian) – Antonina Nezhdanova, soprano & Ivan Kozlovsky, tenor – 1939

Dmitri Shostakovich: Six Romances, Op. 62 – Sonnet No. 66Alexander Kipnis, bass & Wolfgang Rose, piano – 1942

Dmitri Shostakovich: Six Romances, Op. 62 – The Grand Duke of York

Alexander Kipnis, bass & Wolfgang Rose, pianist – 1942

Traditonal Ukranian: O You DnieperIvan Kozlovsky, tenor & Boris Gmiria, bass – 1957

Mykola Lysenko: When Two SeparateNatalia Zakharchenko, soprano & Andrei Ivanov, baritone & Naum Walter, piano – 1945

Traditional: Vivtzi Salomea Kruszelnitzka, soprano – 1928

Semen Hulak-Artemovsky: Zaporizhian Cossacks – Odarka and Karas Duet – Maria Litvernko Volgemut, soprano & Ivan Patorzhinsky, bass -1950

Oscar Feltsman: Cherno moe moeOscar Feltsman, vocalist – 2009

Sergei Prokofiev: The Love for Three OrangesDavid Oistrakh, violinist & Vladimir Yampolsky, piano – 1959

Alexander Mosolov: Zavod – Julius Ehrlich • Orchestre Symphonique de Paris – 1933

Napoleon Lambelet: Laughing Song (from “The Geisha”) – Klavdiya Novikova, soprano – USSR Radio Orchestra- 1940

Production by Steve Smolian. Audio restoration by Leslie Gelber and Steve Smolian. Liner notes by Leslie Gelber.


The extraordinary Parnassus Great Musicians of Ukraine compilation of vintage recordings featuring artists of Ukrainian is a who’s who of great 20th century instrumentalists, singers who make music by Ukrainian composers Reinhold Glière, Mykola Lysenko, Felix Blumenfeld and Alexander Mosolov, participating also in works by Stravinsky, Chopin, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, that range from orchestral selections to chamber music to operatic and operetta arias and duets to traditional Ukrainian songs.

There are some fascinating curiosities, among them Zavod, an orchestral piece by the ill-fated experimental composer Alexander Mosolov who met the terrible Gulag punishment  of so many other avant garde artists of the Stalin era. There is by contrast Chernoe moe moe, a charming cabaret song by the composer of light music Oscar Feltsman, sung by the composer himself.

The singers are heard on radio broadcasts and in live recordings dating from 1922 to 1957, with the star bassos Alexander Kipnis, Mark Reizen, and Boris Gmiria reminding the listener of the mid-century greatness of the low-voiced stars of the Bolshoi.

The sweet-voiced tenor Ivan Kozlovsky shines in an excerpt from Romeo et Juliette, joined by lyric soprano Antonina Nezhdanova, who along with Ukrainian star sopranos Klavdiya Novikova, Maria Litvernko Volgemut, Salomea Kruszelnitzka, Nina Koshetz and Natalia Zakharchenko belies the unfair notion that all Slavic sopranos are beset by an acidy shrill tone.

As many of us have learned, Ukraine has had its own separate cultural identity for centuries, including its music. This recording honors the Ukrainian nation’s great uical tradition.

Rafael de Acha © 2023

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