YEVHEN STANKOVYCH (b.1942): On the Verkhovyna Plateau: Triptych, Sonata Piccola, Ukrainian Poem, The Angel’s Touch, Poem: A Dedication, Morning Music, Maydan Fresco, Romance (transcr. Arkady Vynokurov).
Catalogue Number: 03S067
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0402
Description: Stankovych's style has remained consistent over the decades; harmonically generous if freely dissonant, rhythmically vital and, despite his modern vocabulary, persistently folk-inflected. Although described as 'avant garde' by Soviet standards, he never really was, as compared to what was going on in other parts of Europe in the 1970s. Broadly speaking it is fair to say that the works from that decade here - the five-section, single span Sonata piccola and the Triptych - are in a significantly more abrasive, harmonically freer idiom than the later works, but all are recognisably from the same pen. The rough-hewn evocations of peasant music of the Carpathian mountains recall Bartók at his most 'barbaric' and rhythmically vital (the 'Wedding' dance is wildly energetic), but the same percussive use of the piano shows up again in the protesting Maydan Fresco, a commentary on the violent pro- and anti-Russian conflict in Ukraine in 2014. The later works are noticeably more tonal and less dissonant, the evocative Morning Music suite and the Ukrainian Poem in particular sharing a neo-romantic sense of harmony and melody. The Angel's Touch is more varied stylistically and emotionally than its title might suggest; it is tonal, melodic and consonant one minute, astringently modern the next, and rises to a turbulent climax. Solomia Soroka (violin), Arthur Greene (piano).