Five years of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine (YsOU) - and here, the exceptional birthday concert: Oksana Lyniv conducting the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Lviv’s Organ Hall. Owing to the concert taking place on April 7, 2021 - in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic - the young musicians played to a completely empty concert hall, receiving an audience exclusively via DW Classical Music. Oksana Lyniv selected the program specifically for the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, to reflect the city of Lviv in which it was held. Within it are two rarely-performed works.
( 00:47 ) Concerto Grosso for Strings (1981)
Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart:
( 25:00 ) 6 Pieces for Flute and 2 Horns, Op. 11 (1807)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504, ‘Prague Symphony’ (1786)
( 34:35 ) II. Andante
( 43:41 ) III. Presto
Ukrainian composer Vitali Hubarenko (1934 - 2000) predominantly composed operas and ballets, though he also created film music. While writing the Concerto Grosso for Strings, Hubarenko was in a deep emotional crisis - which can be well felt in the dramatic, existential music. Formally, the Concerto Grosso is entirely in keeping with its genre; solo strings alternating with string sections. The concerto is in three movements, the individual movements flowing into one another. The first movement has a sense of agitation, perhaps expressing loneliness and despair. The second movement appears somewhat brighter, reminiscent of a dance in springtime. The third movement is a sad, gloomy interpretation of a lullaby. In the empty Lviv Organ Hall, the sound of the strings has Hubarenko's Concerto Grosso hang in the air, entirely filling the cavernous space with its melancholy atmosphere.
By way of contrast, the 6 Pieces for flute and 2 horns, Op. 11 - by Franz Xaver Mozart (1791-1844) - are performed in an adjacent chapel, illuminated by shimmering, blue light. The six pieces seem a cheerful reply to Hubarenko's Concerto Grosso. Franz Xaver Mozart - christened Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, sometimes known as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Jr. - composed the work in 1807 as ‘Tafelmusik’; music intended for festive celebrations, held by the Russian ambassador in Vienna. In 1809, the youngest of the Mozart boys continued on to Lemberg - now Lviv - working for over 30 years there as a composer, piano virtuoso, conductor, and teacher. Ever since, Lviv has ranked alongside other key cities for its strong connection to Mozart, and since 2017 has even hosted a festival in honor of Franz Xaver Mozart.
The concert is rounded off by the second and third movements of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Symphony No. 38 in D major, K. 504 - sometimes known as the ‘Prague Symphony‘. WA Mozart (1756 - 1791) composed his 38th symphony in the year 1786, travelling in January of 1787 for the first time to Prague, where the new symphony received its premiere. The Prague Symphony is weighted with more melancholy than Mozart’s other symphonies. The slow movement itself has its characteristic, wistful mood; no cheerful, minuet movement is forthcoming; and the hounding presto of the final movement lends the Symphony No. 38 only a rather cautiously uplifting ending.
Oksana Lyniv founded the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in 2016. The initiative was supported by the Beethoven festival of Bonn, Germany (BeethovenFest Bonn), the Federative Youth Orchestra of Germany, and Deutsche Welle. The YsOU showcases talented musicians between the ages of 12 and 22, who come from all regions of Ukraine. The Ukrainian Youth Symphony Orchestra thus not only serves to promote young musicians, but is also a project supporting peace in the country.
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