“Ode to Joy” is the central concert of KharkivMusicFest in terms of scale and depth of expression. The programme for 7th of April includes the rendition of the most distinguished symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven — Symphony No. 9. In addition, Yevhen Stankovych’s great symphonic composition “Passions for Taras” will premiere in Kharkiv on the same day. The most prominent choir ensemble in Ukraine — National Capella “Dumka”, and the main orchestra of Ukraine — National Symphonic Orchestra of Ukraine will perform celebrated compositions of both masters from Vienna and Ukraine, under the tutelage of conductor Volodymyr Sirenko.
The concert will commence with the “Passions for Taras” — a composition written by Yevhen Stankovych. He is a prominent Ukrainian composer and a laureate of Shevchenko National Award. The work was written in 2013 to commemorate 200-year anniversary of Taras Shevchenko. The name itself “Passions for Taras” refers to elevated passions of Johann Sebastian Bach, which recount the Passion of Christ. As the author states himself, “ “Passions…” is quite an unusual composition for me. I wanted to create a quintessence of spiritual, pressing and unifying matters based on Kobzar’s works.” The work is written for symphonic orchestra, choir and soloists. Dmytro Kuzmin (tenor) and Oleksandr Boyko (baritone) (both soloists at National Opera of Ukraine) will perform the solo parts.
The other half of the concert will be dedicated to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. This composition is considered by far one of the greatest works in the history of world music, which expresses ideals of humanity and liberty. It stands apart from the rest of the works that came prior to it. Beethoven felt that the orchestra wouldn’t be enough to bring his grand idea to life: he sought to glorify fraternity of all humankind, united by one desire for freedom and happiness. Therefore, he introduced a choir and soloists to the finale of the symphony, which sing “Ode to Joy” by Friedrich Schiller. It was precisely the finale of Symphony No. 9 that was chosen as the official hymn of the European Union, because it reminds us of the values of European community: freedom, peace, solidarity and unity. The solo parts of the symphony will be performed by soloists of the National Opera of Ukraine: Oksana Kramareva (soprano), Anzhelina Shvachka (mezzo-soprano), Dmytro Kuzmin (tenor), and Sergiy Magera (bass).