Early Music America Summer 2014 - (Page 40)

By Oleg Timofeyev Living and Breathing Early Music, Even for one experienced in eastern European historical performance, learning how early music is played in Ukraine was a discovery in postSoviet countries such as Russia, Estonia, and Latvia led me to believe that the standard Renaissance or Baroque repertoires function as a lingua franca that unites musicians regardless of how they are related geographically. In other words, you are likely to find the same Telemann, Monteverdi, or Dowland put on stage with about the same early music instruments and voices anywhere in Europe. In addition, one can expect a similar approach in continuo realization or melodic embellishment. This kind of "globalization" in the field of early music has progressed even more with the rise of YouTube and other Internet-built resources. But such music making is absent or invisible in Kiev, capital city of Ukraine, arguably the largest European country. It M does not have a single specialized store for CDs and sheet music. Students use only MP3s or PDFs downloaded from the Internet, often without any description and of unknown authorship. With the exception of a few fine harpsichordists, early music professionals, in the Western sense of the word, simply don't exist. Not a single Baroque violin with gut strings is to be found anywhere in Ukraine, nor a Baroque orchestra or any other larger early music ensemble. This was made apparent to me in the spring of 2009 after I received my second Fulbright award, this time to teach performance practice. At that point, I did not know any early music performers in Ukraine, but my friend of several decades, the painter and lutenist Roman Turovsky, generously shared with me his database of Ukrainian "early musicians." Meeting musicians PHOTO: TATIANA GOLDBERG Y PREVIOUS ADVENTURES Roman emigrated from Kiev to New York City in the 1970s and had never lost interest in the music and culture of his native Ukraine. For about a month after arriving, I felt a little lost, wondering whether my choice of location for my Fulbright year was a fatal mistake and whether I would ever be able to find any like-minded people. But my bewilderment was temporary: little by little I began to understand something quite remarkable. True, a "normal" early music movement as it is found in Europe or North America is barely present in Ukraine. But there is something else, something arguably a lot more alive and definitely much more connected to the search for cultural identity by this nation and its people. 40 Summer 2014 Early Music America My discoveries started during the 7th Early Music Festival in Lviv, in western Ukraine. An old city, the former Lemberg of the Austro-Hungarian empire, Lviv is an ideal location for any musical event evoking history from Medieval to early Romantic. The 2009 festival stretched over two weeks, featuring ensembles from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and Sweden. It was striking how the vast majority of the groups engaged in the genre known among CD reviewers as "educated fantasy." Stary Olsa, a "cult" ensemble from Minsk (Belarus), performed its mythologized vision of music from the time of the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth. An excellent Swedish-German husband-and-wife duo, Laude Novella, in cooperation with the impressive Insula Magica from Novosibirsk, presented a reconstruction of musical life of Swedish prisoners of who were sent to Siberia after the famous Poltava Battle (1709). But the most lasting influence on my subsequent months in Kiev was left by Chorea Kozacka, an ensemble put Sarmatica, an ensemble organized by Oleg Timofeyev to explore the Lviv lute tablature.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Early Music America Summer 2014

Editor's Note
Reader Forum
Sound Bytes
Musings: The Force of Opinion
Recording Reviews
Baroque Opera and Historical Performance: A Reconsideration
Underestimating Turk
Our Disappearing LP Legacy
Living and Breathing Early Music, the Ukrainian Way
Ars Longa and the Festival Esteban Salas
Book Reviews
Ad Index
In Conclusion: The Flauto Dolce Heralds a Welcome Entrance into Heaven

Early Music America Summer 2014