VALERIY ANTONYUK (b.1979): Symphonies No. 1 “Harmony of Motion”, No. 2 “Fanfare”, No. 3 “Predictable Music” and No. 4 “The System of Desires”, Piano Concerto, 2 Cantatas for Soprano and Orchestra.

Catalogue Number: 10V009

Label: Da Vinci Classics

Reference: C00120

Format: CD

Price: $28.98

Description: There is much to enjoy in these bold and splendid examples of gloriously unembarrassed neo-Romantic excess. Antonyuk never puts a foot wrong in unfailingly delivering exactly what you want a piece of hyper-neo-Romantic music to do at any given moment. To achieve this he draws on models from all over the Romantic and post-Romantic spectrum, whether it be Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Strauss, Mahler, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, minimalism ... or his own considerable experience of writing music for film, television and commercial purposes. He even effectively admits what he’s up to in the premise of the Third Symphony, "Predictable Music", which aims to present the sequence of musical thought such that the listener will feel a sense of familiarity with music as yet unheard. As the thunderous bravura gestures and soaring "love theme from (fill in the blank)" melodies pile up in wave upon wave in the Piano Concerto, there may come a point at which you say, oh come on, really?! - but it’s just so perfectly executed that even while you’re rolling your eyes you’ll still be having the time of your life. There seems to be no suggestion of ironic pastiche here; this is just the composer’s chosen vehicle for the expression of grandly Romantic concepts like the philosophy of human existence, struggle and triumph (in the first two symphonies) or the more personal tragedy of the victims of the unrest in Ukraine in 2013-14 (the 4th, which includes references to patriotic chants heard during the protests). Propulsive action music larded with exhilarating fanfares, soaring, full-throated triumphant climaxes, tender melodies and ironic scherzi abound throughout these colorful, stirring works; you would have to be a very cynical sort indeed not to respond to this concentrated outpouring of passion and emotion. 2 CDs. Valentina Antonyuk (soprano), Valeriy Antonyuk (piano), Academic Symphony Orchestra of National Philharmonic of Ukraine, National Radio Company of Ukraine Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; Myroslav Skoryk, Vladimir Shelko, Victoria Zhadko, Natalia Ponomarchuk.

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