The Christmas concert of the New Era Orchestra planned for December 24, 2021, in St. Andrew’s Church, is intended to remind about the ultimate value of music through the lens of a harmonious combination of the architectural masterpiece of the venue and virtuoso pieces by baroque composers performed by one of the best orchestras in Ukraine and the very Christmas spirit that has always been a symbol of hope for a peaceful and bountiful next year.
St. Andrew’s Church, which was built in 1753 is currently one of four architectural landmarks of Ukraine, which were included to the List of Mankind Treasures of Five Continents by the world society. This architectural masterpiece is a perfect embodiment of the Baroque era ideas. No wonder St. Andrew’s Church is known as “the Pearl of the Baroque” because the literal translation of the word “Baroque” is an irregular-shaped pearl.
The spirit of the Baroque – sparkling, flamboyant, and vital is something we crave these days, in difficult quarantine times, when the very opportunity to listen to live music has become an event that requires a lot of effort and confidence.
It is truly symbolic that the magnificent baroque interior of St. Andrew’s Church will be filled with the sounds of outstanding charming Masterworks by the greatest Baroque composers like Bach, Vivaldi, Lully, accentuated by a new orchestration of the “Carol of the Bells” by Pentatonix, which originates from Ukrainian “Shchedryk”, a beautiful, haunting melody that has captivated audiences for over a hundred years and spawned countless versions.
Legendary Carol of the Bells (Shchedryk)
A simple folk well-wishing song was performed in Ukrainian villages for centuries on the eve of the Julian New Year. Based on this folk music, Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych wrote the original version called Shchedryk (“Bountiful Evening”) in 1916 for a choral commission.
Through a number of extraordinary miraculous coincidences this tune has transformed into a super holiday hit in the United States, was performed by thousands of musicians all over the world for more than a century and now returning back to the place of its origins as a symbol of honorable place occupied by Ukrainian culture in the global musical heritage.
For our Christmas concert we will to commission a transcription of Carol of the Bells /Shchedryk contemporary cover by Pentatonix American a capella group, to Ukrainian composer Artem Roshchenko.
photo by Ruslan Synhaevskiy