Choral music

Choral music.Music written for performance by choirs. In Ukraine the development of choral music is linked closely with the church (see Church music). In the Eastern church choral singing is unaccompanied by musical instruments; hence, Ukrainian church choral music was and remains a cappella. Early choral music was monodic. Polyphony developed only in the 16th century. At the time a unique form of choral concerts known as partesnyi arose. The number of voices increased from the simple three and four to the more complicated eight, which were typical at the end of the 17th century. Some composers tried an even greater number and, in one case, even eighteen voices. The richness of the Ukrainian choral repertoire is evident from a preserved list of notes of the Lviv Dormition Brotherhood, made in 1697, which contains 396 choral compositions, 151 of which are vocal concertos and 56, liturgies. In the second half of the 18th century there were several famous composers of church choral music: Maksym Berezovsky, Dmytro Bortniansky, and Artem Vedel. Their works, which were choral music a cappella., called concerts, are remarkable for their cyclical structure of several movements and contrasting solo and choral parts. In their works the four-voice choir becames the basic form.

The development of secular choral music in Ukraine began in the first half of the 19th century. Mykola Lysenko made an enormous contribution, particularly in the area of original creativity. He is famous for his cantatas for choir and orchestra and his choral arrangements of folk songs. After Lysenko the most noted composers of choral music were Mykola Leontovych, Kyrylo Stetsenko, Oleksander Koshyts, Stanyslav Liudkevych, and Pylyp Kozytsky. In the period 1920–60 choral music received relatively little attention from Ukrainian composers. Only among younger composers such as Lesia Dychko and Ivan Karabyts choral music retained some of its former importance.

W. Wytwycky

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