Instrumental music

Instrumental music. In Ukraine, as in Western Europe, instrumental music developed considerably later than vocal music. The earliest works of Ukrainian instrumental music date back to the second half of the 18th century with the sonata for violin and harpsichord by Maksym Berezovsky and numerous compositions by Dmytro Bortniansky: several piano sonatas, three violin sonatas, a string quartet, a quintet, and the Symphony in B-flat major. A major contribution to Ukrainian instrumental music was made by Mykola Lysenko, who wrote a number of piano compositions (Ukrainian Suite [1869]), two rhapsodies based on themes from Ukrainian folk songs, a sonata, and the Heroic Scherzo, works for piano and violin, a trio, and a quartet. A contemporary of Lysenko, Mykhailo Kalachevsky, composed works for the piano and a symphony in four movements. At the beginning of the 20th century many instrumental works, especially for piano, were composed by Yakiv Stepovy, Stanyslav Liudkevych, Vasyl Barvinsky, Lev Revutsky, Borys Liatoshynsky, and Viktor Kosenko. Since then, instrumental music in all its forms (solo music, chamber music, and symphonic music) has been the most popular style of music among Ukrainian composers.

Dremliuha, M. Ukraïns’ka fortepiianna muzyka (Kyiv 1958)
Borovyk, M. Ukraïns’kyi radians’kyi kamerno-instrumental’nyi ansambl’ (Kyiv 1968)
Hordiichuk, M. Ukraïns’ka radians’ka symfonichna muzyka (Kyiv 1969)

Wasyl Wytwycky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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