Theodore Kuchar | Conductor
Matt Haimovitz | Cello
Antonín Dvořák Carnival Overture (Karneval)
Thomas de Hartmann Cello Concerto
Jean Sibelius Symphony No. 2
Since shortly after the demise of the former Soviet Union through to the present day, Theodore Kuchar has served as the Principal Conductor of two of Ukraine’s most internationally recognized orchestras – the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine and the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine.
Embodied in the dramatic opening and first movement of the epic de Hartmann Cello Concerto, the rise of the 1930’s Nazi movement in Germany with its persecution of the Jews, triggers by contrast fond musical reminiscences from the composer’s youth in rural Ukraine of Jewish folklore and klezmer music, evoking the romance of times and cultures lost. The chanting of the synagogue cantor is voiced in the solo cello cadenzas, and the haunting prayers of the Jews are heard in the second movement. The Finale portrays a dance spiraling to its unfortunate conclusion. Inventive and colorful orchestrations abound throughout the work.
The political oppression and desperation imposed by Russia on the Finnish nation slightly over one century ago is not dissimilar to the national destruction and genocide being presently inflicted on Ukraine by the same Russian nation. Finnish conductor George Schnéevoight went further to assign a specific patriotic program to the Sibelius Second Symphony, in which the first movement depicted the Finns’ pastoral life, the second the brutality of foreign rule, the third a crushing of patriotic spirit, and the fourth the glorious hope for deliverance from tyranny.
Matt Haimovitz appears by arrangement with IMG Artists