I grew up around a piano. I dated an Italian pianist (ugh). My priests all played piano. I damn near lost interest in the instrument until I stumbled onto the work of Lubomyr Melnyk a few years ago. The piano has been beautifully redeemed thanks to the sheer beauty, intricacy and power of his work.
What a wonderful chorus! The Bel Canto Choir of Vilnius, Lithuania, do a standout performance of the Christmas classic written by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych.
We drift gently into the Nativity with a few Ukrainian Christmas Carols performed by tenor Ivan Kozlovskiy and orchestra.
Uzbek-Ukrainian guitarist Enver İzmaylov, known for his amazing tapping technique on the guitar, does justice to a piece penned by Spanish maestro Joaquín Rodrigo.
A trailer and a scene from Viy, a Russian film based on the horror story penned by Nikolai Gogol.
Lubomyr Melnik has been featured on these pages previously. Expect to see a lot more of his work as the years roll by.
Today must be a great day for piano music, as it’s been on my mind. Lubomir Melnyk is a composer and pianist who hails from Ukraine (and now residing in Canada) who records for Erased Tapes. He’s a relatively new name to me, and certainly, after this sample, he’s worth exploring.