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Volodymyr Femelidi (1905–1931, Ukrainian/Greek)


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christopher
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« on: May 15, 2022, 01:35:46 pm »

Volodymyr Femelidi (1905–1931).
Ukrainian composer and conductor of Greek descent.

Ukrainian Live have just released a restored recording of this composer's Symphony, written in 1927.

I. Moderato. Vivo
II. Adagio. In memoriam
III. Allegretto. Scerzo. Youth
IV. Allegro. Final

Performed by: Symphony Orchestra of Ukrainian Television and Radio, conductor Leonid Balabaychenko (1963, re-recorded under the direction of sound engineer Yuriy Vynnyk in 1984)

https://ukrainianlive.org/femelidi-volodymyr

You have to download their app to your smartphone or tablet to listen to it.  It's an attractive enough piece, unmistakably Slavic and late-romantic, and had he lived longer he would probably have come to regard it as a student work.

Life would not have ended so early but for pneumonia, which destroyed the weakened body and became fatal in the fate of Volodymyr Femelidi - Ukrainian composer and conductor.

There were Greeks in his family, and Odesa became his hometown. Not surprisingly, the boy's fate was like a stormy sea and waves swaying from side to side. His mother was a musician, his father was a writer - the parents passed on their son the love for art, developing his skills and personality. Perhaps that is why Volodymyr did not immediately understand his mission in life and chose the profession of a historian. It took three years to understand: "Being a musician is what I'm called for!" He left his first place of study and entered the Institute of Music and Drama in two faculties at once - composition and conducting, which he successfully completed.

There was a storm in the composer's life. In the wake of his success as a composer, after the premiere of the ballet "Carmagnola", Volodymyr Femelidi got involved in work so actively that he stopped caring about his health. He was already sick when on the way to a concert where he was to conduct his Carmagnola, he was caught in cold rain - thus this storm drowned him.

The composer`s short but prolific life replenished the Ukrainian cultural fund with 17 completed and 2 sketches of works, including sonatas, romances, symphonies, operas, and ballet.
  https://www.patreon.com/posts/meet-volodymyr-66415073?token=eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJyZWRpc19rZXkiOiJpYToyZjBhMjYwNS02NmFmLTQ4M2MtODAxZi1lZTljMWE0ZDhhMjciLCJwb3N0X2lkIjo2NjQxNTA3MywicGF0cm9uX2lkIjo2NzQ5MDM1MH0.s5TA-weUncPeBA-yyKE3Dz-JQqEFT3sr3IPEkWvwPCE


He was born into an aristocratic family and grew up an inquisitive child, had a phenomenal memory, excellent musical hearing, played the piano, wrote poetry, and was fond of theater. Volodymyr inherited his love for music and art from his mother, and his passion for literature and history came from his father.

In 1921, Femelidi became a student of the historical faculty of the Odesa University, but still took the path of a musician. In 1924, after completing his studies at the university, he entered the Odesa Music and Dramatic Institute: as a composer, he studied under professors Vasyl Zolotariov and Porfyriy Molchanov, and started conducting under Hryhoriy Stolyarov. During his student years, Volodymyr Femelidi wrote his first works in various genres: Concerto for violin and orchestra, Concerto for piano and orchestra, Symphonic poem Undina (to the lyrics of V. Zhukovskyi), Piano Sonata, Trio for Piano, Violin, Cello, String Quartet, Danza exotica (Exotic Dance) for string quartet, Three Romances for soprano with chamber ensemble. An important stage in the composer's career was the creation of the first Symphony (1927). The same year Femelidi debuted as a conductor at professor Stolyarov`s students' concert.

In 1928, the young composer created a few new works: Classical Symphony № 2 (in the style of the XVIII century.), a vocal cycle Eight songs on Jewish themes, and music for the Jacinto Benavente`s play “The Bonds of Interest”. In 1929, Femelidi wrote the opera Rozlom based on the play by Borys Lavreniov. The premiere of the work took place on November 7 of the same year in Odesa. Leading actors of the Ukrainian Drama Theater provided great assistance in staging the opera. The opera soon premiered in Baku with the participation of the composer.

In 1930, Femelidi created one of the first Ukrainian ballets - Carmagnola. It is based on the theme of the Great French Revolution. The composer depicts the experience of a young Frenchwoman Carmagnola, offended by a noble marquis. Her patriotic impulses became a symbol of the people's struggle against the aristocracy. The composer introduced some Innovations to the ballet genre - dialogues, exclamations, and the involvement of the choir, which created an additional dramatic enhancement of the action. During the winter season of 1930-1931, the ballet was performed 40 times with great success!

In the late 1930s, Femelidi worked on three operas: the radio opera The Potemkin Battleship and the opera Burevisnyk (Petrel) on the same theme. Together with his father Oleksandr he created the libretto Caesar and Cleopatra based on the play by Bernard Shaw and wrote the first scenes of this opera.

Premature death interrupted his intensive and prolific work. Femelidi being ill, caught a bad cold, hurrying to a performance in which he was to conduct his Carmagnola. He contracted pneumonia and tuberculosis. Volodymyr Femelidi died on October 3, 1931, at the age of 26. Carmagnola's overture uses a theme, which was used in the episode of the funeral march. The composer was buried to the sounds of this march.

The opera Rozlom and the ballet Carmagnola were staged with success in Ukraine and other parts of the USSR after the composer's death. But in general, the musical world, unfortunately, forgot the name of the talented composer.

History does not belong to the exact sciences, because it cannot objectively cover the events of the past. Needless to say, people can talk about the same person in completely different ways. The names of many talented people have remained unknown or completely forgotten simply because no one has told the true story of their lives. Therefore we know very little about Volodymyr Femelidi, probably because his story, unfortunately, was very short and lost among the brilliant achievements of his contemporaries. With great joy, we rediscover the name of the composer and conductor who lived and worked more than 100 years ago - Volodymyr Femelidi from Odesa (b. 1905 - d. 1931). Femelidi's music is worth being heard by the broadest audience and finally move from library shelves to stages and music platforms such as Ukrainian Live Classic. In the APP we present his First Symphony (1927), which is characterized by a special energy, folk color, and heroic motifs.

Before writing the Symphony, Femelidi successfully tested his music skills in chamber vocal and instrumental music, as well as in the concert genre (for violin and orchestra and piano with orchestra). In his symphony, the young composer surprises the listener with his spontaneity and freedom in working with the score (which, by the way, according to contemporaries, he wrote quickly and without errors, immediately clean and without any sketches). Based on the laws of composition, which the diligent student mastered while studying at the Institute of Music and Drama (Conservatory), he builds the drama of the piece, which mirrored his era in a way. It intertwines sincerity and indomitable spirit, which is conveyed by folk-song melodies, on which the whole symphony is built. It is the intonational connection between the parts that renders the integrity of the symphonic cycle. The Symphony traditionally consists of four parts:

Moderato. Vivo
Adagio. In memoriam
Allegretto. Scerzo. Youth
Allegro. Final

The Femelidi`s Symphony is a celebration of the people, the embodiment of youth and zest for life, a manifestation of determination and inspiration with which people face tomorrow despite all troubles. Undoubtedly, the people who are always ready to fight are invincible!


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christopher
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2022, 01:42:05 pm »

If anyone has the ability to record this from the app stream please do volunteer!  I wouldn't know how.  Given that it is a 1963 recording I looked for it in other places online but with no luck.
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2022, 07:22:15 pm »

If anyone has the ability to record this from the app stream please do volunteer!  I wouldn't know how.  Given that it is a 1963 recording I looked for it in other places online but with no luck.

Do agree with that, Sir ! Struggle to understand what goes on at AMF, never mind 'smart' phones. Signing off as 'Happy Dinosaur' !!
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2022, 11:23:01 pm »

His second name was Oleksandrovych - thus Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Femelidi, born in Odessa in 1905.

He was very much committed to the construction of a new proletarian culture and was enthusiastic about the achievements of the Revolution, which he proceeded to extol in a number of works, such as the opera Razlom ("The Break") and the "Jubilee" Symphony.

But is a "proletarian culture" desirable? It seems almost a contradiction in terms does it not.
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christopher
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2022, 10:20:49 am »

I would say those are two HIGHLY subjective questions!!  ;D    Personally I don't think it's desirable if it is to the exclusion of others (as became the case after 1917).  But I don't think it's a contradiction in terms - they clearly have existed.

Are you yourself Greek, (given your user name!)?  Had you heard of Femelidi before? He is totally new on me.


His second name was Oleksandrovych - thus Volodymyr Oleksandrovych Femelidi, born in Odessa in 1905.

He was very much committed to the construction of a new proletarian culture and was enthusiastic about the achievements of the Revolution, which he proceeded to extol in a number of works, such as the opera Razlom ("The Break") and the "Jubilee" Symphony.

But is a "proletarian culture" desirable? It seems almost a contradiction in terms does it not.

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cjvinthechair
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2022, 07:39:00 pm »

Oh dear - we're not winning, are we, Mr. Christopher ?
A lot of...probably...most acceptable music on the Ukrainian site - & you/I, +possibly some others, are basically 'signed out' because we're...of a certain age/time.
Don't know about you, Sir, but NO WAY am I about to enter the 21st Century 'cos someone says we have to !
Ukrainian site is deleted - yes, can manage that !
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Clive
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2022, 11:36:42 pm »

Oh dear - we're not winning, are we, Mr. Christopher ?
A lot of...probably...most acceptable music on the Ukrainian site - & you/I, +possibly some others, are basically 'signed out' because we're...of a certain age/time.
Don't know about you, Sir, but NO WAY am I about to enter the 21st Century 'cos someone says we have to !
Ukrainian site is deleted - yes, can manage that !

Sorry, I don't understand your message (does any other member here)?
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Lionel Harrison
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2022, 08:51:57 am »

Oh dear - we're not winning, are we, Mr. Christopher ?
A lot of...probably...most acceptable music on the Ukrainian site - & you/I, +possibly some others, are basically 'signed out' because we're...of a certain age/time.
Don't know about you, Sir, but NO WAY am I about to enter the 21st Century 'cos someone says we have to !
Ukrainian site is deleted - yes, can manage that !

Sorry, I don't understand your message (does any other member here)?

Not this one. Besides, I thought the rules of this forum forbade the discussion of politics. That the invasion of Ukraine is a wicked and unconscionable thing is beyond argument and there we ought to leave it.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2022, 12:53:00 pm »

Or,show your feeling's,quietly,by purchasing this?!!

https://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.503303

A fine composer who seems to have quite a few fans around the world! (Chandos recorded his Third Symphony in lusher sound!) The cd's can be bought individually;but maybe only secondhand? Russian Disc also released some recordings of his symphonies and a few other works.
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Albion
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2022, 10:47:25 pm »

Oh dear - we're not winning, are we, Mr. Christopher ?
A lot of...probably...most acceptable music on the Ukrainian site - & you/I, +possibly some others, are basically 'signed out' because we're...of a certain age/time.
Don't know about you, Sir, but NO WAY am I about to enter the 21st Century 'cos someone says we have to !
Ukrainian site is deleted - yes, can manage that !

Sorry, I don't understand your message (does any other member here)?

Not this one. Besides, I thought the rules of this forum forbade the discussion of politics. That the invasion of Ukraine is a wicked and unconscionable thing is beyond argument and there we ought to leave it.

Apparently not, it seems. Oh, deary me...

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"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)

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