?The Ukrainian word mrija" means dream. It's very sound is soft and singing. They are dreams that give us wings, as it were, and lift us out of everyday life - they give us hope and bring us joy and happiness. We experience it as painful when an intimate dream is destroyed by violence from outside. I like to dream and I don't want to see the dreams of Ukrainians destroyed either. Since 24 February 2022, no Ukrainian can dream of anything but the end of a brutal, senseless war. Russia has bombed rows and rows of Ukrainian towns and villages and destroyed the largest aircraft in the world in the very first month of the war - this too bore the name "Mrija". In contrast, the Ukrainians only grew stronger in their dreams of freedom, peace and victory - for which they have been fighting at the front ever since. It is a struggle for the preservation of an independent national history and language, a culture that is reflected in the poetry and paintings of master artists as well as in the work of Ukrainian composers of various epochs - a struggle that has become particularly sadly topical since Russia claimed that Ukraine did not exist as a state and will not exist as such. The music on this CD energetically counters this with a centuries-old, independent musical culture. This album brings together unique works of classical Ukrainian piano music. Many of them find their first recording here and it is an honour for me to introduce the listener to such interesting pieces, which - unfortunately - are largely unknown in Europe so far. I have been dealing with the music of my homeland for years. This time I am inviting my listeners to Central and Eastern Ukraine, the part of the country where I was born. The programme includes works by Lysenko, Jedlicka, Stepowyj and Rewuzkyj. All four are in the Romantic tradition and yet - each in their own way - were pioneers who broke new ground with their music. They were also talented pianists and created a variety of brilliant music for the piano. Each of the composers presented was a patriot, striving to develop genuinely Ukrainian music. They were all passionate about the folklore of their homeland and wrote their vocal pieces in the Ukrainian language."