Liakhovych / Chopin / Narodytska - War Poems | RECORD STORE DAY

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SOMM Recordings is delighted to announce the new solo piano album War Poems by phenomenal Ukrainian pianist Maria Narodytska.With this, her debut album on SOMM Recordings, she makes a bold and impassioned, yet inclusive artistic statement, using solo piano works of various historical periods, written in the midst of conflict (our own included), to ask listeners to reflect on the ravages of war and safeguard the flickering flame of hope in peace. As the vastly talented composer of a work on this recital, Narodytska writes as a Ukrainian, but performs her programme as a member of the artistic community and a world citizen.Her recital unites her own composition and that of another contemporary Ukrainian composer, Artem Liakhovych, with the war-time work of past masters: Poland's Szymanowski, who was born in the centre of modern-day Ukraine and sheltered there as he wrote his Masques near the end of World War I; his compatriot Chopin, who wrote his Opus 40 Polonaises from a new home in Paris after the Revolutions of 1830; and Shostakovich, whose Second Piano Sonata he began during a family evacuation amid the Siege of his native Leningrad (St Petersburg) in World War II.Maria Narodytska plays six of Artem Liakhovych's 24 Postludes for solo piano, his "War Notebook", composed in the wake of the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. In Liakhovych's words: "This cycle is my reaction to the war in Ukraine, written during the evacuation in Uman. It covers all tonalities, but in a contrary motion [to the circle-of-fifths key sequence in Chopin's 24 Preludes, for example]. This is due to the importance of the postlude as an epilogue, an afterword, encoding a certain ending of time, even a reversal of it."Of Narodytska's own composition, After, she says: "I wrote this piece shortly before the recording, and for me it is a direct reflection of the war in Ukraine. While writing it, I was imagining what happens after one gets a call that no one would want to get or reads the news that no one would like to read. It's the kind of 'after' as in: 'life got divided into before and after'."A prize winner of the Takamatsu, Santa Cecilia and WorldVision International Music Competitions, Maria Narodytska has also achieved wins in many more major competitions while continuing to give concerts worldwide and serving as a much sought-after teacher and jury member.