Stephanie Jones: A Ukrainian Fantasy

"Music is the only thing that saves you morally and distracts you from what is happening around you. I play in the hope that after this madness is over, I will be ready to participate in the renewal of cultural life in my country" - Rostyslav Holubov, 2023

To all of our disbelief the attack on Ukraine, its people, culture, and music, is still ongoing and there is no end to the unspeakable violence instigated by the invaders.

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"Oh, In The Cherry Orchard" is a beautiful Ukrainian folk song that has been popular for generations. The song tells the story of a young girl who finds herself in a cherry orchard, where she reflects on her feelings of love and longing for someone she cannot be with. The melody of the song is haunting and melancholic, evoking a sense of nostalgia and wistfulness.

I had a lovely exchange online with Rostyslav Holubov, a young composer from Ukraine, last year. Rostyslav shared with me his passion for Ukrainian folk music and his approach to arranging it for a contemporary audience. It was difficult at first for him to share his sheet music as he was in Kharkiv and his scores were on a flash drive he couldn't get to anymore. In the end, he had to rewrite the entire piece from memory!

His composition that plays with the song's theme is a testament to his skill as a composer and his deep appreciation for the rich musical traditions of his homeland. The fantasy features a delicate and nuanced interplay between the melody and the accompaniment, with subtle touches that emphasize the song's bittersweet mood.

A Ukrainian Fantasy