September 4, 2016 | 'Space of Synagogues' opening: Musical program

Preparations for the “Space of Synagogues” opening were being arranged for quite some time. Of course, a physical space arrangement was an extremely important task for us; but apart from this we also wanted the event itself to communicate important message about common history and responsibility. So except of an official inauguration there has been also an art-program “The Art of Memory: Voices of the City”, which had to become an artistic invitation to rethink and deeply comprehend  the importance of cultural and social diversity both in the past and the present. One of the program components was a concert curated by Ostap Manuliak.

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The concert was dedicated to creative work of two composers who used to study, live, and create in Lviv: Jozef Koffler and Mark Kopytman. The life of their pieces on Lviv stage make up an extremely prominent and vibrant reflection of the twisted ways of music throughout the 20th c. Testing and comprehension of boundaries, both artistic ones and identity-bound, construed a colorful and unexpected range of pursuits and experiments. The choice of pieces by Jozef Koffler and Mark Kopytman also combines the short 20th c. brutally disrupted by the war and the Holocaust. Thus we wanted to create an opportunity to discover the works by Koffler and Kopytman and broaden the horizons about the 20th c. cultural landscape and the place of Lviv therein.

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A piece “Trio” (1928) for viola, violina and cello byJozef Koffler was the first one to be performed in the concert. Jozef Koffler is one of the pioneers of dodecaphony in Galicia. His course in atonal composition attracted to Lviv student composers from all over the Poland. Even though after 1939 Koffler withdrew from dodecaphony and started composing in line with ‘social realism’, upon his death in Krosno ghetto his works (the same as the works of the entire constellation of Lviv modernist composers) were effaced from the music discourse of the Soviet Ukraine. It was only in mid 1990s that they have been gradually entering the music discourse of Lviv and Ukraine at large.“Trio” together with “15 variations”, Third symphony and a chamber cantata “Love” belongs to most prominent works of Koffler. The musical piece was performed by a modern music ensamble “ConstantY” members Anna Bura (violin), Maksym Semeniuk (viola) and Maria Bil (cello).

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The neaxt piece “Lamentation” for solo flute was written by Mark Kopytman in 1984. Mark Kopytman was born in Kamyanets Podilskyi. In the 1950s, he studied at Lviv Conservatory in the class by prof. Roman Simovych. He gradually started combining traditional elements with the Avant-garde composing techniques. After he moved to Israel in 1972, new composing techniques became an integral part of Kopytman’s creative work, while combining special softness and lyricism highly typical for the musical language of Lviv composers. “Lamentation” was performed by another “ConstantY” member – Yurii Huran.

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The visitors had an opportunity to hear one more work of Josef Koffler sounded by the end of the concert. Chamber cantata “Love” for voice, clarinet, viola and cello was written in 1931 for the text of the First letter of Paul to the Corinthians. It was a fairly common practice among the composers of the first half of XX century to arrange their own works, or works of other composers from one instrument to another. Especially popular were arrangements for a string orchestra. Especially for a concert Ostap Manuliak arranged a chamber cantata “Love” for a string orchestra. The piece was performed by astring orchestra “Stretta”, with Irina Vakulina conductorship.

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