Travel suitcase of M. Leontovych

Travel suitcase of M. Leontovych remembers the hands of a composer who always left with his suitcase to find new songs that he listened to and recorded from the villagers of Bilousivka-1 and surrounding villages. His student told that in Kobylivka village (Zarichne of the Tulchyn district) lived a blind lyre player who knew many songs of both folk and Cossacks. Leontovych took his suitcase and walked to him to record his songs. The suitcase was heavy, but there were things he needed, notebooks, note paper, ruler, pencils, etc. Returning with the luggage of folklore, M. Leontovich took a zither or sat down at the piano and played each of the melodies until it satisfied him. That’s how his brilliant works were born.

From the memoirs of a student of the Diocesan College Oksana Vrublevska: «I got acquainted with Leontovych in 1915 when my mother drove me to Tulchyn and enrolled in a 5th grade of Diocesan School. I spent almost three years there. We were taught singing by M.  Leontovych. Tall, serious, walks in class, explains, calls to the black board (when theory). The voice is muffled, the sentences are short, but all very clear, I still remember. This is where I first heard a Ukrainian song in an artistic performance. It was a miracle then.

It is evening, we gather in the hall. We are learning «Chumak», «Above the river, on the shore went chumak with a whip. Hey, hey from Don home». Somehow pale it turns out. M. Leontovych teaches to reproduce the echo of the moon that glides over the field somewhere far away. «Hey, hey…», we repeat again and again. And then the song came rang sad and cheerful And «Shchedryk»? When I hear «Shchedryk», I see our maiden choir and Mykola Dmytrovych, who went to the other end of the hall, and, bowing his head, listens carefully to our performanceRemember that transparent «lastivochka» at the end of shchedrivka? With Mykola Dmytrovych we sang most of his songs (there are 100 of them). He remade with us, improved them …»