Certainly «Shchedryk» remains Leontovych’s card work. The folk source of the choir belongs to the oldest samples of Ukrainian folklore. In shchedrivka the joy of work is sung, wishes of well-being and family happiness are expressed. The melody of the work is a one-stroke – for four sounds – motif in the volume of small third on the development of which the whole choir is built. Here the brilliantly applied classical polyphonic technique is ostinato. The soprano solo begins singing «Shchedryk», then the whole group flows into performance of the motif. Over his steady sounding first the altos and then the tenors lead down warding voices, painted in a kind of harmonious color. The farther away, the dense monotheme is surrounded by new expression lines, each of which is intended to depict a separate detail of the image. All together – it is a sophisticated, fanciful by pattern, an incredibly beautiful sound net as if woven by a folk master’s poetic hand. The peculiarity of the musical movement in the work – from gentle, transparent initial beats through a gradual acoustic growth and emotional build-up to a culmination (20 – 24 beats) and again a general decline. Thus, the whole «Shchedryk» is a united, slim due to architectonics emotional wave. Impresses the subtle sense of the author of the holistic artistic form, as an expression of deep conception. It is difficult to name another piece in Ukrainian choral literature in which content, artistry and craftsmanship are combined with such power.
Author: musicologist , Candidate of Art Studies Anatolii Zavalniuk.