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Щедрик | Shchedryk | Ukrainian Carol of the Bells

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London Symphony Orchestra – Carol Of The Bells
Source: https://youtu.be/VnkjENi-RGE
Channel: ChristmasTimeTV

“Carol of the Bells” is a choral miniature work composed by the Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych. Leontovych’s composition, is characterised by the use of a four note motif as an ostinato figure throughout the work. This ostinato figure is an ancient pagan Ukrainian New Year’s (originally celebrated in April) magical chant known in Ukrainian as “Shchedryk” [the Generous One]. Leontovych originally created the piece as an assignment for a harmony course he was taking by correspondence to demonstrate the use of a device known as ostinato. The original work was intended to be sung a cappella by mixed 4-voice choir. Two other settings of the composition were also created by Leontovych: one for woman’s choir (unaccompanied) and another for children’s choir with piano accompaniment. The original Ukrainian version has internal linguistic accents within the text that employ a device known as hemiola, although non-Ukrainian and instrumental recordings neglect to incorporate this change of meter into their performances. Although the first version of the composition was composed in 1904, it first premiered in December 1916 performed by a student choral group at Kiev University. It was introduced to Western audiences by the Ukrainian National Chorus during its concert tour of Europe and the Americas, where it premiered in the United States on October 5, 1921 at Carnegie Hall. An copyrighted English text was created by Peter Wilhousky in the 1930s, and since then it has been performed and sung worldwide during the Christmas season. It’s initial popularity stemmed largely from Wilhousky’s ability to perform it to a wide audience in his role as arranger for NBC radio’s symphony orchestra. It would later be assisted to further popularity by featuring in television advertisements for champagne. An alternate English version (“Ring, Christmas Bells”) featuring more Nativity-based lyrics, written by Minna Louise Hohman in 1947, is also common.

Щедрик. Академічний камерний хор Чернівці

Щедрик. Академічний камерний хор Чернівці
Source: https://youtu.be/uvt5XLiLow0?t=44
Channel: Володимир Короп

This Mykola Leontovych composition Shchedryk (aka Carol of the Bells) was originally written for 3 part vocal harmony. This song gained worldwide popularity in 1920 after the Ukrainian National Chorus (under the direction of composer Oleksander Koshets) sang this in Carnegie Hall, where Peter Willhousky heard it and published it with the english text. BTW – the English text is not a translation of the original Ukrainian. This is a recording made in New York City in October of 1922 on the Brunswick label. It’s actually on the B side…

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