Wasyl Sydorenko -- Ukrainian Musicologist & Composer Wasyl Sydorenko -- Ukrainian Musicologist & Composer
All music is copyrighted by Wasyl Sydorenko. All scores published here by Hypertext Plus are freely distributed. Lyrics and images are public domain except where noted. Commercial reprinting is not allowed unless permission is obtained from all creators – where applicable. Songs may be transposed as needed. Otherwise, any other exploitation of these scores is not allowed unless permission is obtained – where applicable. Recording rights must be obtained from the composer and lyricist – where applicable. Performing rights are managed by SOCAN.

Compositions

12 Piano Pieces for Young Virtuosi 12 Piano Pieces for Young Virtuosi – a collection of smaller works written between 1965 and 1975. Each one explores a different genre or musical form.
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Piano Sonata in E-flat Major Piano Sonata in E-flat Major – written December 1970 and dedicated to Ludwig van Beethoven on the bicentenary of his birth. This is the work that launched my career as a composer. Then I had no idea what I was doing. Sonatas are so formal and complicated. Now I am able to recreate the sonata as it should have been written.
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Ukrainian Rhapsody Ukrainian Rhapsody – was inspired by one of Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies. I had not as yet heard of any rhapsodies by Ukrainian composers, so in 1971 I felt I had to make my own contribution to the genre. Years later, when I discovered the two Ukrainian Rhapsodies by Mykola Lysenko, I was disappointed – they are so dilettantish!
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Poema Poema – written in a moment of grief June 1973 upon the loss to cancer of my piano teacher, Antonina Yaroshevych-Manko. She died in April… there were so many flowers at her funeral! Years later I realize that her Soviet style of teaching did more harm than good. She had been a student of Dmitry Kabalevsky at the Moscow Conservatory.
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Graduation Waltz Graduation Waltz – my last hurrah at Humbercrest Public School. June 1973 – Jim Croce, Roberta Flack, Elton John, Anne Murray, Stevie Wonder… I was in a different world, a classical world filled with Strauss waltzes. Now, wasn't there a Strauss waltz in the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick's epic sci-fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey?
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Red Carpet March Red Carpet March – written following Queen Elizabeth's visit to Cobourg, Ontario in June 1973. A piece of red carpet from the ceremonies at Victoria Hall was installed inside historic Barnum House in Grafton, Ontario. The festive event September 9, 1973 included this march, which I performed on an 1820s Clementi, Collard & Collard pianoforte.
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Marcia Funèbre Marcia Funèbre – started out as the first movement of an unfinished piano sonata from 1971. I tried rewritng it as the Red Carpet March, but abandoned the idea when the music turned out sombre, not festive. Upon seeing Giuseppe Verdi's opera Rigoletto, I was inspired to complete the piece as a funeral march in October 1973.
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Grand Piano Sonata Grand Piano Sonata – a piano sonata that's grand.
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Inventions Inventions – started out as a Christmas project in 1978.
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Shcho novoho? Що нового? – (What's new?) Ukrainian children's songs to words by Leonid Poltava. The first song was written in 1971 – the last in 2021. This song cycle of ten songs (plus one song without words) commemorates the 100th anniversary of the poet's birth. It captures that wonderful world of children where everything is a new experience.
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Shche ne vdaryv moroz… Ще не вдарив мороз… – (Before the first frost…) was my second Ukrainian art song.
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Teper! Тепер! – (Now!) was my third Ukrainian art song. Written in November 1973 as a competition piece for the Ukrainian Music Festival in Toronto, it received first prize. It was only in October, 2012 that the work was premiered by Antonina Ermolenko, accompanied by Olya Bileychuk. The art song is dedicated to all defenders of Ukraine. Glory to heroes! Героям слава!
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Bez khvyliuvan' Без хвилювань – (Emotionless) but full of emotions. The summer of 1989 I was in Munich – studying. After the Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto, the world seemed bigger and filled with new opportunities. There I met a young Ukrainian opera singer from the Soviet Union – Volodymyr Hlushchak. I decided to write something for him.
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Mavpiachyi Korol' Мавпячий Король – (The Monkey King), not the classical Peking opera. This is a Ukrainian children's operetta.
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My Father's Works Твори мого Батька – (My Father's Works), two Ukrainian poems set to music by my father, Petro Sydorenko, and an entertaining character piece he used to play on the mandolin. These are his gifts of love to me and my sister, Halyna. Before becoming a painter, my father wanted to be a musician, maybe even a composer. He had talent!
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Parotiah Паротяг – (The Choo-Choo Train) is the piano four hands version of the solo piano piece in My Father's Works. The solo version is a bit on the virtuosic side, especially the left hand vamp. It would be a pity if this piece remained inaccessible to intermediate level pianists. Therefore, I created this four-handed bit of fun. Enjoy the train ride, folks!
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Ridna maty moia Рідна мати моя – (Dearest Mother of Mine), written for a Soviet film in 1958, the song was smuggled to the West where it became a hit within the Ukrainian Diaspora. Out of spite, the Soviets refused to publish the original score. For years, singers had to make do with their own arrangements. As early as 1980, I was asked to create a classical setting of this song.
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Four Canadian Songs Four Canadian Songs – is a song cycle based on the poetry of William Wilfred Campbell. It began with Indian Summer, my first English art song written in August 1971. The song cycle describes winter in the Great Lakes region – from late autumn to early spring. Campbell's nature poetry depicts the seasons better than any of the paintings of the Group of Seven.
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Red Trillium Red Trillium – written in the summer of 1971…
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To Roses of the Past To Roses of the Past – written in the summer of 1972, was the last of my early English art songs.
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Ye Little Olde Pill Shoppe Ye Little Olde Pill Shoppe – the first of my pre-university songs, based on a poem found in the "Poet's Corner" of the Toronto Sun in February 1978. Yet the sketch langished in my archive for more than 40 years, until a relative of the poet's husband wrote asking me about it. Ten days later, in a burst of creative fervor, the song was finished.
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Boot and Saddle Boot and Saddle – the second of my pre-university songs, reflects my ongoing fascination with tragic figures in English history. Here I tried to include all sorts of military sounds – drums, trumpet calls, and hoofbeats – within a march-like texture. In part, I was inspired by the musical sound effects of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.
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Great Things Great Things – the third and last of my pre-university songs, captures the exuberance I felt just before embarking on my university studies. The song remained but a sketch for more than four decades. Yet, through all of life's trials and tribulations I never forgot that feeling of exuberance. Finally, it is captured here in ragtime style.
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Love Poem Love Poem – is a love song...
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Opus Zero Opus Zero – pays homage to the art of silence and lampoons the intellectualism of Modern art. John Cage came to Toronto in 1984 and I wanted to surprise him with some variations on a theme from his silent piece 4'33". Since then I have expanded the opus to also recognize the contributions of European composers in the genre of silent music.
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Fuga Fuga – .
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Musical Abstract Musical Abstract – is dedicated to Brooke Shields.
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Eugenia Rag Eugenia Rag – is dedicated to my Aunt Eugenia. Perfessor Bill Edwards complained about the title's similarity to Scott Joplin's Eugenia and all the accidentals in the score. Nevertheless, the folks at the Scott Joplin House in St. Louis loved it, as did Aunt Eugenia in Denver. It's not about the title or the accidentals, it's about the music.
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Epigram Epigram – when words become art, art becomes music, and music becomes speech… This time I set out to write a piece of music based on an entirely non-musical and totally intellectual premise, but the outcome of this rigorous exercise was to be both musically sound and esthetically beautiful. The listener should be able to appreciate the Epigram simply as music.
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Metamorfoza Metamorfoza – ???
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Catalpa Blossoms Catalpa Blossoms – the dreamy ragtime I wrote for aunt Tania.
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Polka Полька – (Polka), a dance number arranged for piano duet from Anatoliy Kos-Anatolsky's ballet The Jay's Wing. The title refers to a brownish Eurasian jay, not a North American blue jay. And, the polka is danced by a chimney sweep, a girl from the suburbs, and a Jew on New Year's Eve in Lviv, Ukraine. Confused? Just listen to the music and forget everything else.
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Transcarpathian Melodies Закарпатські Мелодії – (Transcarpathian Melodies), a piano duet based on a piece by Jewish-Ukrainian jazzman Pylyp Bryl. It was commissioned in 1991 by the Ukrainian Music Festival of Toronto for its centenary commemoration of Ukrainians coming to Canada. If you want a real barnburner of a showstopper, then this is the piece for you!
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Lysenko Duets Лисенко, на 4 руки – (Lysenko Duets), two piano duets in the intimate style of late 19th-century salon music. Although Mykola Lysenko engaged in romantic duets with some of his female piano students, he never wrote any piano duets himself. To correct this deficiency, I arranged two of the composer's most popular solo works for piano four hands.
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Aviators' March Марш Авіяторів – (Aviators' March), with a Ukrainian dance in the middle. The Wright Brothers took off in 1903, but it was Frenchman Louis Blériot who made flight a global sensation when in 1909 he crossed the English Channel in his monoplane. Ukrainians were not immune to the aviation craze that followed as this uplifting march demonstrates.
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Terpsichore Терпсихора – (Terpsichore), a Baroque ode in praise of the muses and God.
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Between the Trees Between the Trees – my first Rudyard Fearon song.
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I Love a Rainbow I Love a Rainbow – yes I do!
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400 Years Waiting 400 Years Waiting – but most timely.
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Sing Song Sing Song – will the dead sing?
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Red River Red River – for Canada's 150th.
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1933 1933 – commemorates the Holodomor.
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Heavenly Sovereign Царю Небесний – (Heavenly Sovereign), usually translated as Heavenly King, is my favourite prayer. It is the opening text of most Orthodox services and also used as an evening or morning prayer before and after bedtime. Although the text addresses the "Ruler of the Heavens", it invokes God as the benevolent Holy Spirit, which protects us all.
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Last Song Остання Пісня – (Last Song).
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