• Українська
  • Русский
  • English
Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Music From Rozumovsky’s Collection

6 February, 2001 - 00:00

Last year proved very successful for Kyiv’s Rozumovsky Collection Salon Ensemble. It is a family group made up of violinists Valery and Oksana Supruniuk with their young son Vadym playing the bassoon. The key event was without doubt their trip to Germany to perform at the opening ceremony of the My World exhibit held under the program of the Ukrainian Culture Days, featuring works by Ukrainian folk artist Mariya Prymachenko. The family trio played Bach, Haydn, and Dmytro Bortniansky. The latter was a real discovery for German audiences, as few if any knew such refined music existed in Ukraine as early as the eighteenth century. Of course, learned visitors noted that the folk art display should be accompanied by a folk performing group, and that the Kyiv trio would look better in the interior of a medieval temple or castle, but all agreed that the musicians showed high professional skill.

While in Germany, the Supruniuks heard from Ukrainian Ambassador Anatoly Ponomarenko addressing the ceremony that the wife of Otto Solms, Bundestag Vice President, also comes from the Razumovsky dynasty (Razumovsky was how the name was spelled at the Russian court). The ensemble’s creative work is closely associated with the history of the celebrated family. Count Andriy Rozumovsky was a brilliant European diplomat, known for his love for music and charity. He even helped Beethoven with money and sent popular music of the time to Ukraine. Now this music is kept at the Vernadsky Reference Library and it was there that Valery Supruniuk saw it for the first time and eventually decided to include it in the group’s repertoire (that music had long been forgotten by performers; in fact, even professionals did not know it). It took several years of daily hard work, as the music had to be copied first (such rare manuscripts are forbidden to be photocopied), then studied and arranged for two violins and still later for the bassoon. A trio is the best way to perform such chamber music which is remarkably refined and harmonious. Nor was it a coincidence that this music was first performed at the National Library’s concert hall, that the family trio became known as the Rozumovsky Collection Ensemble, and that Valery Supruniuk as founder was granted a copyright to perform it.

Currently, the trio’s repertoire boasts French, German, Austrian, Italian, and Czech music. Trio sonatas by Antonio Lorenzitti, Arcangelo Corelli, Prospero Cauciello, Antonin Kammel, and many other composers brought back from oblivion, with names being constantly added to the list. Daily three hour rehearsals are part of the family’s life and Vadym proved a valuable addition to the group. Some might consider it a coincidence, others an act of providence, but the fact remains that the boy decided he wanted to play the bassoon without anyone pressing or cajoling. As a student of the Mykola Lysenko Special Music School, Vadym Supruniuk won an international woodwind contest held in Lviv this year. He plays solo and ensemble with equal confidence. The trio has performed during various diplomatic functions and at St. Alexander’s Cathedral in Vienna when taking part in the Days of Ukrainian Culture and later at the ceremony of presenting former Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky with the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise. And it was in Vienna that the Ukrainian musicians met with Maria, Andrew, and Alexander Razumovsky who jealously preserve family relics, including a portrait gallery starting with Ukrainian Cossack Hryhory Rozum and his wife, Natalka. The Razumovskys held a reception at their estate to honor the Kyiv trio and the musicians performed before a small audience of leading European aristocratic families.

Unfortunately, the Kyiv public has long been denied the privilege of attending Rozumovsky Collection’s concerts and the musicians continue to expand their repertoire. In addition to Rozumovsky’s music, they perform Ukrainian and modern foreign compositions, always honed to convey to the audience every nuance of style and harmony.

Valery Supruniuk plans to form a program combining music, singing, and dancing. The trio is constantly searching for new forms of creative expression and this is a sure guarantee of success.

By Liudmyla ZHYLINA