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Opera und lyrische Musik
Sheet music for Boris Liatochinski
Lyatoshynsky’s works are indebted to Schumann, Borodin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, but also to Scriabin and French impressionism. During the 1920s his music was influenced by the new musical language of Western Europe, atonality, but due to the cultural pressure of the Soviet regime enforcing the principles of "Socialist realism" this period only lasted until the end of the 1920s. Until the mid 1950s accusations of decadence, formalism and cacophony levelled at him in official discussions of his work. In his later oeuvre he simplified his harmonies and explored new ways of employing Slavic folklore to the enrichment of art music, which resulted in a mixture of traditional cadential harmony and multilayered polyphony with complex concentrations of dissonance. He collected and arranged folk music. Among his other works are two operas ("The Golden Hoop" 1930, "Shchors — the Commander" 1938), five String Quartets dated 1915 to 1944, film and incidental music, concertos, several piano works (e.g.: Piano Sonata No. 1, 1924), cantatas, choral works and songs, orchestral works (including several suites, symphonic poems and five symphonies), e.g.: Symphony No. 1 op. 2 (1917–19), Symphony No. 2 op. 26 (1935–36, revised 1940), Symphony No. 3 op. 50 (1951, revised 1954), the symphonic ballade "Grazhyna" (1955, written in memory of the Polish poet Adam Mickiewicz), Symphony No. 4 op. 63 (1963), Symphony No. 5 op. 67 ("Slavonic", 1966)
Lyatoshynsky, a schoolmaster’s son, early received musical skills and developed into a kind of "child prodigy". From 1913 to 1918 he studied law at the University of Kiev and also composition with Reingol’d Moritsovich Glière until 1919, when he himself became a teacher at the Kiev Conservatory. From 1935 to 1938 and from 1941 to 1944 he also taught at the Moscow Conservatory. He also worked as a conductor. Kara Karayev, Leonid Grabovsky and Valentin Silvestrov were among his pupils.