Kostiantyn Dankevych

1905-1984, Ukraine

Kostiantyn Fedorovych Dankevych (Ukrainian: Констянтин Фе́дорович Дaнкевич; December 24, 1905–February 26, 1984) was a Soviet and Ukrainian composer, conductor, pianist and teacher. He was awarded the People's Artist of the USSR in 1954.

Kostiantyn Dankevych was born in Odesa, in the Russian Empire (in present-day Ukraine). He studied at the Odesa Conservatory with Vasily Zolotarev and Mykola Vilinsky and graduated in 1929. His friendship and collaboration with Vilinsky lasted many years. He was made the director of Songs and Dance of the Red Army Choir in Tbilisi. Kostiantyn wrote his first symphony in 1937. Two years later he wrote his most popular score, the ballet Lileya.

Dankevych taught composition at the Odesa Conservatory starting from 1944. In 1953, he was promoted to the staff of the Kyiv Conservatory. Dankevych used many Ukrainian and Russian Folk motifs. One of his notable works was his opera Bohdan Khmelnytsky (premiered January 29, 1951). Following its June premiere in Moscow, Pravda issued some vague and insignificant criticisms of the work, namely that it had not sufficiently portrayed the Polish gentry as enemies, that it did not depict the suffering of the masses, and it lacked a battle scene. The Ukrainian authorities took this criticism much further, attacking the libretto for “insufficiently glorifying the historical Russian-Ukraine friendship.” After several rounds of revisions, the opera was staged on September 27, 1953, to rave reviews, and was similarly well received when performed again in Moscow in May 1954.

When teaching he often wore two pairs of socks due to his superstitions.

In 1960, he wrote the opera Nazar Stodolya. Other works include Poem of Ukraine, several overtures and patriotic courses. In 1959, a monograph was published on him in Kyiv.

Kostiantyn Dankevych died on February 26, 1984, in Kyiv, in the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union (in present-day Ukraine).


operas —
"Tragedy Night" (libretto by V. Ivanovich and D. after O. Bezymenskyi, 1934, premiere — May 22, 1935, Odesa),
"Bohdan Khmelnytskyi" (libretto by B. Vasylevska and O. Korniychuk, 1950, premiere — January 20, 1951, Kyiv, 2nd ed. — 1953, orchestration by B. Yarovynskyi),
"Nazar Stodolya" (libretto by L. Predslavych after T. Shevchenko, 1959, Kyiv);
"Lily" (libretto by V. Chagovets after T. Shevchenko, 1940, premiere — August 26, 1940, Kyiv);
film-ballet "Lily" (1958);
"Golden Keys" (libretto by Ya. Ziskind and G. Koltunov, 1943, Tbilisi);
other works
oratorio "October" (1958, words of modern Ukrainian poets);
cantata "The Dawn of Communism Has Risen Over Us." Duma about Ukraine" (own words), 1961;
for symphony orchestra — Solemn Overture (1928), Solemn March (1928), poem "Othello" (1937), First Symphony (1937), poem "Taras Shevchenko" (1938), suites — "No pasaran!" (1938), "Bohdan Khmelnitsky" (1940), "Lily" (1940), Second Symphony (1945)
chamber-instrumental ensembles — String Quartet (1928), Trio for skr., cello and piano (1930), "Song and Dance" for skr. and piano (1930);
for piano — Sonata (1928), Three Pieces (1929), Poem (1956);
romances to the words of Alexander Pushkin, Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Maxim Rylskyi, Margarita Aliger, Pavel Tychyna, Volodymyr Sosyura, Stepan Rudanskyi, and others.
for choir with accompaniment "On the south of the Motherland, where the sea roars", words by L. Barabanov (1955), cantata "Youth's greeting to Moscow", words by P. Voronka (1956), "On the flag of Kyiv - Lenin's order", own words (1956 ) etc.;
unaccompanied choirs - "To the Red Army", lyrics by V. Sosyura (1942), "Songs about Humanity" lyrics by Oleksiy Surkov (1961);
arrangements of Ukrainian and Russian folk songs;
About 100 songs to the words of Soviet poets;
music for theatrical performances - "Servant of Two Masters" by Carlo Goldoni (1934), "Othello" (1935), "Much Ado About Nothing" (1940) and "Hamlet" (1956) by William Shakespeare, "Boris Godunov" by Alexander Pushkin (1937) , "Pravda" (1937), "Bohdan Khmelnytskyi" (1939), "The Death of the Squadron" (1951) by Oleksandr Korniychuk, etc. Music for the films "Born by the Storm" (1957), "The Lily" (1958), etc.

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