Thursday, 27 November 2014

Korinnya 2014 Sing Requiem Song "Zhuravli"

The perfectly blended sounds of the chamber choir size Korinnya Choir of Calgary 2014 performed beautifully at Calgary's well attended, and excellently organized Annual Holodomor Commemoration on Saturday, November 22, 2014. It takes a talented group to delicately yet effectively communicate the solemn sentiment embedded in the famous requiem song ‘Zhuravli’ (Cranes) by Bohdan Lepky, composed by his brother, Lev Lepky.

Hey, do you hear my brother?, my friend?,
Hear the sound of the cranes as they make their lacy grey passage into the world.

Refrain:
Calling "Kroo, Kroo, Kroo! ,oh to die in a foreign country,
But before I cross the ocean sea, with my wings I will wipe the tears.

Shimmering, blinking eyes seek the infinite path
As the grey mist obliterates, the fading, traces of the cranes.

In Western Ukraine, as early as 1894, a growing national consciousness among Ukrainians was stimulating much thinking, and community solidarity. A generation or so after serfdom was abolished the common people were aspiring to more than a subsistence living. Among the developments of the age was a fitness and firefighting organization called Sich rejuvenating the ideas of the Cossack Zaporozhian era. Many parallel community groups organized including women's groups training for nursing, community newspapers, and by the start of WW1 there were at least 2000 such groups. The enthusiasts coalesced around the idea of a legitimate scouting movement, and soon organizations called Sich, Sokil and Plast took shape. Each group was fostering their variant on the standard scouting curriculum through the lens of national patriotism - to love/serve God and one's people. Branches formed in villages and towns, and when WW1 arrived the young scouts heard the call to duty and many joined the liberation movement.

And a hundred years after the formation of the Ukrainian Sich Riflemen, Українські cічові стрільці, Ukraїnski sichovi stril’tsi, so appropriate to hear the Requiem Song that continues to tug on the heartstrings of so many. Thanks, Korinnya!
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