Help Ukraine – Classical Music Concert sold out ……..uplifted and moved by music of the soul – the only remedy to help live through a world tragedy of such useless greedy devastation and suffering in the name of …………democracy!!!!!!
Russian,Belarusian and Ukrainian musicians took part in a fund raising concert for the victims of the war raging unexpectedly as it is inexplicably in the Ukraine.
A moving occasion not only of superb music making but for the testimony of artists whose families find themselves on the front line of a vicious attack by a dictator and his thugs.
The concert in the Boas beautiful private concert salon sold out immediately it was announced with people wanting in some small way to show their solidarity.
Olga Paliy had posted on social media,that very morning,a photo of the stadium and library in her home city lying in ruins. She told us with such emotional relief that her parents had been able to flee and had just arrived in safety as refugees in the UK.
It was Olga who opened the concert that included two works by Ukrainian composers.A Gavotte for solo piano by Viktor Kosenko that she knew from her childhood studies in the Ukraine.She was joined in the Melody by Miroslav Skoryk with the searing passionate outpouring from Kamila Bydlowska’s violin……..
It was they that closed the evening too with the Brahms scherzo from the FAE sonata – ‘Frei Aber Einsam ’ based on the notes of a musical cryptogram ‘Free but lonely’.
It is a four-movement work by three composers: Schumann,the young Brahms and Schumann’s pupil Dietrich.It was Schumann’s idea as a gift and tribute to the violinist Joseph Joachim whom the three composers had recently befriended. Joachim had adopted the phrase “Frei aber einsam” (“free but lonely”) as his personal motto.Schumann assigned each movement to one of the composers. Dietrich wrote the substantial first movement .Schumann followed with a short Intermezzo as the second movement. The Scherzo was by Brahms and Schumann provided the finale.
But as the world has shown us in these past few weeks of conflict the people of Ukraine are not alone.
Music and culture will help heal and to support the suffering while this monstrous war game takes it’s course.
‘An eye for an eye when will it ever finish’ exclaims Euripides in his tragedy Hecuba.
As Ghandi added centuries later :’if we continue along this path before long the world will be inhabited by blind people’.Only culture and history will help us to understand ,learn and live together in peace
‘If Music be there food of love …..play on.’ So said the Bard That is all we can do as movingly shown last night.
But it was the words of a young Russian pianist that surprised and moved me by his soulful plea against the hatred that this conflict has unleashed in us all.
‘All we can do is pray and cry’.
If a twenty year old Russian mascot virtuoso can reveal his soul in such a way there is hope ahead for a better world of peace and harmony.
Let’s hope it is sooner rather than later!
All magnificently organised by the Belarusian pianist Maya Irgalina .It was her childhood friend from the Belarusian Academy of Music,Tanya Avchinnikova who donated two of her pastels for auction last night and which reached over one thousand pounds .
Tanya is the wife of Roman Korsyakov who played Mozart variations together with Sasha Grynyuk – a Russian and Ukrainian making music together whilst the bombs are flying ………a great lesson indeed from two great pianists ………..
Four thousand pounds was raised last night and the proceeds will go entirely to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal of The DEC,which brings together 15 leading UK aid charities to raise funds quickly and efficiently at times of crisis overseas .Anyone wishing to contribute to the Help Ukraine Fund can do so via :PayPal paypal.me/mayairgalina — please choose “Family and Friends” option,or via bank transfer: Miss M. Irgalina – Account No. 29466478 – Sort Code: 15-10-00
A STATEMENT FROM SEMYON BYCHKOV
Semyon Bychkov has issued the below statement in light of the news this morning from Ukraine:
“Silence in the face of evil becomes its accomplice and ends up becoming its equal. Russian aggression in Ukraine brings us to what my generation hoped would never happen again: War.
Russia still mourns some 27 million citizens who perished at the hands of the Nazis in World War II, when Hitler delivered what he promised years earlier in Mein Kampf. How ironic that, while celebrating its victory over Nazi Germany in 1945, Russia chooses to forget its non-aggression pact with Hitler. Signed in 1939, the pact made Russia one of the co-authors of World War II; becoming one of the winners when the war ended in 1945 doesn’t acquit those who made it possible. The post-war Nüremberg Trials of leading Nazis brought atonement in German society for crimes committed against humanity, which continues to this day.
What about Russia’s atonement for the genuine genocide of tens of millions of citizens killed by its own communist regime in the two decades preceding war with Germany? That was a physical genocide. And, what about the mental genocide that continued for decades after the war? The methods of the murderers and their hunger to destroy anything and anyone who refuses to obey have passed to their successors. Today they rule the country again. Born after the war, they have no concern and no interest in understanding what war brings. After all it won’t be their children who are sent to the front lines Their knowledge of history extends only to abstract geopolitical ideas of the instruments needed to acquire and keep power, whatever the cost to human life and, whatever destruction it brings. One has to be demented to refer to the collapse of the Soviet Union as the greatest tragedy of the 20th century, which is how Putin defined it, rather than rejoice at the fact that it happened without bloodshed and brought an end to the kidnapping of many nations in addition to Russia itself.
If only the end of Russia being held hostage by its ruling elite weren’t temporary! One of many signs and symbols that the country has returned to pre-Perestroika times is the dissolution of the Memorial Society founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov in 1989. Its mission was to research every single victim of repression and keep the memory of the dead alive. Through the dissolution of the Memorial on 29 December 2021 victims of repression were killed once again. This too is a form of genocide. Not in the Russian-occupied Donbas of Ukraine as Putin claims.
The Russian regime wants to obliterate the memory of its victims. If we forget them we will betray them. They may no longer care about being betrayed, but we should if we don’t wish to suffer their fate. History always repeats itself if and when it is forgotten.
I was born in St. Petersburg in 1952 and lived there for 22 years before emigrating to the United States. My paternal grandfather went to war and never came back. My maternal grandfather’s family members were exterminated by the Nazis in Odessa. My father fought in the war and was twice wounded. My mother survived the 900-day siege in Leningrad.
Russian culture, its language, its noble traditions are in my blood. They always have been and always will be. Having gifted the world with extraordinary artistic creations and scientific discoveries realized by its sons and daughters, it pains me to see how Russia is unable or maybe unwilling to escape its dark past.
Russians are capable of endless sacrifice and endurance, and truly know the meaning of friendship, generosity and compassion, some of the best qualities present in human nature. Yet those qualities are systematically destroyed by the regime that governs their life on all levels, unable to escape it for lack of mechanisms that allow for change without resorting to violence.
I don’t know if Russia will discover how to live in peace with itself and the world in my lifetime. What I do know is an ancient Russian saying: ‘Words are silver, and silence is gold’. Yes. but there are moments in life when silence in the face of evil becomes its accomplice and ends up becoming its equal.
To remain silent today is to betray our conscience and our values, and ultimately what defines the nobility of human nature.”