Embodiment of Denys Sichynsky’s Autobiographic Reflections in His Vocal Creative Work


Iryna Zinkiv


Denys Sichynsky is one of the brightest representatives of the musical culture of Eastern Galicia at the turn of the twentieth century. He belongs to the so-called second generation of Galician composers, successors and followers of the Przemyśl School, Mykola Lysenko, influenced by European musical romanticism, and a forerunner of modernist trends in Ukrainian vocal music. Vocal music is the main area of ​​the artist's work.

The pages of Sichynsky's Autobiography open up a narrative that is a unique model of his own reflection on life events, as well as one of his self-realization forms in the romance genre. It makes it possible to decode a complex creative identity and compare the autobiographical description of his own life history with factual material available. The “Autobiography” becomes a key to understanding the composer's choice of vocal works and the specifics of reading literary texts of romanticists and his contemporaries, as well as their musical implementation. Sichynsky's mental constitution, viewed from the pages of his vocal works, is one of his identification forms as an artist with challenging destiny from the Austrian province of the Habsburg Empire at its decline/sunset, which coincided with the fin-de-siecle period marked by new artistic trends.

D. Sichynsky's vocal creative work, which completes the era of Romanticism and reveals the first sprouts of modernist aesthetics in Galician vocal music, was first considered through the prism of autobiographical reflections. The features of the new worldview in vocal works were self-formed under the influence of the aesthetics of Ukrainian (Ivan Franko, Lesia Ukraiinka, Bohdan Lepkyi, Uliana Kravchenko) and Polish (Lucian Rydle, Marian Havalevіch) modernist poets, Ukrainian and foreign romantic traditions of the solo singing genre, as well as opera art by Verdi, G. Puccini, and composers-verists. His vocal creative work formed a basis for the chamber and vocal music formation by the new generation of Ukrainian artists of Galicia – S. Liudkevych, V. Barvinskyi, ad N. Nyzhankivskyi, who in the first decades of the twentieth century elevated the genre of Ukrainian vocal miniature to the highest level of European vocal art.


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Zinkiv, I. (2020). Embodiment of Denys Sichynsky’s Autobiographic Reflections in His Vocal Creative Work. ARS INTER CULTURAS, (9), 63-79. https://doi.org/10.34858/AIC.9.2020.335



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