Olivia Davis

Koliadka

$225.00

Duration:

Instrumentation: Piccolo, flute 1-2, oboe 1-2 (oboe 2 doubles english horn, clarinet 1-3 (clarinet 3 doubles bass clarinet), bassoon 1-2, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, horn 1-4, trumpet 1-3, trombone 1-2, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, timpani, percussion 1-3

Delivery Method: Physical Delivery
Performance Materials: Score and Parts

This piece was inspired by a koliadka — a Ukrainian Christmas carol. The one I chose tells of how three doves created the world (the text,transliteration, and translation are all below). The text given below comes from a version taken from the Halychyna region in Western Ukraine. There are many different versions of this koliadka, and ethnomusicologists date its creation back to more than one thousand years ago (a version has been documented in the Chronicles of the Kyivan Rus’ state from the tenth century AD).

Some koliadky are now sung at Christmas, along with songs more intentionally Christian. In some regions of Ukraine, even today, the two holidays have blurry boundaries. The word in standard Ukrainian is Rizdvo; in some dialects, Christmas is still referred to as “Koliada”, as some will wish you “Khrystos rodyvsia! [Bazhaju tobi] veseliu koliadu!” (Christ is born! [I wish you] a happy Solstice!).

The motif of diving underwater for earth-creating materials — called the Earth-Diver by folklorists — is a theme that appears in creation stories from the easternmost parts of Eastern Europe all the way across Russia through Siberia and into North America.

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108-004-SP
Delivery Method: Physical Delivery
Performance Materials: Score and Parts

About the Work

Instrumentation: Piccolo, flute 1-2, oboe 1-2 (oboe 2 doubles english horn, clarinet 1-3 (clarinet 3 doubles bass clarinet), bassoon 1-2, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, horn 1-4, trumpet 1-3, trombone 1-2, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, timpani, percussion 1-3

This piece was inspired by a koliadka — a Ukrainian Christmas carol. The one I chose tells of how three doves created the world (the text,transliteration, and translation are all below). The text given below comes from a version taken from the Halychyna region in Western Ukraine. There are many different versions of this koliadka, and ethnomusicologists date its creation back to more than one thousand years ago (a version has been documented in the Chronicles of the Kyivan Rus’ state from the tenth century AD). It was originally sung on Solstice, or Koliada, a festival that ancient Slavic-language-speaking tribes celebrated in honor of their ancestors to mark the changing light of the seasons, to sing back the sun. Even now, many koliadky have remained relatively unchanged, as Slavic Christianity is incredibly syncretic. The original symbols — the tree as a sacred “telephone line to the gods” under which offerings and prayers were made, the doves as ancestral spirits, and the shamanic diving into the otherworld (underwater) for earth-making materials — have another layer of meaning now: the sycamore (or linden in other versions) is a Tree of Life, and also symbolizes divine love, and the three birds are the Holy Trinity. The “spinning sun on a stick” that was carried in the village as the carolers went wandering became a “star of Bethlehem”. Some koliadky are now sung at Christmas, along with songs more intentionally Christian. In some regions of Ukraine, even today, the two holidays have blurry boundaries. The word in standard Ukrainian is Rizdvo; in some dialects, Christmas is still referred to as “Koliada”, as some will wish you “Khrystos rodyvsia! [Bazhaju tobi] veseliu koliadu!” (Christ is born! [I wish you] a happy Solstice!). The motif of diving underwater for earth-creating materials — called the Earth-Diver by folklorists — is a theme that appears in creation stories from the easternmost parts of Eastern Europe all the way across Russia through Siberia and into North America.

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