Filaret Kolessa phonograph cylinder collection

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Kobzar Stepan Pasiuha, drawing by Opanas Slastion (1910)
Surface of cylinder no. 37. One can see the shape of the audio track.
Surface of cylinder no. 12, quality of audio: 2 of 5. Cylinder was played back more times than №37.

The phonograph cylinder recordings presented on this page are a result of an early 20th century attempt to preserve the tradition of kobzari and lirnyky, realized by Ukrainian folklorists Filaret Kolessa, Opanas Slastion, Klymentiy Kvitka as well as Lesia Ukrainka, an important Ukrainian women writer, who provided financial and organizational support of the project and made some of the recording herself.

The type of music captured is folk music of special kind - Ukrainian dumas, which are a type of sung poetry with accompaniment on kobza, bandura or lira. Later, in 1930-s, kobzari and lirnyky (the folk musicians who performed and passed along their repertoire) were persecuted and the tradition was broken.

cylinders from the Kolessa collection

The dumas were transcribed by Filaret Kolessa himself and published as a score in 1910 and 1913, but as Lesia Ukrainka said, "This property [recordings] are of value because despite phonograph gives yet incomplete picture of the performance, it is clearly better than musical score in preserving the manner of the performance"[1].


Recordings[edit]

The phonograph cylinder recording were digitized at the Institute for Information Recording under National Academy of Science of Ukraine as part of a project by Wikimedia Ukraine, dedicated to digitize and make available the phonograph cylinder collection of Filaret Kolessa. Iryna Dovhalyuk analyzed the collection of cylinders, and identified the phonograms. The project was funded by Wikimedia Foundation.

As a very early audio recording medium, phonograph cylinders can't provide the level of audio quality present in tape or gramophone recordings; additionally, every replay of a cylinder on a phonograph decreases the quality of the recording.

Quality scale[edit]

The condition of the cylinders, and hence the quality of the recordings is not equal.

Noise level color markings
low moderate high
quality: 4, 4- quality: 3+, 3, 3- quality: 2+, 2

Files[edit]

All audio files below are provided under the terms of Creative Commons Zero 1.0 public domain dedication, and may be freely used and copied, both commercially and non-commercially, by anyone.

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Performer Composition Recorded by Date Files
Hnat Honcarenko Kozachok "Polianka" Oleksandr Borodai 1904
q: 2
Antin Skoba Duma Pro pikhotyntsia Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 2+
q: 3
Antin Skoba Duma Pro udovu Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 2
Hnat Honcharenko Song Nema v sviti pravdy Lesia Ukrainka, Klyment Kvitka 1908
q: 2
q: 2
Hnat Honcharenko Duma Pro Oleksiya Popovycha without accompaniment Lesia Ukrainka, Klyment Kvitka 1908
q: 3-
q: 3-
q: 3-
Hnat Honcharenko Duma Pro Oleksiya Popovycha with accompaniment Lesia Ukrainka, Klyment Kvitka 1908
q: 2
Hnat Honcharenko Duma Pro udovu Lesia Ukrainka, Klyment Kvitka 1908
q: 3-
q: 2
q: 2
q: 3
Hnat Honcharenko Various dances Lesia Ukrainka, Klyment Kvitka 1908
q: 3- Dudochka:
q: 3- Dudochka: (another variant):
q: 2+ Metelytsia:
q: 2 Molodychka: (kozachok):
q: 2 Molodychka perva:
q: 2+ Savradym:
q: 2+ Choboty:
q: 2+ Popadia:
q: 2+ Horlytsia:
q: 2 Kozachok:
Hnat Honcharenko Duma Pro sestru i brata Lesia Ukrainka, Klyment Kvitka 1908
q: 2+
q: 2
q: 3-
Mykhailo Kravchenko Duma Pro pikhotyntsia Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 2+
q: 3
q: 3
q: 4
q: 3-
Mykhailo Kravchenko Duma Pro samarskykh brativ Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 3
q: 3-
Mykhailo Kravchenko Duma Pro divku-branku (song) Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 2+
Mykola Dubyna Duma Pro pikhotyntsia Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 2
q: 2
q: 3-
Mykola Dubyna Duma Pro udovu Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 3-
q: 2+
Opanas Slastion Duma Plach Nevolnykiv Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 3-
q: 3-
Ostap Kalnyi Duma Pro udovu Opanas Slastion 1908
q: 4
Lesia Ukrainka / unknown voice Test recording Lesia Ukrainka, Klyment Kvitka 1908
q: 3-
Yavdokha Pylypenko Duma Pro pikhotyntsia Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 2
Yavdokha Pylypenko Duma Pro udovu Filaret Kolessa 1908
q: 2+
q: 3-
Petro Drevchenko Duma Pro sestru i brata Opanas Slastion 1909
q: 3
Mykhailo Kravchenko Duma Plach Nevolnykiv Opanas Slastion 1909
q: 3
q: 3-
Mykhailo Kravchenko Duma Pro udovu Opanas Slastion 1909
q: 3
q: 4
q: 2+
q: 2+
Stepan Pasiuha Duma Pro udovu Opanas Slastion 1909
q: 2+
Stepan Pasiuha Duma Pro Marusiu Bohuslavku Opanas Slastion 1909
q: 2+
Stepan Pasiuha Song Pro smert kozaka Opanas Slastion 1909
q: 4
Ivan Kucherenko Duma Pro udovu Opanas Slastion 1909
q: 3-
Ivan Kucherenko Duma Pro smert kozaka-bandurysta Opanas Slastion 1909
q: 3
Opanas Slastion Duma Pro udovu Opanas Slastion 1910
q: 2
Platon Kravchenko Duma Pro pikhotyntsia Opanas Slastion 1910[2]
q: 4 Variation a:
q: 3 Variation g:
Platon Kravchenko Duma Pro udovu, variation 1 Opanas Slastion 1910[3]
q: 3+
Filaret Kolessa Song Temna nichka Filaret Kolessa 1912
q: 4-
Melaniya Dankovska Song Letila pava, letila Filaret Kolessa 1912
q: 4-
Melaniya Dankovska Song Tam za nashom khyzhom Filaret Kolessa 1912
q: 4-

Notes[edit]

  1. «Власність ся не без вартості, бо все ж фонограф хоч дає і неповне, але повніше ніж ноти, поняття про манеру виконання виконання кобзарських дум», (Цит. за Довгалюк І. До історії експедиції Філарета Колесси на Наддніпрянську Україну).
  2. The exact year of the variation g recording is not known, and it can be any time between 1908 and 1910.
  3. As with variation g of the Pro pikhotyntsia, the exact year of the recording is unknown. It may have been recorded any time between 1908-1910.