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About The Book

This monograph is the first comprehensive account of the influence of Ukrainian motifs on the classical music of Europe and Russia from the eighteenth century through the first half of the twentieth. Going beyond earlier, fragmentary treatments that considered direct Ukrainian borrowings by classical composers, Yakov Soroker analyzes Ukrainian elements in the musical language of the composers and regions under study. Beginning with a survey of the modes, melodies, and rhythms characteristic of Ukrainian folk music, Soroker discusses the role of these elements in the works of the Viennese classical school, nineteenth-century German, Austrian, and Hungarian composers, Frédéric Chopin and later Polish composers, Béla Bartók, and Russian composers, including such major figures as Musorgsky, Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rakhmaninov, and Prokofiev, and lesser lights such as Khandoshkin, Serov, and Kabalevsky.

Drawing on a vast musical literature and a lifetime of study, Soroker demonstrates the significant influence of Ukrainian themes, often wrongly identified as "Russian," "Hungarian," "Gypsy," or "Turkish," on classical music. The text is supplemented with one hundred musical examples and a bibliography citing works in several languages. Offering a fresh analytical approach and a wealth of new information, this book is an important contribution to the literature on classical music. See Choral Music, Folks songs, Carols, and Ballad in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine.

About The Author

Yakov Soroker

Born in 1920 in Bessarabia, Yakov Soroker studied in Chisinau, Moldova and the Moscow Conservatory with David Oistrakh. He completed his studies at the conservatory in 1955 with a dissertation on Beethoven's violin sonatas, going on to a career as a performer and pedagogue. From 1962 to 1976 he held the chair of music history and theory at the …


  1. Roman Sawycky Jr.'s review in Canadian Slavonic Papers, Vol. 38, Nos. 1-2 (Mar-June 1996), pp. 269-270
  2. E. Reibner's review in Osteuropa, Vol. 47 (1997) H.7, (in German), p. 730
  3. Judith Osborn's review in Canadian Journal for Traditional Music (1998)

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