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Gopak

By Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

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SATB choir, piano - moderately difficult
Composed by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839-1881) and Vadim Prokhorov (1946-). Arranged by Vadim Prokhorov. Romantic. Octavo. E.C. Schirmer Publishing #6718. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.6718).

Item Number: EC.6718

ISBN 600313467189. 8.5" x 11" inches. Text: Lev Mei.

"Gopak is a Ukrainian folk dance and song of a vigorous character; 'Gop' in Ukrainian and Russian means 'a high leap or hop.' The gopak originally was danced only by men. Later it began to be performed by mixed groups. The gopak has no fixed pattern of steps. Men competitively improvise virtuosic dance movements: steps, high leaps, squatting kicks, and turns. Women dance simple steps, sway, clap, or circle.

The main rhythmic pattern of a gopak is anapestic: unstressed-unstressed-stressed. It is one of the most widespread gestures in Ukrainian folk songs and can be found in historical, invocation and lyric songs as well as in lullabies.

Modest Musorgsky composed his satirical song Gopak in 1866. (He arranged the song for voice and orchestra in 1868.) The text is taken from the poem Gaidamaki by the poet and artist Taras Shevchenko (1814-1861), who is regarded as a founder of modern Ukrainian literature. Gaidamaki is one of the poems in Shevchenko's collection Kobzar. The Russian translation is by the Russian poet Lev Mey (1822-1862).

Musorgsky's Gopak is a 'song/dance out of desperation' - as this type of emotional realization is called in Russian literature and music. The outer sections are of a robust dance character while the middle, lyrical episodes are characterized by a slow tempo, gentle melodic gestures, and a lullaby-like accompaniment. - Vadim Prokhorov

Includes a transliteration guide for the Russian lyrics and an Englishsinging translation.

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