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Days of Khakass Culture just transpired in Tuva

Days of Khakass Culture just transpired in TuvaPractically the entire collective of Khakass Philharmony participated in the program of Days of Khakass Culture in Tuva, where it was associated with the Day of National Unity.

Now even many Tuvan children know what a chatkhan is. It is a Khakass musical instrument in the shape of an elongated rectangular box with horse-hair strings stretched length-wise; it is a symbol of the Khakass nation. It was precisely a chatkhan which was used to accompany the heroic epics, “alyptyg nymakhi”.

It is believed that chatkhan is an instrument equal in power to the shaman’s drum, and if necessary can be successfully used for the same purpose.

Another favorite Khakass instrument, which has not lost its authority to this day, is khomus - a remote relative of Russian balalaika. Just like the chatkhan, it has been known since ancient times: the first mentions of  khomus date to the beginning of our era.

This and much else is what Tuvan audiences found out during the educational lecture program “Kovyl” (steppe grass), which the ensemble “Ulger” (constellation Pleiades) opened the Days of Khakass Culture at  the House of National Art. This astounding musical “educational campaign” immediately conquered the Kyzyl public by its brilliance, purity, contemporary music and poetic text. Beside the lectures,  there were two programs for children: a musical tale “Ognivo” (fire striking stone) and “Musical fantasy” . the orchestra performed Beethoven’s trademark work - “Pastoral” symphony. It is a complicated work, therefore it was presented to the children with accompaniment of  excerpts from popular animated Disney movies. In an exclusive interview with the “Tuvinskaya Pravda” correspondent, the artistic leader and conductor of the symphonic orchestra, Merited art worker of Republic Khakassia, Vyacheslav Inkizhekov admitted that producing similar programs for children is not easy.

“It is much more complicated than producing programs for adults, because it demands much more responsibility. The works we lay are very serious. That is why we show animated movies with them. The kids watch the funny figures in their favorite movies, and at the same time they hear symphonic music, which they store in their subconscious. We started presenting serious music in this way, in playful context, three or four years ago. As the kids grow, they keep coming to see similar programs. That means we reached the desired effect.”

Vyacheslav Inkizhekov is a graduate of  Bishkek and Novosibirsk conservatories.  He has been the leader of  the symphonic orchestra of the Khakass republican Philharmony since it was founded in February 2000.

“Our collective  brought together some of the best musicians of the republic,  Vyacheslav tells us. - Many of the musicians are graduates of Abakan music schools. But they received their higher musical education at the most prestigious colleges of the country. Today it is a well-integrated collective, which is held together not only by their common service to music, but by devoted ties of friendship and corporate feeling of belonging to their orchestra family.”

And this is the opinion of the director of the wind instrument orchestra of Government of Republic Tyva, Timur Dulush.

“The chamber sound of the symphonic orchestra, academism, but more exactly the culture of the academic performance, quality of sound and quality of playing prove that Abakan has an excellent basis of academic music. It is a tremendous achievement. It is what Tuvan orchestras are lacking.”

“I liked the fact that they work for children in this planned, goal-oriented way, - Sofia Kara-ool, Merited artist of Tuva, added. - In the area of musical enlightenment our Khakass colleagues are doing a great work. This is exactly the way, without forcing, that children should be taught about complicated music.”

The leading collective of the Philharmony since it was founded is the ensemble of song and dance “Ulger”, led by Merited art worker of Republic Khakassia Vyacheslav Kuchenov. The clear, bewitching melodies in the original arrangement are complemented by the wondrous patterns of national dances, live accompaniment of national instruments, and traditional Khakass attire.

The musicians of the ensemble punctiliously reconstruct almost forgotten Khakass melodies, songs, takhpakh, skills and methods of  playing the national instruments (khobra, pyrgy, khomus, yykh, tyur), which today sound at full force from the stage in solo and group performances. The programs of the ensemble are as close as possible to the true national sources.

Vyacheslav Kuchenov himself is a virtuoso of throat singing. Actually he is a laureate of international festival “Khoomei” of 1995. Currently this collective is to have the honor of representing  Khakassia at the Festival of Russian art in Cannes.  The ensemble shone in all its glory at the gala-concert. Khakass songs performed by soloists Lyudmila Aryshtaeva and Iraida Akhpasheva sounded for Tuvan audience.

The gala-concert, did not present only Khakass music, but also masterpieces of world classics - arias from operas “Prince Igor”, “Faust”, “Ernani”. they were performed by the best soloists of the Philharmony - Vladimir Tereshkova, Ekaterina Kyshtymova, Daniil Tarasov, Mariya Yangulova, and Zinaida Arshanova. Merited artist of Russia and Khakassia Evgenii Ulugbashev together with the symphonic orchestra performed a suite for chatkhan with orchestra “Alyp Khan”.

In the words of the vice-minister of culture of Khakassia, Yuliya Kostyakova, the artistic delegation included more than 70  people - the symphonic orchestra, ensemble of song and dance “Ulger”, and the leading soloists of the Philharmony.

“It is one of the proposed actions of the Agreement about business, scientific-technical and cultural co-operation between our republics, which was signed last year, - she informed us. - Now we will await the reciprocal visit by the masters of Tuvan Estrada in Abakan.”

As the vice-minister of culture and tourism of Tuva, Maryata Badyrgy announced, Days of Tuva are planned in Khakassia next year.

“We will bring just such an impressive artistic team to Abakan, - she informed us. - The heads of the State Philharmony are already discussing it.

Alexander Filatenko, “Tuvinskaya Pravda”, translated by Heda Jindrak
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