The first single from Svjata Vatra’s 2020 album „World, you are changing“ is called „Shchedryk“
“Shchedryk” is the most well known Ukrainian Christmas song that’s been heard in hundreds of arrangements over the years.
Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych used archaic traditional material to compose the song in 1916. In the song, there’s a swallow flying over the sky, wishing all the good things that the spring would bring to everyone. In the older tradition, new year was celebrated as the spring came in april – only later, with christianity being introduced to the area, the new year’s eve moved to the day we all know today. Well – almost – as the Ukrainian new year’s eve is still celebrated according to the old calendar, on 13. of january in the Julian Calendar (December 31 Old style). The night is called „Shchedryi Vechyr” (Bountiful Evening or Feast of Epiphany).
The song got to be known in english as “Carol of the Bells”, arranged by Peter J. Wilhovsky, after the song was performed in Carnegie Hall by Ukrainian national choir in 1921. Wilhovsky publicized the song in 1936, with new lyrics in english, which did not follow the original, but got recognized in the USA and Canada. Since then, „Shchedryk“ has been known as a Christmas song and Svjata Vatra finds it perfectly suitable for introducing the new CD and to wish happy Christmas to all their listeners.
Three generations of musicians take part in the production of the album, pointing out the importance of the wisdom of grandparents that transfers to children and grandchildren. The song „Shchedryk“ is built around father (Ruslan Trochynskyi) and daughter (Rute Trochynskyi) singing together, supported as an echo from the past by a choir of Ukrainian grannys (Žurba).
Ukrainian Christmas song „Shchedryk“
Music and lyrics Mykola Leontovych
Arrangement by Svjata Vatra
Performed by Estonian-Ukrainian Band Svjata Vatra: Ruslan Trochynskyi, Juhan Suits, Karl-Heinrich Arro, Robin Mäetalu, Ats Tani and guests Rute Trochynskyi and womens ansamble Žurba
Single is recorded in Studio89 by Frank Reisner
Mastering: Rauno Avel
Video is made by Kevin Kohjus
Producer: Svjata Vatra
Video is filmed at Ukrainian Cultural Center and Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Estonia Tallinn and Tallinn Town Hall square. Special thanks to Anatoli Ljutjuk and Roman Kikh for keeping ukrainian spirit in Estonia.