Dudaryku – A Village Scene


Two soprano soli, tenor solo, SATB/SATB chorus (divisi) a cappella

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



The Princeton Singers and Chanticleer, June 2001
Steven Sametz, director

The Princeton Singers for performance with Chanticleer
Steven Sametz, director

The Princeton Singers and Chanticleer
on "I Have Had Singing" (Arsis)

ECS No.7276

Program Notes

Dudaryku (The Piper) was introduced to me by Natalka Pavlovsky as “the Ukrainian version of Der Leiermann (The Organ Grinder)“. Like Schubert’s famous Lied, this Ukrainian folksong hauntingly evokes the song of the town musician using the simple drone of his instrument. Duaryku pays homage to the beloved piper who once played for the townspeople.

Several factors coalesced to create Dudaryku. I considered the many traditions of folksongs in western music: the simple folksong without accompaniment; arrangements (like the 19th century arrangement of Dudaryku by Leontovich); and the composition of new work in a folk style (exemplified in works of Brahms and Stephen Foster). The intersection of these traditions – using the old, the borrowed and the new – intrigued me.

Dudaryku begins with a newly composed setting of the folksong text which laments the loss of the treasured town musician. There is a transition, referencing Leontovich’s arrangement of the Dudaryku folksong, and then a newly composed setting of another Ukrainian folksong, Oy Khodyla D’ivchyna (A Girl Went Walking), in which a girl summons the piper to play in order to ease her sorrows. Oy Khodyla D’ivchyna brings to mind the tunes the piper played for the Ukrainian villagers. Its final line about “easing sorrows” provides a transition into the lament for the piper himself.

Dudaryku ends quietly, overlapping the music of the opening, the lament quoting Leontovich’s setting, and the girl’s simple folksong.

Text / translation

Ukrainian Transliteration

Didu mi dudarihku,
Tihzh bulaw
sehlawm idesh,
Tihzh bulaw v’dudu h’rayesh;
Ahleh tehpehr tehbeh nehmayeh.
Duda, Tvaw i ya hulyayeh,
Zawstalihsya kazna kawmu dawstalihsya?

Aw i xawdihla dyichihna Behrezhkawm,
Zahanyala sehlehznya
batizhkawm, “Idih, idih,
sehlehznyu dadawmu!
Prawdam tehbeh d’idawvi starawmu!”
Za trih kawpih sehlehznya
A za kawpu dudarihka nainyala.
“Zahrai mehni, dudarihku, na dudu,
Xai ya svawyeh hawrehnjkaw zabudu!”


Old Piper
There was a time when you
walked through the vilage,
You once played on your bagpipe
Now you are no more
Your bagpipes lie idle.
No one knows for whom they are left.

A girl walked along the river bank
goading a duck with a switch
“Get on home, silly duck,
I will sell you to an old man!”
For three kopeks
she sold the duck
and for a kopek she hired a piper.
“Play for me, piper,
Let me forget my sorrows!”