On February 13, 2017, a pre-concert of art songs was presented at Roy Thompson hall prior to a performance by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, guest orchestra of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
The pre-concert program featured a glorious song cycle "A Poet's Love" by Mykola Lysenko and was presented by Russell Braun, Krisztina Szabó and Albert Krywolt.
In the early 1850s,
Mykola Lysenko furthered his musical development in Leipzig, Germany, the foremost conservatoire on the European continent at the time. Within days of arriving, he attending a recital of Robert Schumann's 'Dichterliebe', a work he fell in love with. Shortly afterwards, Mykola returned to Kyiv and immediately set about composing his own Dichterliebe song cycle: A Poet's Love. Lysenko turned to the same book of Heinrich Heine Romantic poems that Schumann himself had drawn on. He then composed his own 'Poetova Lyubov' - A Poet's Love.
Three of the texts were identical to Schumann's collection; but then he explored further depths of Romantic poetry, adding his own style, offering a further credence to the word and placing the pianist and singer on equal par on the concert platform. The song cycle became a veritable duet of voice, body and soul.