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Past Concerts - 2011

Russia and Beyond: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania & Tuva

Article from V Novom Svete | Program Notes

Russia and Beyond: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Tuva will present dramatic, rarely-heard music selections that reflect each area's unique musical qualities and its national spirit. RCCNY will perform music by Feliksas Bayoras, Veljo Tormis, and Alexander Kholminov, who are widely considered to be some of the the 20th century's most important composers.

You'll hear "The Great Mystery" by Bajoras (Lithuania), a powerful and haunting choral gem, inspired by a poem by Lithuanian priest Jonas Zukauskas. Expressing the eternal theme of life and death, its beauty and originality is rooted in ancient Lithuanian music. The program continues with one cycle from "Forgotten Peoples" by Tormis, a prominent and prolific composer (Estonia), in a setting of traditional texts of six different Finno-Urgric peoples, which was Tormis's attempt to rescue these cultures from total obliteration. RCCNY performs the first of these cycles, Liivlaste Parandus (Livonian Heritage). Also included will be "Songs of the Sea" by Pauls Dambis, one of the most imaginative composers in Latvia today, who creatively used elements of Latvian folk music in combination with compositional techniques developed in the second half of the 20th century.The chorus will also present the Tuvan folk song "Handagaity," in an arrangement by Alexei Chyrgal-Ool; as well as "Concerto for Cello and Chamber Choir" by Alexander Kholminov, joined by Adrian Daurov, cello.

Great Mystery
Feliksas Bajoras
Songs of the Sea
Pauls Dambis
Livonian Heritage
Veljo Tormis
Alexei Chyrgal-Ool
Concerto for Cello and Chamber Choir
Alexander Kholminov
   Adrian Daurov, cello

Tchaikovsky and his Contemporaries
October 22, 2011

2:30 PM, at the Richmondtown Library on Staten Island (Carnegie Hall's Neighborhood Concert Series ). Directions here.
Free Admission

"Tchaikovsky and His Contemporaries" is designed to show the influence Tchaikovsky had on the musical life of his contemporaries. His innovations in Russian sacred and secular music gave a powerful impetus to many subsequent generations of Russian composers.

Tchaikovsky brought to life musical landscapes, including his piano cycle "The Seasons," from which "October" is included in this program. The theme of beauty and love is powerfully expressed in Tchaikovsky's cantata "Nature and Love," which was set to the composer's own text. Patriotism, morality, and compassion in the works of Tchaikovsky echoed in the soul of the young Rachmaninoff. His "Six Choruses for Women's Voices," written in early youth, expresses deep emotion, as well as poetic images of nature, composed with elegance and sophistication.

One of Tchaikovsky's most enthusiastic admirers was his contemporary, Anton Arensky, whose "Three Quartets" for voices and cello is one of the gems of Russian Romantic music.

Bless the Lord, O My Soul
Peter Tchaikovsky
Blessed Are They, Whom Thou Hast Chosen (from 9 Sacred Pieces)
Let My Prayer Arise (from 9 Sacred Pieces)
Tatyana's Aria from "Eugene Onegin" (Hanna Golodinskii, soprano)
Nature and Love (cantata)
Octobre: Chant d'automne from Les Saisons, Op. 37b (Michael Zeiger, piano)

Six Choruses for Women's Voices (Michael Zeiger, piano)
Sergei Rachmaninoff

Three Quartets for Chorus and Cello, op. 57 (Adrian Daurov, cello)
Anton Arensky


Reflections: Ten Years Later
November 18, 2011

The Riverside Church
Friday, November 18, 8:00 p.m.
490 Riverside Drive (at West 122nd St.)

Performed with The Riverside Choir (Christopher Johnson, Director of Music)
Read Russian language article about the concert

The centerpiece of Reflections: Ten Years Later is the "New York Mass," by renowned Moscow composer Efrem Podgaits. "New York Mass" is dedicated to the memory of the 9/11 tragedy. RCCNY was honored to present the world premiere of this work in spring of 2002, and our New York audiences and singers alike were moved by its power and sensitivity. Podgaits began composing "New York Mass" following a visit to Manhattan in summer 2001. The fascinating story of its composition, which you can read in the composer's own words, shows the deep connection the composer felt with the people of New York.

In the Reflections program, RCCNY will perform Tavener's "Svyati," for chorus and cello, in which the composer uses text from the Russian Orthodox service associated with grieving. We will perform a choral arrangement of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," containing notes of passion and mourning that relate well to the program's theme. The concert will include "Chant," by renowned Siberian composer Yuri Yukechev. This polyphonic masterpiece is full of profound drama, breaking through sorrow to come to a climax of hope. We are pleased to premiere a setting of "Lord, Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant Depart in Peace" by the renowned Russian composer Mikhail Zeiger. And the reverent program wouldn't be complete without liturgical works by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.

Blessed are They Whom Thou Hast Chosen
Peter Tchaikovsky
We Hymn Thee (soloist: Hanna Golodinskii)
Sergei Rachmaninoff
Yuri Yukechev
Adagio for Strings (choral adaptation, arr. N. Kachanov)
Samuel Barber
Now Let Thy Servant Depart
Mikhail Zeiger
Svyati (Adrian Daurov, cello)
John Tavener
New York Mass
Efrem Podgaits

Details and Ticket Information

The Riverside Church
Friday, November 18, 8:00 p.m.
490 Riverside Drive (at West 122nd St.)
Tickets: $25, Students and Seniors: $20.


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