Mariinsky Chorus sing Rachmaninov’s Vespers

Part of Birmingham International Concert Season 2014/15 Concert Package,

SoundBite, Birmingham International Concert Season 2014/15 and Vocal Music

Saturday 8th November, 2014

Town Hall

Mariinsky Chorus
Andrei Petrenko conductor
Maria Shuklina mezzo soprano
Egor Semenkov tenor
Maxim Rannev bass

Ippolitov-Ivanov Blagoslovi dushe moya Gospoda (Bless the Lord, O my soul)
Bortnyansky Sacred Concerto No 34, Da voskresnet Bog I rastochatsya vrazi ego (Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered)
Balakirev Svyshe prorotse (From above the prophets foretold of you)
Arkhangelsky Concert for choir, Pomyshljau den’ strashny (I think of the dreadful day)
Chesnokov Da ispravitsya molitva moya (Let My Prayer Be Set Forth in Thy Sight)
Blazhen muzh (Blessed is the man)
S nami Bog (God is with us)
Rachmaninov Vespers

Encore – Rachmaninov – To Thee We Sing

Like every part of the Mariinsky company, the Mariinsky Chorus is a superb ensemble in its own right.

Tonight, chorus director Andrei Petrenko explores the foundations of the Russian vocal tradition with a programme of Russian Orthodox sacred music that includes Rachmaninov’s haunting Vespers.

Presented in association with Mariinsky Theatre Trust.

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Review by David Hart, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “Apart from individual details – the simple grace of ‘Praise the Lord,’ rainbow-like textures in ‘O radiant light,’ a creamily unruffled ‘Ave Maria,’ – the most noticeable quality was the Chorus’s vocal richness and balance, not just in the loudest passages, when every section could be heard distinctly (how many British choirs can boast an equal number of sopranos and tenors?) without assaulting one’s ears, but in the gentle shaping of final cadences under Petrenko’s understated, quiet direction.

And those inimitable Russian basses (although their bottom B flat was perhaps not quite as resonant as we hoped) and clarion-voiced tenor soloist Alexey Velikanov also made a huge impression, as did mezzo Maria Shuklina, who was heard to even greater effect in a Psalm setting by Chesnokov in the first half of the programme.”

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