1 part by 50 minutes, 2 part by 40 minutes
Suite on English Folk Tunes: “A time there was…”
“Three Studies from Couperin”
“Hold Hands across the Years”
“Aubade” (Morning serenade)
The programme is subject to change
Conductor – Alexander Walker
Art director and conductor – Pyotr Savinkov
In the mid-past century, Britten and Shostakovich have “mutually” dedicated to each other the pieces they’d just finished, 14th Symphony and “Prodical Son”, respectively. The idea of “mutual” year of UK music in Russia and vica versa is based on this very idea of two composers’ “mutual dedication”. Thus, in Russia the great importance is attached to the music of Benjamin Britten, who once was one of the favourite Western composers in Soviet public. His music used to be widely performed in Moscow and Leningrad, and the composer made friends with Rozdestvensky, Shostakovich, Richter, and Rostropovich. But there was some bad blood between Britten and USSR: right after the Russian invasion to Chechoslovakia in 1968, the composer decided to never visit the country, and the country’s powers declared him persona non grata and even banned his name from any mentioning. Only one tiny article appeared in Soviet press after the composer had died…
Since then, a generation of composers has appeared in Great Britain, most of them totally unknown to the Russian audience.
Alexander Walker will introduce us to the most brilliant representatives of contemporary English composing school. Walker’s education is symbolic for the “mutual” Year of Music: he studied in either Bristol University, London Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and with a legendary teacher named I.A.Moussin, the founder of Leningrad conducting school. As conductor, Walker works with the greatest orchestras of the world, including Russian. In 2017, he was awarded Elgar Medal for promoting his music outside Great Britain.
The orchestra was founded in 1978 as a 9-piece ensemble by violinist and conductor V. Kornachev. By the 1988 it has grown to a full high class orchestra, led by Alexander Rudin. It was him who came up with the name Musica Viva, Latin for “living music”. Today, Musica Viva has a vast repertoire in a wide variety of styles, and the orchestra’s philosophy is to play a piece as close to the way it was written, and to get rid of clichés.
The Chamber Choir of Gnessin College was founded in 1986 by professors of the Gnessin Academy. The choir consists of students and graduates of Choir department of the college. The repertoire includes Renaissance and early classical music, as well as Russian and European choir classics. In recent years, pieces by Giya Kancheli, Aarvo Part, and other contemporary composers are performed. In 2014, the choir under direction of Petr Savinkov took part in the 8th World Choir Games in Riga for the first time to win 2 Gold Medals.