FROM THE UK TOUR, 2011
Dear Jurij and Voskresenije
Thank you for your wonderful performance on Sunday in Frodsham and thank you for asking Frodsham & District Choral Society to sing the Rachmaninov Vespers with Voskresenije. It was a great pleasure and honour for us to sing with Voskresenije. I hope you enjoyed your weekend in Frodsham and that you have a successful tour of the UK.
Here are some photographs of the concert.
Please let me know if you put the video of the concert on YouTube then we can all have a look at it.
It is possible that our choir will accept your kind invitation to sing with you again. Unfortunately we will not be able to sing the Mussorgsky cantatas with you in 2012 but we will come and listen to you.
Margaret (and all the members of Frodsham & District Choral Society)
Honorary Secretary Frodsham & District Choral Society
RUSSIAN CONCERT WAS MUSICAL TRIUMPH
Musicians from Russia have certainly been wowing Welsh audiences. This month the Marinsky Orchestra and Choir produced an outstanding performance of Verdi's Requiem in the Millenium Centre, with Bryn Terfel singing the bass part, and last Saturday Pembrokeshire was not to be outshone, as the Russian ensemble Voskresenije, together with the Dyfed Choir did a blinding performance of Sergei Rachmaninov's Vespers in St Davids Cathedral.
The St Davids concert had a certain edge, as the conductor and director for the occasion, Jurij Maruk, speaks very limited english. Moreover, Rachmaninov's music is highly fluid, with dramatic changes of tempo and dynamic volume in the space of a few notes, all which requires the chorus to follow the conductor's every inflection.
The packed Cathedral audience were 'warmed up' in the first half with solos from each of the eight singing guests, all who live, perform and study in St Petersburg. Each accompanied by piano, gave really outstanding performances. For some in the audience the prize went to Andrey Drosha, the tenor, others preferred the contralto Jana Volkonskaya, while Anatoly Artamonov the basso profundo was always the winner in many eyes.
They were then to hear the results of adding the powerful Dyfed Choir singers to the scene. The fifteen part Vespers is performed unaccompanied, and conductor Jurij confined his tonal direction to a quick ping of a tuning fork on the hand and a discreet hum for each part. Rachmaninov revels in pushing the bass note to subterranean depths, and the Dyfed bassers, reinforced by Artimanov, produced a rumble of extraordinary proportions.
Crucial to the success of the evening was the Russian interpreter Luda Lewis from Templeton, who linked conductor with choir in both two rehearsals.
Next St Davids performance is Bach's St John Passion on March 27, 2010.