Friday, 30 March 2012

'Ad Hoc' Chamber Choir sing Rachmaninov Vespers at St Mary Arches Church: 'A Letter from Natasha'

A picture is worth a thousand words, but in some cases words can convey a message much more effectively than any picture could. In an exciting new development for the 'Classical Journey' our new roving reporter has added her new and exciting style to the art of reporting . . .

Natasha Iuchanka agreed to report back on the Ad-Hoc Chamber Choir's 'вечерня' song recital at St Mary Arches Church in Exeter. 'вечерня' (pronounced 'vechernya') is your actual Russian and means 'Vespers'. The Concert included parts of Sergei Rachmaninov's great work 'Vespers 1915'. Natasha is Russian and comes originally from St Petersburg. With some basic directions, she was able to work out where and when to find the Ad Hoc Choir in action.

Natasha has very kindly reported back on what she heard - an extraordinary insight . . .

Dear Luch!

First: what I've never expected of myself, (and what I did strongly suspected of myself that I'll never do it!)----but I did it!!!! --- I mean I've found this St Mary Church!!! It's a fantastic piece of ancient premise, mediaeval walls, columns, decorations of hundreds year old and so on!!

And everything on the way of my regular drive through Exeter streets!

Thank you very much for this breakthrough!!!

The choir has fantastic young singers cast, very rich tenors, brilliant-bright sopranos, and one absolutely magic mezzo-sopr. ... and have , everyone, an individual characteristic. It was very inspirative performance at the same time, I should mention too!

They started with Rachmaninov the first part of concert, then came back to him at the middle of the second part, and then they finished all concert with 3 more pieces of Rachmaninov!!!!

So you've asked me about language, and I can tell you I did understand about everything, regarding that the biggest half of it was an ancient Russian, which not many (ordinary, not linguistic) Russian people sure about 100% of the precise meaning of some words.

But as I've already told you, I do usually listen the international language of MUSIC, which tells MUCH more than words, no matter which nationality.

It's not an occasional, not a mistaken law: all songs and arias must be performed with the words of the language they were created with and belong to(!). That means that message which could be delivered through melodies, tones and chords is MORE precise message, than the message of words!!!

In other words:we trust more to ''HOW'' we say, than ''WHAT'' we say!!

And old ancient church texts are more the less closer to each other and to the Latin roots!!!

So, in short words, what impressed me more in these Rachmaninov pieces of Vespers???? That he was as HE WAS always the same: the same simple, the same laconic, the same spiritually immense, mediaevally strict, and immutable (unfalling) Romantic of unlimited freedom of melodical breath, ,

unfathomable depth of harmony, unpredictable (consequently!!)....and so on!

I asked myself listening Rachmaninov in this concert: what does attract all these English people to this very slavonic composer stuff? I think the answer is: the connection"!!" The connection between generations of centuries, which gives a very strong penetrations of spirit, therefore-confidence, wisdom, assurance, if you want!!!!

It was stupid of me I even tried to tell it to people in Church yesterday with inspiration they enclosed in me with their SINGING OF RACHMANINOV's VESPERS in St Mary Church last night!

(Sorry for been so long talking.)

Enjoy Tchaikovsky!!!


You couldn't say it more plainly than that!  What a glorious report. A thrilling account of what must have been an outstanding concert. Many thanks to the Ad-Hoc Choir for a super performance - staged by the organisers of the St Stephen's project, Caroline Cornish and Bridget Davis.

Special thanks to Natasha Iuchanka for giving a native Russian's perspective on our local performances of Russian music. I hope Natasha will come to the Phonic FM studio and tell us more on Tuesday!

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