Russian Lamentations, Ecstasy and Wine Glasses with the Vasari Singers

14/02/2019

The Path of Purity

Vasari Singers will be taking you on a choral journey from the Lamentations of St Gregory of Narek through images of light and flame, to the stars and heaven.

22 March 2019, 7.30pm : St Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London

Following their recording of Rachmaninov’s All-Night Vigil in 2017, Vasari Singers have taken the natural next step to perform Alfred Schnittke’s towering Concerto for Choir. Composed in 1985, this is an extended setting of the tenth-century Armenian monk St Gregory of Narek’s Book of Lamentations or Prayer Book. A complex and wide-ranging work for choir, with most voice parts splitting into eight, this 40-minute piece is not often performed, but its extraordinary spiritual outpouring is recognised as one of the choral masterpieces of the 20th century.

Jeremy Backhouse explains: ‘This is a piece I have long wanted to perform with Vasari Singers. Schnittke, a natural successor to the musical and spiritual choral sound world of Rachmaninov, went on to develop a unique voice of his own, showcased at its zenith in the Concerto for Choir. Vasari Singers, with its rich range of versatile voices from stratospheric sopranos to below-the-stave basses (and everything in between) is perfectly suited to the challenges of this wonderful and virtuosic choral tour de force.’

Ecstatic outpourings can also be found in the music of Sir John Tavener’s Mother and Child, with stunning works by Jonathan Dove and Bob Chilcott adding impact and depth to the music of the first half.

The programme will also include Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds’ Stars, a choral piece accompanied by tuned wine glasses. Jeremy said ‘It has a been a multi-tasking challenge for the singers to turn their hand to playing wine glasses whilst singing this magical piece. The effect is of celestial waves of sounds, with cluster chords creating a truly heavenly and spacious feel. It really has to be experienced live.’

Alex Brougham, the choir’s Chair adds ‘Vasari Singers has a natural affinity with the beautiful music of Ēriks Ešenvalds and we are very excited to announce that we have commissioned a work from him to mark the choir’s 40th anniversary in 2020. We look forward to premiering the work next year, when we also hope to release a new recording with the commission as its centrepiece.’

Tickets are priced £20 (£12 for students and under 18s)

and are available from www.vasarisingers.org

or vasaristbrides19@brownpapertickets.com Tel: 0800 441 8881

For futher information visit www.vasarisingers.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Comments

Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews

Season Previews

__________________________________
  • NEW! Beethoven 250 at London’s Southbank Centre __________________________________
  • NEW! Snape Maltings – January to April 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! Saffron Hall in February – August 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera in 2020 – Gluck’s Paris and Helen __________________________________
  • NEW! Surrey’s Grange Park Opera in 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! The Leeds Lieder Concert Series 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Edinburgh Usher Hall 2019-2020 Orchestral Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycles __________________________________
  • NEW! Ex Cathedra’s 50th Anniversary Season in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Geneva Grand Théâtre in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! 2019-20 at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden __________________________________
  • NEW! City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Zurich Opera House in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! English National Opera in 2019-2020 and New Artistic Director __________________________________
  • UPDATED! ENB in 2019-2020 and Opening of their New London City Island Home __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music and Other Events at the Southbank Centre in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • UPDATED! Cleveland Orchestra in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • NEW! Classical Music at the Barbican in 2019-20 __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Free Review Summary Newsletter

    Search S&H

    News and Featured Articles

    __________________________________
  • NEW! English National Ballet’s 70th Anniversary Gala Performances – 17 & 18 January 2020 __________________________________
  • NEW! CONDUCTOR HERVÉ NIQUET INTERVIEWED ABOUT GRÉTRY’S RICHARD, COEUR DE LION __________________________________
  • NEW! SOPRANO ANGELA GHEORGHIU IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL COOKSON __________________________________
  • NOW REVIEWED! MATTHEW BOURNE’S ROMEO AND JULIET IN CINEMAS FROM 22 OCTOBER __________________________________
  • NEW! CELLIST JOHANNES MOSER IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • CHORUS MASTER STEPHEN DOUGHTY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • REVIEWED! Ron Howard’s Pavarotti in Cinemas 13 July (Preview) and Nationwide (15 July) __________________________________
  • MULTI-FACETED MUSICIAN JOY LISNEY IN CONVERSATION WITH ROBERT BEATTIE __________________________________
  • ‘MUSICAL MAGIC’: AN INTERVIEW WITH VIOLINIST HENNING KRAGGERUD __________________________________
  • CONDUCTOR THOMAS SANDERLING IN CONVERSATION WITH GREGOR TASSIE __________________________________
  • HOW TO CONTACT SEEN AND HEARD INTERNATIONAL __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH ITALIAN BARITONE FRANCO VASSALLO __________________________________
  • A Q&A WITH LISETTE OROPESA AS SHE RETURNS TO LA OPERA FOR ORFEO ED EURIDICE __________________________________
  • BARRY DOUGLAS IN CONVERSATION WITH GEOFFREY NEWMAN __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month