Concert News – April 2013

The Russians are Coming!

A rare opportunity to hear Russian Orthodox Church music and Russian folk song authentically performed by professional Russian singers is on offer in St James Church, Kingston, on Monday, 29 April.

Supplying this true taste of Russia in the first concert of Kingston’s six-concert season will be The Hermitage Ensemble from St Petersburg, a group of five singers trained in that city’s conservatoires and steeped in the hallowed traditions of Russian church and folk music.

Equally at home as individuals in the opera houses and concert halls of their home city as in its churches and cathedrals, they came together as an ensemble with the aim of researching, performing and preserving their rich musical heritage.

So, singing unaccompanied, they will be devoting the first half of their programme to their favourite Russian sacred music and the second, lighter half, to some of the best-loved Russian folk songs.

Though only five in number, a basso profundo, a lyric baritone, two tenors and an alto, they punch well above their weight. As one admirer put it: “They sound like a Slavic barber quartet one minute and the massed ranks of the Red Choir the next.” They should revel in the exceptional acoustic of Kingston church.

There is no charge for admission but there is a retiring collection to help cover costs and contribute towards the preservation of the church. Refreshments will be served in the interval.

Robin Stringer

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