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For one performance only, the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York (Nikolai Kachanov, artistic director) and The Riverside Choir (Christopher Johnson, Director of Music) are joining forces. Together, they will present a memorable program entitled "Reflections: Ten Years Later," to honor the recent anniversary of September 11th. The concert takes place Friday, November 18, 2011, at 8 PM, at the Riverside Church (490 Riverside Drive, at West 122nd Street).
The centerpiece of the program is the contemporary masterpiece New York Mass, by Moscow composer Efrem Podgaits. RCCNY was honored to present the world premiere of this work shortly after it was composed, in spring of 2002, at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. New York audiences and singers alike were moved by its power and sensitivity. Podgaits, named Composer of the Year in 2002 by the Russian monthly Musical Review, began work on New York Mass following a visit to Manhattan in summer 2001. The story of its composition shows the deep connection the composer felt with the people of New York. To read about the development of this music in the composer's own words, please visit the RCCNY web site: www.rccny.org/doc/Efrem-Podgaits.pdf.
"Reflections: Ten Years Later" will also include Tavener's Svyati, for chorus and cello (Adrian Daurov, cello). For this composition, Tavener uses text from the Russian Orthodox service associated with grieving. The combined choruses will present a choral adaptation of the Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, with its notes of passion and mourning. Also included will be Chant by contemporary Siberian composer Yuri Yukechev. This polyphonic masterpiece is full of profound drama, breaking through sorrow to come to a climax of hope.
The concert also marks the American premiere of Lord, Now Lettest Thou Thy Servant Depart in Peace by the renowned Russian composer Mikhail Zeiger, who currently lives in New York City. And the reverent program wouldn't be complete without liturgical works by Tchaikovsky (Blessed are They, Whom Thou Hast Chosen) and Rachmaninoff (We Hymn Thee, with Hanna Golodinskii, soprano).
Tickets are $25 ($20 for students and seniors 65+) at the door. For more program information and to purchase tickets online, visit www.rccny.org/ConcertSchedule.html or call (212) 928-1402.
Laura Schlachtmeyer has sung with RCCNY since 1999 and is a member of its Board of Directors.