Miami Herald http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/performing-arts/article38778912.html

PERFORMING ARTS

 OCTOBER 11, 2015 8:16 PM

New World Symphony launches its season with a rich Russian program

 

Michael Tilson Thomas shared memories of composer Igor Stravinsky

 

Russian folk troupe Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble performed with the orchestra

 

A youthful Tchiaskovsky symphony with full orchestra closed the program

 Singers from the Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble performed at the New World Symphony’s season opening concert. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts musicians from the New World Symphony as members of the Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble perform. The Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble performed works by Igor Stravinsky with Michael Tilson Thomas and members of the New World Symphony. Singers from the Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble performed at the New World Symphony’s season opening concert. Michael Tilson Thomas conducts musicians from the New World Symphony as members of the Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble perform.

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Michael Tilson Thomas conducts musicians from the New World Symphony as members of the Dimitri Pokrovsky Ensemble perform. Rui Dias-Aidos

BY DAVID FLESHLER

South Florida Classical Review

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The New World Symphony's new season opened Saturday with raucous Russian village music, a youthful symphony of Tchaikovsky and Michael Tilson Thomas' personal memories of Igor Stravinsky.

After striding onto the stage of New World Center in Miami Beach, Tilson Thomas, the orchestra's founder and artistic director, led the audience and a brass choir in the traditional season-opener of The Star-Spangled Banner. Then he picked up a microphone and described his encounters with the great Russian composer.

 Michael Tilson Thomas shared his memories of Igor Stravinsky during the New World Symphony’s season-opening concert.

Michael Tilson Thomas shared his memories of Igor Stravinsky during the New World Symphony’s season-opening concert.

At the age of 11, growing up in Los Angeles, Tilson Thomas first saw Stravinsky conduct. Attending more and more performances, he came to know the composer, participating in rehearsals and gaining an appreciation for a man he described as an elegant and aristocratic product of imperial Russia, with “nothing Soviet about him.”

The concert, entitled “The Russian Musical Soul,” presented two sides of the nation's classical heritage. There were the sweeping melodies of an early symphony of Tchaikovsky, an artist disdained by the country's more nationalistic musicians as a composer in the German tradition, trained amid the Italianate architecture of Russia’s European outpost, St. Petersburg. And from Stravinsky, the composer who helped jolt the long 19th century of music into the 20th century, came two works rooted in Russian village life, earthy and unsentimental, as passed through the sophisticated kaleidoscope of Stravinsky's compositional technique.

Joining the orchestra for the Stravinsky works was the Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble, a troupe of Russian singers and dancers in traditional peasant dress, whose members have conducted extensive field research on their country's folk traditions.

They opened with Renard, or The Fox, a rarely heard work composed in 1916, a few years after the trio of ballets (The Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring) with which Stravinsky made his reputation. The work tells the story of a fox who is outwitted by a rooster and his friends. Scored for a small orchestra that emphasizes winds, brass and percussion, the work keeps the orchestra distinctly in the background to allow the voices to be heard, not that many members of the audience were likely to understand the singers' Russian words.

With their folk-inflected voices, the seven male singers avoided the operatic tones that classically trained singers might have brought to the performance, even if the fast pace and wide range of Stravinsky's score made vocal demands that sometimes seemed to strain their voices to the limit. Under a driving beat set by Tilson Thomas, the orchestra's shrieks and cackles created a manic tone that together with the voices, restored some of the primitive menace and violence to a genre often left to children.

Stravinsky's Les Noces, or The Wedding, tells the story of a Russian village wedding, with the ritual braiding of the bride's hair, the laments of the mothers losing their children, the wedding feast and the arrival of the wedding night. Scored for four pianos and percussion, it often treated the voices as percussion instruments as well, giving the work a manic, rustic energy.Pulsing, loud and chaotic, the performance portrayed the wonder and fear, the joy and sorrow of the wedding. Particularly effective, however, were the rare moments of quiet intimacy, when the clanking village band sounds came to a halt, such as the choral passage for unaccompanied male voices, which sounded like an Orthodox prayer, and a dialogue between mother and daughter, over a spare piano accompaniment.

Not until the second half did the full orchestra take the stage, performing Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1, known as Winter Dreams.

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England. Weekly Russian Newspaper 19.02.2015

Good bye, Maslenitsa!

Maslenitsa's theme on the stage was presented by the famous folklore Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble: impeccable style of singing, folk costumes, dances, songs, a strong and beautiful voices and, of course, the appearance of the carnival is all set the festive tone wich to the end of the concert didn't leave the audience. It is hard to imagine who would, unless this ensemble could have done it better.
 
http://angliya.com/2015/02/19/maslenitsa7/
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Castles in the air of the composer Marina Shmotova “Gusly”Magazine 1’2013 (fragments)

Nailya Alparova

-How is Your relationship with vocal diverse genres? I know that You fruitfully cooperate with Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble.

-Thanks to Sergey Berinsky, thanks to the memory of him, I struck up a close contact with the Pokrovsky Ensemble. Sergey Samuilovich created an essay dedicated to earthquake in Armenia – "Motet on 7.12.88" for choir a Capella. There's prayer in four languages: Church Slavonic, old Armenian, Hebrew and Latin. In 1995 he complained me: no choir is taken for the performance of this opus. "I'll find this chorus, I’ll arranged this performance," said I confidently. And when he died, I said to myself: "Promised – come on, just do it!" . I made the  transcription of this Berinsky ‘s choral work for the ensemble of soloists, arranged on 12 voices and suggested that composition to the  "pokrovskys". Apparently, I felt that they would understand me because they teacher, too, died young. "Pokrovskys" has turned out  just the  perfect team. They coped brilliantly. I often attract soloists of this ensemble to perform my music for theatrical productions. In particular, they’d sung  in the play by Gogol "Brother Chichikov", "Three sisters" by Chekhov, participated in recording of music for the fairytale "King thrushbeard" (http://www. youtube.com/watch?v=zIiuT1x15qg(photo Andrey Kravchenko and Maria Neiedova jamas "Psaltery" 1'2013 41) /Maria Nefedova, music director of this  ensemble, sings my "Room Symphony" and  each  time in a new way, cool, more convincing than the former. -Your " Room Symphony " – an amazing, unusual and highly distinctive for Your style opus. In the title – " Room Symphony" – is a challenge, even shocking. As for behind  the long and noisy symphonic polyphony can hide the emptiness as well uncluttered watercolor sketch could cover up the depth of the meaning. False - pretentious musical attributes alien to You as anything else. I was surprised by the choice of texts for Your "Room Symphony". It's a poem of Igor Holin, representative of the so-called "Lianozovo school" embodied the Soviet and post-Soviet underground. The harsh naked truth of life, the cruel everyday life, everyday dirt – as the garbage, on which should grow the flowers of true poetry which are alien puzzles of the avant-garde, as well  the banality of sentimentality. However, You selected the poems full of piercing purity and simplicity. They even have something childish, uncomplicated, but alien to all sorts of prettiness and grandiloquence.

- Later, I wrote for the "Pokrovskys" the cycle to the verses by A. Akhmatova. And again, it was a very successful perform on the festival "Another space", organized by Oleg Paiberdin. You see, I don’t know of unsuccessful  concerts of this ensemble with any music.  Maybe because all that they do – they make with  love.

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СобытиеRetro Futuristic nostalgia for the prehistoric past

The Event

The Word about Igor’s regiment of 0

Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble celebrates its 40th anniversary

Text: Irina Muraveva

15.05.2013, 00:05 Print

The premiere of the score "Word", specially written for the famous band composer Alexei Shelygin, said Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble at the Chamber Hall of the House its 40th anniversary.

Created in 1973 by musician and researcher-folklorist Dmitry Pokrovsky, this Ensemble was immediately positioned in Soviet culture as a completely unique musical phenomenon. In those years, the new ensemble performing style, and distant from the academic and from folk pop music mainstream, this particular folk singing technique with its specific sound field, timbre, articulation was first introduced in concert Pokrovsky "everyday life." And it was a symbolic return to the "roots" of Russian culture, to her long-lost images mystical "paganism." And for the 70 radical aesthetic gesture and experience freedom. Since then, all the forty years of its history Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble preserved a unique quality, remaining at the same time guide the deep Russian musical tradition and fearless experiment to work with the scores of the twentieth century (Alfred Schnittke, Rodion Shchedrin, Stravinsky, whose "The Wedding" by ensemble became a sensation in the music world), and with the latest texts, specific guidelines on the folk model (Vladimir Martynov, Batagov Anton et al.). Especially for Pokrovsky Ensemble the score of "Word" was written by Aleksei Shelygin, heard in the anniversary program at the House of Music with a string quartet FX Quartet and Percussion Ensemble "Journey to the rhythm."

Composer "inlaid" in the score the folklore, indicating the Yaroslavna’s weeping not as text, but as a genre

The most famous monument of ancient literature of the end of the XII century, which tells the tragic march of Novgorod-Seversky Prince Igor Svyatoslavovich on Polovtzy was shifted into a compact vigorous action of 9 scenes with prologue and epilogue by director Olga Yukecheva and musical director of the ensemble Maria Nefedova. Essence - reckless campaign of Prince, despised tradition (went to fight in the Easter holiday) and the omen (solar eclipse), covered with pride and lust for fame. As a result of the death squads, captivity, repentance, inglorious return home. Epilogue of "Words" sounds without pathos, with the hidden grief in memory of the fallen soldiers and an equally intimate joy that "the sun shines." In the musical score - crossing languages, genres, styles: Russian folklore with his tools - Vladimir corns, lyre, harp, kugikly, kalyuka (pipe pipe barbed grass) zhaleyka in parallel - marimba and drums, formatting individual scenes jazz rhythms, and classical string group serving "counterpoint" to the folk solo, sometimes in a different harmony. Composer "inlaid" the folklore into  the score, indicating the weeping of Yaroslavna not as the author's text, but as a genre. And three solo tears - in the North, Kaluga, Smolensk tradition, sounded like a collective image of Russian sorrow, mental anguish, love, experiencing separation. This collage of archaic and modern give a sense of space is very close to the ancient monument "Words" as a concrete life and human spiritual experience. As it turned out, the actual.

"Rossiyskaya Gazeta" - Federal release №6077 (101)

     

    Culture / all news

·         // THE CULTURE

·         "Word" in the new reading

·         May 17, 2013, 14:07 ["AN-online», Sergey Bird]

·          

·         Probably, it is difficult to find in our country a person who has not heard anything about the "Word about Igor’s regiment." However, in general, this is a very poor set of school memories-cliché: the fragmentation of feudal Russia, Kuman, crying Yaroslavna, Bojan, well, a couple of phrases ...

·         But for the third age debate about this mysterious works of Russian literature is not an ongoing. Moreover, arguing not only scientists - philologists, historians, psychologists, - but simply indifferent and curious people. More interesting to me was to see a new program Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble "Word", implemented by the Ministry of Culture of Russia at the Moscow International House of Music.

·         Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble once again surprised us. And not only me. Hall literally sinking into the chair, stunned onslaught rushed from the scene of emotion and energy of the sound. Rapidly unfolding on stage a musical act powerfully tightening viewers to some magical maelstrom forgotten, but so close and understandable history. Composer Alexei Shelygin, which in our country is known mainly for its music to movies, TV films and theater productions (by the way, three times Laureat "Teffy", owner of "Nicka" and other prestigious awards), managed very organic and convincingly combine with modern epic content means of expression. Pristine, natural energy votes of "Pokrovskys" and their ancient instruments, elegant and refined sound Strings (excellent FXQuartet), a mysterious marimba and inexorable as time itself, the rhythm of drums (percussion ensemble "Journey to the rhythm") - all this together creates an unusually powerful in its impact sound atmosphere. Pokrovsky Ensemble artists have demonstrated a brilliant mastery and possession of different vocal techniques. Thanks to the work of the talented music director Maria Nefedova collective sound of this unusual action was impressive and almost flawlessly. Sometimes it was difficult to tell where the author's music ended, and where to start crying or genuine folk marching song. Surprise was an interesting musical interpretation of the main female character. Not one, but three different Yaroslavnas personified his incarnation - passion, lyricism and sacrifice. A rare combination of tones of folk wind instruments - wooden horns and zhaleykas - gave to the music a special touch.

·         With almost cinematic speed alternated painting, bringing monumental finale. It seemed to me that it was over all too quickly. I wanted to stay longer in this wonderful medium alloy together archaic and day today. The original stage solution "Words", invented and embodied by director  of Ensemble Olga Yukecheva allowed us to obtain the maximum effect in the absence of scenery: red and black cloth turned into the hands of the singers in the military cloak, the funeral veils, the flying arrows. All this increases the impact commenting artistic video.

·         Appeal to an absolute masterpiece - it is very responsible, requires a lot of courage and self-confidence. Pokrovsky Ensemble bravely stepped into uncharted territory - and not lost. Scale of the tasks was supported by sincerity, temperament and the highest professional performance. The overall impression from this concert - shock, which was akin to culture shock. As well, that in Russia there are artists who are not afraid to take on such topics! It would seem familiar from school work acquired a completely different meaning, and what was happening on stage, led to new insights into the distant past events. Inordinate thirst for glory and pride prompted Prince Igor to go to the unjust campaign, in which he lost his entire army. Ambition and folly of man, despised customs and even celestial omen, deserve only human judgment and God's punishment. But the truly penitent are understanding and forgiveness. That is the meaning of this great essay in the form in which realized its librettists - Yukecheva Olga and Maria Nefedova, based on a new translation of "Words" made by modern researcher Victor Kozhevnikov.

·         By its 40th anniversary Pokrovsky ensemble  prepared and shown in the Chamber Hall of the Moscow House of Music series' premiere Jubilee. Three completely different programs - "Romance in the letters" (ballads and folk songs about the War of 1812), "Paraskazki" (folk tales and author), and now, all of a sudden - "Word." Pokrovsky Ensemble has demonstrated once again that he can, if not all, - but very, very much, and that the potential of the team is huge. It, no doubt, is a national treasure and deserves an independent status, create your own school. I do think that one of the best vaccination patriotism happens at concerts of the Ensemble. Because it is here could truly feel own root, natural and joyful belonging to own people, own culture and history.

The article was published in 3376 number from 01.07.2013 under the title: We are under Cologne

We are under Cologne

By the end of the musical season at Winery piece of Stockhausen well played and voiced by folk voices

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01.07.13Vedomosti

• Peter Pospelov

The ingenious idea to give the composition of Karlheinz Stockhausen Stimmung (1968) to Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble belonged to curator musical direction of the "Platform" Alexander Manotskov, but it was not born in a vacuum. Pokrovsky Ensemble - a long-standing and legitimate part of our avant-garde culture: folklore in his performance was always moist, not subjected to the arrangements and the state opposed the Folklore in the embodiment of official Horus Pyatnitskiy. In the record of the Ensemble there were non-academic performance of "Les Noces" and "Renard" by Stravinsky, as well as things of contemporary composers - such as Anton Batagov or Vladimir Nikolayev.

Stockhausen's Stimmung composition known in recording by Cologne vocal ensemble and other similar groups: over six hours vary votes single chord, illuminating it with all sorts of phonemes, filling extravagant rhythms, from the names of the gods, taken from all the world's religions, and even reciting erotic lyrics of the demiurge - Stockhausen.

On the curator composer Manotskov hearing, in the model of all western versions this sounds a bit sterile. And when the same fell on voices of Pokrovsky Ensemble, affinity rhythmic formulas of Stockhausen opened with archaic Russian folklore, not forgotten us to this day.

German genius sang by six Russian living and different voices, with special folk sounds. The effect was startlingly fresh: never sinned against the score, our singers have also shown us something like a family village ritual in which sings "Hallelujah" and praised pineapple.

And I will lead an army songs

Margarita Razumikhina, "The Banner", the Kaluga 11/25/2010

The second year in Kaluga, there are concerts of artistic and educational programs of the New Peredvizhnichestvo. She set out to promote high academic art tradition. Along with opera, ballet, symphonic music - the crown of the tree of art, it includes and folklore - the root, giving stability and juices wood beauty.

November 19 at the scene of the Kaluga Oblast Philharmonic made a unique folk group - Dmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble, presenting the program "From folk to avant-garde."

Mermaid song

Darkened hall resounded with booming ... quacking. Artists, not hurrying, moving from side entrances, past rows of missed first trimester, continuing to battle-cry.

In a stunned audience heard grumbling. "This is how it should be?" - With rounded eyes inquired melomanka. "All of the text" - comforted her enlightened neighbor. A text written by this genius of poetry of the twentieth century, "budetlyaninu", "the chairman of the Globe" Velimir Khlebnikov.

Today I'll go again
There for life, bargaining, market,
And I will lead an army songs
With the roar of the surf contest!

In 1914, Klebnikov wrote these lines, as the Pokrovsky for they have become the motto of life.

Researcher and artist

Son of the Cossacks and military art, he inherited a rare combination of brutality and refinement. Became a soloist, balalaika, led the folk studio, taught at the "Gnesinka. In 1973, the folk Commission of the Union of Composers of the RSFSR Dmitri Pokrovsky was a unique singing ensemble of experimental laboratory, the head of which he was for 23 years until his death.

Dmitri Pokrovsky - experimenter-scientist and musician, artist, trying to understand the technology of authentic folk singing. Maria Nefedova, vocalist and musical director of the team, told us that he planted vocalists on their horsessubscribed to the fencer, the Cossack Sabre, forcing singers to twist and flip somersaults, invited the artists to Peking Opera Master Class ...

In pre-perestroika years, "Wild Song," his team as contrasted with the sound of the choir. Pyatnitskiy that populist almost declared a dissident. But in 1988, Dmitry Pokrovsky was awarded the USSR State Prize for outstanding contribution to Russian culture, and in the early 90's he was elected chairman of the Russian section of the international folklore organization, UNESCO. The ensemble has collaborated with the founder of the environmental Jazz Paul Winter, rock legend Peter Gabriel, Alfred Shnittke, Martynov. The premiere of "Les Noces" by Stravinsky in 1994, led team to the forefront of world music. And he had not left the widely touring the UK, Austria, Germany, Spain, Italy, Finland, Israel, Japan, the United States. "Home port" ensemble - Theatre on Taganka, music laboratory of which he is participating in performances not only by Yuri Lyubimov, but Sergei Jursky, Kama Ginkas and Lev Dodin ...

Whip rite generates memory

All that pearl spill on the heads of the Kaluga fans. "Poblyudnye Song," "Cat's Lullabies", "Pribaoutki\jokes" - Igor Stravinsky's vocal cycles on texts collected by Alexander Afanasyev (we owe him three volumes of folk tales), found their way into the hearts of listeners. "Voices of the frozen earth," an original range of calendar rites of Christmas to Kupala, Alexander Raskatov written specifically for the ensemble. Philosopher Merab Mamardashvili wrote: "man as a biological being no memory, but in the mind of a man who walked through the lash of the whip of the ritual and mystery, there are thoughts, continuity, communication." Folk art - it does not prihlopa two, three imbedded. It is based on the fathomless layers of consciousness from the dawn of man 30,000 years ago. Mythological consciousness explains the world in its entirety, and causality. You may not know how moon phases follow each other, but you feel the magic tenacity, the strength of the images. And embroidery, song, dance - a prayer spell. Spells sung ensemble Pokrovsky, fascinated and subdued at first taken aback room.

"Merrymaking" Vladimir Nikolayev was written specially for our distinguished guests. Here, artists have shown not only singing, but also possession of rarity harp, lyre wheel, a dial tone.

The apotheosis of the concert and most likely, the music of our city was the subtlest and most powerful rendition of "Motet" by Sergey Berinsky. Musical form of motets (from the French "word") was born in the 12 th century and involves mnogotekstovost and multilingual. Sergey Berinsky devoted his essay earthquake in Spitak (Armenia), which claimed in 1989 the lives of over 25,000 people. In complex works, notes of which are exquisite, like lace, interwoven Psalm 50 th in Church, the Book of grief Narekatsi on staroarmyanskom, "Day of Wrath" in Latin, Commemoration of the dead in Hebrew. Yes, contemporary music is complex as modern life. It is rare goodness. Melody often lasts only a few cycles. But the power of thoughts and feelings broke through a wall of misunderstanding. Someone wiped away tears, someone recorded the sound on "mobile phone". Hall realized that before him - a masterpiece ovation blocked the cries of "Bravo!", "Good for you!". So, thanks to the festival "New Peredvizhnichestvo" Kaluga's sitiziens able to discover a new gem from the bottomless casket classics.


Night of St. John the Baptist in Kolomenskoye

28 Jun 2009

28 June 2009, the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve invited Moscowers and the capital’s guests to celebrate the Night of St. John the Baptist, a traditional Russian holiday.

The event took place on an open-air scene near the Moskva River embankment.

The “Action on St John the Baptisi’s Night” performed by the ensemble of Dmitry Pokrovsky, was central to the event. The actors of this unique ensemble combine a scientific approach to folk music with a high professional level of performance, and integrate folk music traditions into the modern music culture.

“The Action” included round dance, special songs that accompany it, as well as slow, dancing, game, historical, lyric, and ritual songs of South Russian gubernia’s (old name for regions), and songs of different ethnic groups of Cossacks (Cossacks from the Don, the Kuban, the Nekrassovtsy Cossacks etc.).


300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava

12 Jun 2009

300th anniversary of the Battle of Poltava: a memorable national historic date celebration.

12 June 2009, the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve celebrated the Day of Peter the Great at the “Summer Stage” in Lefortovo.

This event was timed to the birthday of Peter the Great (30 May), that used to be one of the most important 18th – century secular holidays in Russia.

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the victory near Poltava, the ensemble under the direction of Dmitry Pokrovsky performed chants and old war songs.


New world, Kurgan

Alexander Teplukhin, 23.12.2008.

The final concert of the festival "Vivat! Ensemble! "Was a speech onthe big stage of the Kurgan Region Philharmonic on December 13 of the legendaryDmitry Pokrovsky Ensemble. The program, which arrived artists, called"Faces of Love Russian village (from limericks to romance).

Many artists, trying to establish a trust relationship with the public, includein its repertoire deliberate hits. Yes, the Pokrovsky ensemble sounded knownthings "Vanya sat on the couch," Kostrama "which has becomealmost a national hit ten years ago, the national" We have none all badtimes”, but mostly the material understandable, perhaps, only to specialists,dealing with folklore. Therefore, seems far from pop. Music director of the ensemble Maria Nefedova talked about it, talking tojournalists. This year the team was 35 years old. At one time it was the firstensemble of professional musicians, who ruled this folklore in its raw form tothe general public. Then it was the discovery that gave birth to a wave of massfolk movement.

- We are one of its kind remain the sole and represent all the genres, stylesand manners of the Russian traditional song culture, - says the actress. - Weare still trying to ride on the expedition. Of course, people pass away, butthe traditions are still alive, they take on new forms. Are people with theirinherent plasticity, dialect, style of singing, and everything that comes tothem, they still sing in their own way.

Pokrovsky Ensemble - is not an ethnographic team, but also professionalartists, performing and Kursk, and Vologda, and the northern and southernsongs. Work in different directions trailblazing folk channel, which had beenscheduled yet Pokrovsky. Unfortunately, the maestro is no longer with us for 12years. The basic material remains and sacred music, with its popular branch,and contemporary classical (Stravinsky, Shchedrin, Martynov, Schnittke). Thereare in the repertory, and things that are written by authors specially for theensemble Pokrovsky: "Night in Galicia," by Vladimir Martynov atKlebnikov texts, sound transformation “Ulari udila” Vladimir Nikolayev.

Each piece artists are perceived as part of the national musical culture. Andwhat voices! Clean and strong. Honestly, you can not always detect the exacttext of lingering manner of singing, but melancholy, playfulness, solemnity -all the details are transmitted accurately, piercing the soul with somethingnative, aboriginal. It seems, indeed all the faces are full of folk song. Andhappy love, and unrequited, and jealousy by her side, and each of itshypostasis reacts wealth of folklore genres. The program is so perfected thatit was no place for an intermission and the encore.


Springs silver, a placer

Galina Buharin, 2008-12-17, Kurgan, Release № 143.

Already in the name of the program presented by ensemble «Love images of Russian villages», in an unexpected combination of a high calm to a life reality, the set of intonations with which our traditional song culture is so rich is concluded.

Here it is possible to hear and directly from depth of soul female the extorted sad sigh peculiar cries and to sufferings, and the quivering sentimental notes inherent in a city romance, and naughty, brisk by bells ringing chastooshka motives.

… the Supervision at once brought by me in a notebook, — participants of the glorified collective, «wonderfully the folklore which has connected originally scientific studying with its professional execution», both behind side scenes, and on a scene make impression of absolutely happy people. Harmonious, quiet (in sense, not bustling), smiling, benevolent, very self-assured …

A question on stability of giving concerts structure answered without secrets: changing it is insignificant, though everyone happens, economic reorganisation occurring in the country is certainly reflected and in art sphere, but those who remains true to the selected trade, test from work enormous, with what not comparable pleasure. But also, they are claimed not only in a native land, but also abroad. Now here America waits will not wait their arrival. To attention of local music fans, biassed to ethnographic and modern music, Vladimir Martynov's original compositions (on texts of Khlebnikov) and Vladimir Nikolaev, the opuses written for ensemble by Alexander Raskatov (Germany) will be offered.

To data of poorly informed readers: the repertoire of followers of the outstanding scientist and the chorister heading section of the International folklore organisation of UNESCO, really, is rather wide and is not limited to samples of purely national creativity. Leaders of ensemble have told about it and many other things Maria Nefedova and Olga Jukecheva before an exit on a philharmonic stage to journalists.

— Mostly searches are conducted, of course, in the tideway of the directions planned by Dmitry Pokrovsky. And though it is not present with us 12 years, the folklore still is for us the major component, something style-making. These are our roots, our material against which we, as a matter of fact, and lean in all. But actively we address and to the spiritual church chanting occurring in the people, the modern classics. We have theatrical performances, the products specially written for us known composers, including Schedrin, Shnitke. Existing 35 years, the ensemble co-operates with great conductors and orchestras, participates in unique projects - in general, the palette is diverse.

— How painfully you endure changes to which during natural processes the national culture is exposed? Where scoop that material necessary for you?

— Find in the same place, on expeditions on villages and villages Russian. The tradition does not disappear Simply gets a bit different forms, unfortunately, becomes simpler - but all the same it is possible to feel, understand, seize an originality of this or that region - an execution manner, language, a plastic arts. We worry certainly when once again visiting the same places, we find out the inevitable negative moments, but pleases that we had time to fix and keep much thanks to what it is possible to recollect and restore it. And people with pleasure recollect. And nearby children run and too something adopt. In general interest to a Russian history, to roots, cultural sources is now appreciable.

Therefore and the future, in our opinion, is not absolutely hopeless …

… Here so have sincerely talked, and засим the tremendous concert where all told was embodied in variety of rare numbers has followed, has found density and dimensions of sounding. Any it is thin spread out to voices (noise, the recitation, singing) compositions raised a smile, any knocked out tear. Born by these open spaces, these not striking, pressing landscapes of a song typed power and a fortress, were intertwined in accurate ceremonial action. Precisely huge vocal orchestra developed a panorama of a country life before a hall: regularity of everyday life, circulation of holidays. Characters of a never-ending epic cloth the women who are spending time in eternal works and dreams of the best share looked unperturbable sedate peasants. Round dances and lamentations, dances and prayers — faces of love of Russian village.

… «Someone is not present, something it is a pity, somewhere heart is torn afar. I to you will tell one secret whom I love, that here is not present …»


Russia's man of the folk

Jane Cornwell, From The Times, 25/11/2005.

Dmitri Pokrovsky saved traditional Russian song from Soviet co-option, says Jane Cornwell.

Moscow, mid-afternoon. Traffic in the city centre is almost at gridlock. Inside the Taganka Theatre, however, all is calm, if rather surreal. A choir of ten in embroidered Russian village costumes stand swaying in a circle, their voices yelping and groaning. Archive footage of village life -houses under snow, families breaking bread, old women weeping -flickers on the wall behind them.

They sing, a robust, open-throated polyphony, and dance, their arms and legs flailing.

Watching the Pokrovsky Ensemble rehearse, the small audience send up a cheer, then turn to their neighbours and start whispering explanations. There was a time when Dmitri Pokrovsky -who founded the ensemble as a "living laboratory" in 1973 - provided the explanations himself. Striding to the front of the stage, the charismatic musician and ethnomusicologist would tell the stories behind each folk-song, detailing the remote Russian village it came from, explaining its lyrics and often complex style. Wilfully controversial, he would pronounce the ensemble's repertoire "authentichnaya muzyka", the authentic music of ancient Russia. It was a riposte to the official, nationalistic Soviet folk music ("fakelore"), which gave old songs new lyrics and Western classical arrangements.

Pokrovsky died suddenly a decade ago, aged 52, but his ensemble -reinvigorated with new youthful recruits -is thriving. "Dmitri had to overcome serious obstacles, mostly from the so-called state programme of national culture," says a long-time member, Masha Nevedova. "But it wasn't as if he was performing with peasant women from the villages. He worked with young music professionals and other ethnomusicologists. They weren't trained singers, but they still showed the difference between folklore and fakelore."

Determined to document the traditional folk-songs before they faded from memory - and to bridge the gap between folk art and high art -Pokrovsky and his earnest band of Moscow students travelled across Russia to the small villages and rural farming areas whose customs remained little changed for hundreds of years. Aided by their elderly informants, they "discovered" an oral improvisational tradition, a kind of free-form scatting over a basic melodic structure. They unearthed dark lyrics, pagan undertones, wildly differing styles.

Whether living with the Cossacks in the deep south or studying the high pitched scales of the upper Volga region, ensemble members immersed themselves in village life. They learnt the dances, wore the costumes, played the traditional instruments. "Once we mastered the techniques, it was like a wake-up call to the Russian people," Nevedova says.

Their first concert in Moscow was riotous. The audience broke chairs, jumped on to the stage, threw Pokrovsky in the air. The authorities retaliated by banning him from speaking at performances. But little by little Pokrovsky's authentichnaya muzyka became a national movement. In 1988 Gorbachev awarded him the State Prize for artistic excellence. Soon they were touring the world.

"The ensemble were very popular with Russia's urban youth," says Sergei Starostin, 49, a celebrated Russian folk musician, ethnomusicologist and documentary film-maker. "When the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of the 1980s, there was a desperate hunt for self-identification, for cultural heritage. Pokrovksy inspired a wave of different composers, performers and artists. We all wanted to incorporate these rediscovered ethnic traditions into our work."

The ensemble will also perform Nights in Galicia, a kind of folk-ritual-cum-psychedelic-happening created for them by the leading composer Vladimir Martynov -and the last work Pokrovsky directed before his death.

Combining the pagan rituals of the western Ukraine (specifically, the mermaid songs of Russia's pre-Christian tradition) with the freedom of jazz improvisation and the Post-Modern minimalism of, say, Philip Glass and Terry Riley, Nights in Galicia sees the group working with a masked string ensemble and personifying characters from folklore: nymphs, goblins, river maidens. The dress rehearsal at the Taganka is met with open-jawed awe.

"The ensemble worked hard with Martynov on this piece," Nefedova says. "Pokrovsky felt it was taking us in a new direction. In many ways it sums up what he was trying to do, which was to bring musicians of all spheres -rock, classical, avant garde, folk -together." Starostin agrees: "Pokrovksy showed there was more to Russian music than official bands in kitsch outfits belting out patriotic odes. He was a square peg," he adds with a smile, "but he took our music scene forward."


Juan-Carlos - the husband of Kostroma

Sergei Shabutsky, 02.06.2004.

Spiritual tradition lives as long as it develops, confident artists DmitryPokrovsky Ensemble.

In May of this year, an outstanding musician, conductor, scholar and folkloristDmitry Pokrovsky (1944-1996) would have turned 60 years old. In 1973 he createda singing ensemble, the laboratory that radically changed the idea of folkmusic. It is with Pokrovsky began research of authentic folk singing. Hecreated the staff continues to work after the death of its founder. Over 1931members of the ensemble managed to gather a unique ethnographic material. Thismakes it possible not only to preserve and promote folk culture, but alsocreate new areas of contemporary music. How are refracted by differentreligious traditions in the national environment, said in an interview"NGR" Artists of the Ensemble Maria Nefedova and OlgaYukecheva.

Olga Yukecheva (left) and Maria Nefedova, together with other members of theensemble continues to explore and promote the national culture.

- For many years our country was common distorted representation - therepresentation of folklore. For works of popular culture were given glossycrafts style ensemble "Birch." What is the folklore under modernconditions?

Yukecheva: Folklore - a constantly evolving system. Established in remoteantiquity, it is continuously enriched with new trends. For example, in theNizhny Novgorod region still remained a pagan rite, "Funeral ofKostroma". His play at Trinity. Kostroma - the goddess of fertility, whichmust die so that the harvest was rich.

Usually it is an image made of straw, although it happened that it portrayed areal person. And in each end of the village - its Kostroma. When it"dies", its three days of mourning, they go with her to say goodbye.During the day she spotted on the street, and at night take her into the house.Comes to her various characters. "Doctor" for health, "thepriest" funeral. " The priest, of course, is not real. His depictsone of the participants, putting on a plush rug with deer and a ski cap.

- What is the development of folklore?

Yukecheva: Our ensemble visited these places several times. And each year,replicas of characters changed. Participants in the dialogue brings what theysaw on television. For example, someone asks what happened to Kostroma. Hereplied: "The disease she has." - "What disease?" - "Yes, she has AIDS." - "And what of the disease such AIDS?"- "Spit it all the time so sleeping." Or is declared husbandKostroma, which may call Juan Carlos and Jose Antonio. And this is not thedestruction of folklore. This is his organic development.

Of course, things go, especially the ancient cultural layers. Fade out the songof the calendar cycle, spiritual poems, pagan spring songs, teasers. This isespecially true of texts. But the tunes are, they are beginning to be used inother rituals, in particular in the wedding. And still maintain the sound. Eventhe new songs you hear on the radio, the villagers are singing as they sang totheir grandmother.

The tradition is dying, when there is no person who, being in it, doingsomething new. This should be the one who has local roots, but who thinks alittle wider. Otherwise, the tradition is only good for the museum.

- You perform various spiritual music, including works by Dukhobors andMolokans. Which is typical of their traditions?

Nefedova: Despite all the differences between these movements, they have a lotin common. And the Doukhobors, and Molokans is exceptionally optimistic andpositive attitude towards life. Perhaps due to the fact that they had a lot ofexperience, they learned to relate to hardship philosophically. To transitionto another world as they relate to the holiday. In Dukhobors women buried in avery elegant pink dress. And the music in this sounds almost cheerful.

No funeral laments, characteristic for the national orthodoxy, they do not. Ifthe Orthodox and cry at weddings and funerals, the Doukhobors, even in an armyescort fun. Molokans -"Jumpers." During the funeral, they go, like dancing, and the coffinare almost skipping. They, like whips in theirtime, from this "Factory". But if whips were in a kind of trance ofwhirling or self-flagellation, for Molokans simply burst of energy.

Yukecheva: They have a memorial poems and some are regular, invigorating.

- You were the Cossacks, nekrasovtsev. What do they live now and keep atradition of the Old Believers?

Nefedova: Those nekrasovtsy to which we traveled - co-religionists (the OldBelievers, preserving donikonovskie church tradition).