The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Concert by the A. Sveshnikov Choir


sveshnikovSeptember 9, 2017 at 13:00

Yasnaya Polyana Estate

The choir will perform Russian folk songs and pieces created at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. At the end of the concert, the audience will hear the finale of the opera War and Peace by Sergey Prokofiev. Admission is free. 

It‘s impossible to imagine Yasnaya Polyana without music. Famous composers, musicians and singers  often visited the Tolstoy family. It‘s noteworthy that Sergey Taneev and Alexander Goldenveiser, whose music is included in the concert program, were also among the friends of the family.

Leo Toltoy imagined music as a magic mountain whose top was accessible only for the initiated. He saw folk music, comprehensible and accessible for everybody, as the base of that mountain. The writer’s eldest son Sergey, a composer and music scholar, wrote: “Leo Tolstoy lived at the time of the greatest popularity of the folk song. From his childhood, he heard peasant women at Yasnaya Polyana and other villages “playing” their songs (at Yasnaya Polyana, they say “play” songs instead of “sing”), heard folk songs on the Volga, in Kazan and Samara provinces, from the Cossacks and soldiers, and at other places… In his family, Leo Tolstoy encouraged singing folk songs. … His daughters Tatiana and Maria sang songs from the repertoire of Yasnaya Polyana peasant women and Gypsy songs.”

Soon after it was established, in 1936, the A.V. Sveshnikov State Choir was in fact the first chamber choir in the country. Its repertoire includes Russian and foreign classical works, modern choral music, and adaptations of Russian folk songs.

Half of the choir‘s career is related to its first director Alexander Sveshnikov, whose name became a symbol of the whole epoch in Russian choral performance. He did not have a professional education, and acquired the choirmaster’s skills exclusively through practice, but he managed to demonstrate unsurpassed mastery. Most of the choir’s directors (until 2012) were Sveshnikov’s students.

The A.V. Sveshnikov State Choir actively performs on leading concert grounds in various countries, and participates in prestigious international festivals and concert projects, among them: the concerts/plays The Hero of Our Time dedicated to Mikhail Lermontov‘s 200th birthday, and Leningraders. 900 Days in the Name of Life dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Leningrad from the blockade.

 
 
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