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Fantastic voices, emotion and a big sound, solemn and fun

The Symphonic Chorus of the Yekaterinburg Philharmonic has it all - this hour with several adaptations of Russian folk songs.

Listen to audio 54:59

Russian choral music, part two

In a part of the world where Europe meets Asia, the Ural Mountains of Russia, lies Yekaterinburg, the home of a famous philharmonic orchestra. Since 2008, that orchestra has had a choir to go with it, and we've captured their performance in Troisdorf, Germany. 

The chorus focused on sacred music in the first part of the program - which we heard in our last Concert Hour - and in the second, they turned to secular music, including classic choral works from 19th century Russia by Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Dargomyzhsky and Alexander Varlamov. 

"Nightingale" was something of a choral hit, making its composer, Alexander Alyabiev, famous. "Ti-ri-ri" by Valery Gavrilin is a musical joke, with a few singers calling and crying out over a steady accompaniment of deep voices, as at a village festival. 

The rest of the evening is dedicated to adaptations of Russian folk songs, often with bucolic charm and titles such as "In the Dark Forest," "Oh, the Field" and "The Heather is Everywhere."

We'll also hear choral conductor Andrei Petrenko's own arrangement of "The Twelve Robbers," a signature piece of the Russian soul. It tells the story of the robber Kudeyar, who led a wayward life for years until God granted mercy on his soul and awakened his conscience. Living on as the Monk Pyatirim, Kudeyar tells his story in this song.  

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikowsky (picture-alliance/dpa)

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikowsky

Pjotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Piano Trio in A Minor, op. 50, 2nd movement: Theme and variations 3, 10 and 11 

performed by:Trio Testore
on Audite 92.691 

Mikhail Glinka/Mili Balakirev
The Venetian Night 

Alexander Dargomyzhsky
The Storm Covers the Sky With Darkness, from the St. Petersburg Serenades 

Alexander Varlamov
Why Should I Live Alone and Grieve? 

Sergei Taneyev
See, What Darkness, from Twelve Choral Pieces, op. 27

Anton Rubinstein
The Mountaintops, from Twelve Songs, op. 48 

Alexander Alyabiev

Valery Gavrilin    
Two movements from "The Bells:" 
·    Evening Music 
·    Ti-ri-ri 

Russian folk song adaptations:
In the Dark Forest, arranged by Alexander Sveshnikov 
Oh, the Field, arranged by Anatoly Novikov 
The Heather is Everywhere, arranged by Alexander Sveshnikov  
The Broom, arranged by Feodosy Rubtsov  
The Twelve Robbers, arranged by Andrei Petrenko 
Barynya, arranged by Anatoly Novikov  

Sergei Rachmaninoff
We Praise Thee (encore)     

performed by:

Symphonic Chorus of the Yekaterinburg Philharmonic
Andrei Petrenko, conductor

Recorded by Deutsche Welle, Bonn (DW) in the City Hall, Troisdorf on September 18, 2016 

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