In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
After World War, I the Cossacks who fought for Tsar Nicolaj II were sent to the Tschillinger Camp. There they lived a miserable life. Trying to forget all misery they sang the songs of their homeland at the campfire. A 25 year old lieutenant, Sergej Jarov, with a remarkable education in music, took the lead and so a community, which was destined to become one of the famous choirs in the world, was born. The maiden concert took place in Sofia (4th July 1923) and soon after that they gave a concert in Vienna. During the following years, the Don Cossacks went to many countries all over the world and they gathered great fame.
Just before Sergej Jarov died, in Lakewood, United States, this unique choir fell apart. Most members went their own musical way. So did Michael Minsky, one of the star-soloists with an impressive musical background of the original Don Cossacks Choir. He did his utmost to restart the Don Cossacks Choir with a number of very enthusiastic singers in the The Hague region. Immediately after the restart he became the conductor of the new Don Cossacks Choir in The Netherlands.
From February 1991 on this Don Cossacks Choir has been conducted by Serge Latychev. Nowadays the choir has 36 members. Each voice-section has a number of singers performing as soloist or presentor. The repertoire includes songs from the Russian Orthodox Church, composed by Bortnjansky, Doebjenski, Gretsjaninov, Rachmaninov, Tsjesnokov among others. Besides this the program contains many Cossack-, soldiers-, and folk-songs, from the former Russia. The choir does not only give concerts for a great number of people but also performs in front of smaller groups and special events, for instance at Russian weeks, icon display, jubilee concerts, benefit performances, special church services, festivals and TV-programs.
Serge was born in Moscow on the 3rd of March 1957. He studied at the school of music there , from 1967 to 1972, followed by music college for four years. After that he studied orchestral and choral conduction at the Gnessin Institute (Music Academy) in Moscow. He finished his studies in 1982 and the Gnessin Institute offered him a job as a concert leader. Here he stayed till 1986 and worked together with famous singing-educationalists like Nina Mesjko and Ljoedmila Sjamina. After that he became conductor of the orchestra of the Orenburg State Cossacks Choir and teacher at the State Institute of Culture in Moscow. In 1990 he came to The Netherlands and from then on he has conducted the Don Cossacks Choir. Besides that he is the director of several other Dutch choirs.
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Review: Russian romantic songs provide an inexhaustible source of poetic figures and wonderful melodies. All major Russian composers have occupied themselves with this genre and the tradition of the classical romance can even be observed in the works of Soviet artists. Here the Don Cossacks present a harmonious combination of vocal and instrumental works and reward the listener with a fascinating series of typical works by Russian composers offering prime examples of the immense spectrum of Russian vocal lyricism, as only they can.
Review: Christmas Eve of the Russian Orthodox Church (January 6) is traditionally celebrated with the Christmas Vigil (vsenoschnoye bdeniye), a Vespers service lasting hours with much singing and illuminated processions. The present recording contains chants from the Christmas Vigil and works by Russian, Ukrainian and Bulgarian composers, performed by the eminent Don Cossacks Choir under the direction of Marcel Verhoeff.
Review: After the devastating defeat of the Cossacks by the Red Army in 1917, many of the surviving Cossacks ended up in the Diaspora. In 1921, in an internment camp near Constantinople, Serge Jaroff set about forming a choir. Little did he, or anyone, foresee that the choir that was formed in the cholera-infested camp would become a major international musical fixture. A complicated period saw Jaroff 's choir move to the Greek island of Lemnos, and later to Sofia where they performed in the city's cathedral. After that, money troubles saw the choir trapped in Vienna, and it was the League of Nations that eventually helped them out, putting them in touch with a concert agent in Vienna. From then on they rocketed to stardom, giving over 10,000 concerts. Nicolai Gedda was a regular performer with the choir. Jaroff 's concerts consisted of church music, followed in the second half by songs. That is the programme on these two CDs - traditional Russian Orthodox liturgy in settings by Tchaikovsky, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Bortnyansky and achmaninoff, followed by traditional songs. Also on this collection is the much less well-known female choir that Jaroff established, and their recordings are a comparative rarity.
Neude Freude Ist Uber Uns Gekommen
Review: The Christmas concert, with Russian and German Christmas carols, was recorded in one of Germany's most beautiful Baroque churches. In addition to the well known sacred songs such as "In dulci jubilo" and Russian pieces like "Gospodie Pomuli", Wanja Hlibka delved deeply into the ways of both cultures. The a cappella version of "Es ist ein Ros entspungen", for example, enchanted the 1700 concert goers with the Kosaken's Russian melancholy..... a moving and grandiose experience. The church's interior, when one considers the basilica's dimensions, presents a challenge to a vocal ensemble. With a depth of over eighty meters, it requires the vocal power of the Russian operatic soloists comprising Wanja Hlibka's choir to elicit the necessary charisma from the vocally sophisticated arrangements and to captivate the audience in the way that they did. The atmosphere of the concert, dependent on the desired expression and dynamic, ranges from a peaceful, quiet, almost gentle honoring of the child in the manger to an enormous room-filling song of praise proclaiming the joy at the birth of the Redeemer.
Review: The rich and emotional music of the Russian Orthodox Church is seldom heard in the Western world, making this treasure an even greater enhancement to the spectrum of the Edition. No western and few Russian ensembles can communicate the Orthodox liturgy as convincingly as the legitimate successors to Serge Jaroff's legendary Don Cossacks Choir. Rarely to be found on a west European release, the compositions especially selected for the liturgically conceived Musica Sacra reveal a surprising new insight into the high art of sacred Russian music and tradition.