Five centuries of continuous choral tradition could have withered and died when the Bolsheviks exiled the monks from Moscow’s Sretensky monastery. But when glasnost saw it return to a functioning place of worship and the re-formed choir let fly with their unique and massive sound, any lingering ghosts of the dark times fled.
To hear these quintessentially Russian male voices in the flesh is spine-tingling: tenors soaring over the luminous baritone texture and of course those incomparable bassi profundi, who seem to conjure a sound from the earth’s very core. In a series of concerts exclusive to the 2019 Adelaide Festival, the program will feature ancient pre-Western chant, liturgical masterworks and beautifully arranged folk songs – some very familiar – delivered with profound emotion and at times terrifying intensity.
Bring a hanky (it’s ok to cry at Russian concerts), and feel a blast of freezing air from the Steppes this Adelaide summer.
For the audio version of this event page, click here.
An enchanted hush fell over the hall during … an achingly lovely hymn…the crowd appeared to be ready to listen all night long, and the choir seemed eager to comply.
The New York Times
They seem much like any other choir – until they open their mouths. What emerges is a wave of extraordinary sound: rich, gripping, melodic, powerful and utterly unfeigned. It’s the sort of sound you might expect had the early apostles suddenly broken off from writing the New Testament and burst into song