In the final program of its 22nd concert season, The Esoterics will celebrate the life and music of the neo-Romantic Russian composer Georgy Sviridov with an unprecedented series of concerts in Seattle and Tacoma. Specifically for this centennial series, Founding Director Eric Banks has researched and published his own editions of Sviridov’s collected choral works, with complete transl(iter)ations of every text in the program. The Esoterics has expanded to 50 singers to present this concert of luxurious and majestic music inspired by folksong, poetry of the Silver Age, and the Russian Orthodox liturgy.
Known by his colleagues as “the most poetic of modern Soviet composers,” Georgy Sviridov (1915-1998) enjoyed a long and fruitful career as a state composer for the Russian Republic, and created music for television and film, symphony and concerto, oratorio and opera, chamber music and chorus. Out of the public eye, however, Sviridov’s genius found other inspiration; for, over the course of his career, Sviridov composed a collection of 29 short sacred works in secret. After the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, when sacred music could be performed again in public, Sviridov published his collection with the title Песнопения и молитвы (Canticles and prayers). This cycle includes his popular Advent motet-cycle Inexpressible wonder (or Неизпеченное чудо). For the first half of this centennial concert, The Esoterics is excited to perform Sviridov’s entire sacred service, as a meditation, for the first time on American soil.
In the second half of this concert, The Esoterics will sing from Sviridov’s vast catalog that was inspired by folksong and poetry: on verses by Yesenin, Blok, Sologub, and Prokofiev, movements from Sviridov’s choir concerto, his children’s album, and his cycles Ladoga, A Pushkin garland, and The clouds at night. The ensemble will also sing incidental choruses from a play by Tolstoy, a couple of vocalises, a strangely sylvan Christmas carol, settings of “imagist” poems – on the blue light of evening and a grove of birch trees – as well as folksongs based on circle dances, fables, nightingales, magpies, and the balalaika, Sviridov’s boyhood instrument.
Admission: $22 in advance, $25 at the door