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Russian choir on pilgrimage

TO CELEBRATE the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the 45-member St Nikolai Church Choir of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow set out on a pilgrimage around the capitals of the countries where battles with the Nazis took place. Between May 2 and 5, the choir will perform in Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague.

THE ST Nikolai Church Choir will tour four European countries.
photo: Courtesy of Slovak-Russian Chamber of Commerce

TO CELEBRATE the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, the 45-member St Nikolai Church Choir of the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow set out on a pilgrimage around the capitals of the countries where battles with the Nazis took place. Between May 2 and 5, the choir will perform in Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague.

The choir, which visited London's great St Paul's Cathedral a couple years ago, is one of the best Russian church choirs and promoters of old Russian choral music. The choir was founded in 1994. Its mixed voices can be regularly heard at masses at St Nikolai's Temple, which is located in the building of the world's renowned Tretyakov Gallery. The young choir comprises everything from incredibly low basses to a strong contingent of coloratura sopranos that fit the Orthodox Church's instrument-less compositions.

During its tour, the singers, led by Alexei Puzakov, will perform Sergei Rachmaninov's All-Night Vigil, which is considered the greatest musical achievement of the Russian Orthodox Church. They will also sing Easter songs by several other Russian composers, including Pavel Chesnokov and Alexander Degterev, as the Orthodox religion celebrates the May 1 holiday.

At each of the choir's four stops in the four European countries, priest Nikolai Sokolov will serve a holy mass at the memorials of soldiers fallen during World War II. The mass will take place the next morning after the choir's evening concert.

According to the organizers of the event in Bratislava, there has not been such a large church choir performing in Slovakia for 20 years. The Russian and Slovak partners are thinking of importing the famed Moscow ballet in the very near future.

In Bratislava, the St Nikolai Church Choir of the State Tretyakov Gallery will perform at the spacious and acoustic Veľký Evanjelický kostol (Big Evangelical Church) on Panenská street. The concert starts May 3 at 18:00, followed by a mass the next day at 10:00 at the Slavín memorial. Tickets for the concert are on sale at the Bratislava Culture Information Centre on Klobučnícka 2 or via www.ticketportal.sk. For more information call 0905/288-551.


By Zuzana Habšudová

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