Gamma Majoris Ensemble

Russian Serenade

Price: € 19.95
Format: CD
Label: Champs Hill
UPC: 5060212591449
Catnr: CHRCD 138
Release date: 09 February 2018
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Label
Champs Hill
UPC
5060212591449
Catalogue number
CHRCD 138
Release date
09 February 2018
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN

About the album

Gamma Majoris is a London-based ensemble created by 4 established soloists: Ksenia Berezina (violin), Yulia Chaplina (piano), Alisa Liubarskaya (cello) and Anastasia Prokofieva (soprano). The ensemble’s name derives from the star Gamma Ursae Majoris and the term for 'major scale' in Russian musical terms (гамма - scale, мажор - major).

The debut release by this ensemble presents music by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov in arrangements by the ensemble. “The idea of arranging Russian songs emerged spontaneously from a rehearsal one day. What would happen if we added lyrical string instruments to complement the soaring melodies and polyphonic and complex accompaniments of songs by the great Russian composers? To our delight, it worked beautifully.”

The songs cover a wide emotional range, from dark and dramatic, to tender and the overall concept chimes with the idea of late-nineteenth domestic music-making, with the Tchaikovsky settings of texts by Russian poets including Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Rachmaninov also using translations of Shelley and Hugo.

Artist(s)

Gamma Majoris Ensemble

Gamma Majoris is a London-based ensemble whose concert programmes showcase the individual and combined talents of four established soloists to present classical music in a new way. The ensemble’s name derives from the star Gamma Ursae Majoris and is also the term for ‘major scale’ in Russian (гамма – scale, мажор – major).
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Gamma Majoris is a London-based ensemble whose concert programmes showcase the individual and combined talents of four established soloists to present classical music in a new way.

The ensemble’s name derives from the star Gamma Ursae Majoris and is also the term for ‘major scale’ in Russian (гамма – scale, мажор – major).


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Composer(s)

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky is considered as one of the most talented Russian composers of the 19th century. Unlike many other Russian composers of his time, he studied at a conservatory and made the western music theory his own. So, he was not as distrustful of western music as the group of nationalistic composers surrounding Balakirev. Yet, Tchaikovsky sought to express the typical Russian mentality just as much and used many Russian folk songs in his music.  He had a good relationship with Balakirev, who helped him with constructive feedback on his first masterpiece, the overture of Romeo and Juliet. At times, Tchaikovsky was emotionally unstable, which has often been attributed to struggles with his homosexuality. His decision to marry proved to be disastrous...
read more
Tchaikovsky is considered as one of the most talented Russian composers of the 19th century. Unlike many other Russian composers of his time, he studied at a conservatory and made the western music theory his own. So, he was not as distrustful of western music as the group of nationalistic composers surrounding Balakirev. Yet, Tchaikovsky sought to express the typical Russian mentality just as much and used many Russian folk songs in his music. He had a good relationship with Balakirev, who helped him with constructive feedback on his first masterpiece, the overture of Romeo and Juliet. At times, Tchaikovsky was emotionally unstable, which has often been attributed to struggles with his homosexuality. His decision to marry proved to be disastrous and plunged him into a deep crisis. Yet, the passionate letters of his fiance, even though they barely knew each other, did inspire him to compose his succesful opera Evgenij Onegin. Tchaikovsky had the wonderful gift of composing the most beautiful, lyric melodies. He had a feeling for creating a certain atmosphere in his music and mastered the art of orchestration. Moreover, he excelled in dance music, which made him the ideal composer for ballet. With his ballets The Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker he brought the genre to a higher level. During his life, he was already a celebrity. He often did tours to conduct his music and in the USA he was welcomed as a star. He died unexpectedly, nine days after the premiere of his incredibly gloomy Sixth Symphony, probably of cholera. Some other highlights of his body of works are his First Piano Concerto, his Violin Concerto and the Rococo-variations.
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