The following is a guest post from Senior Cataloging Specialist Sharon McKinley, with thanks to fellow staff members Irina Kirchik, Leslie Long, and Jurij Dobczansky.
The Library of Congress Chorale will present a free concert of Russian choral masterpieces at noon on Thursday, May 26 in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium. Conductor Chad Becker and the Chorale have prepared a program of lush Russian choral harmonies with some instrumental interludes. If you enjoy the grandeur and richness of Russian choral music (and don’t forget those low basses; we have some guys singing way down in the basement!), you won’t want to miss this concert! It’s free and open to the public.
Choral works are a staple of Russian music, and the Orthodox liturgies have provided inspiration to generations of composers over the centuries, right up to the present day. Our program features a range of compositional styles from the 18th to the 20th centuries, featuring such luminaries as Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, and Bortniansky.
The Music Division collections include a wide selection of choral works by Russian composers. We have several editions of Bortniansky’s work, including one edited by Tchaikovsky, whose own work is available as well. My personal favorite, Rachmaninoff’s Bogoroditse Devo, from the All-night vigil, op. 37, may be found here in the complete score. The Music Division also houses the Sergei Rachmaninoff Archive, which contains manuscript and printed scores, correspondence, business papers, photographs, and more. Many of these works are also well represented on recordings held by the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, and available for listening in the Recorded Sound Reference Center.
The Library of Congress Chorale is composed of Library employees and others from the Capitol Hill area. We are always looking for new singers and audience members as well. Come join us!