Friday 5th July – Songs from the Steppes and the Shtetl

 

3. Choirs

Four choirs from London and Brighton & Hove come together to present a rare selection of songs from two Eastern European cultures: Russian and Yiddish. The programme will include Russian traditional lyrical and dance songs, as well as Art Songs (Romances) from the 18th-19th centuries by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and others. The Yiddish songs are hugely varied: spiritual, theatre songs, folklore and modern compositions.

The participating choirs are:
The London Russian Choir
The Brighton & Hove Russian Choir
The London Yiddish Choir
The Brighton & Hove Chutzpah Choir
More about the choirs: https://www.polinashepherd.co.uk/choirs/

Both the London and Brighton & Hove Russian Choirs perform a wide range of music from Russia: traditional lyrical and epic songs, ritual music for pagan holidays, dance songs, as well as Art Songs (Romances) from the 18th-19th centuries (much loved by native Russians), Soviet period songs and classical pieces by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and others.

Yiddish (the 1000-year-old language of East European Jews) is flourishing. Yiddish songs are hugely varied: spiritual and liturgical, rooted in cantorial and hassidic music, theatre songs, folklore and modern compositions. The London Yiddish Choir and the Brighton & Hove Chutzpah Choir explore all these strands and build on them, adding four-part arrangements of folk songs, contemporary material with some improvisation, paying special attention to the style and cultural context of the music.

The choirs are led by an international educator, composer, performer, pianist and cultural activist originally from Russia, Polina Skovoroda-Shepherd.