The Red Star-Red Army Chorus, Dance Ensemble, and Orchestra
Russian music & dance! Flamboyant gravity-defying maneuvers, flawless musicians, operatic singers
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Mechanics Hall - Performance 8:00 PM
Tickets: $46, $43, students $20/$15 at door. See "Ordering Tickets" on menu bar for discounts.
"The young dancers are first class in the Mini-Moiseyev numbers and the vocal soloists are in fact opera singers." - Chicago Tribune
"...graceful poise grounded in years of formal ballet training." - New York Times
Russian music and dance! A feast for the eyes and ears...love songs, mischief and comedy, combined with extraordinary dances of amazing vitality, memorable footwork - great leaps of color - all while the Russian musicans play flawlessly - a brilliant show.
United States National Anthem, Russian National Anthem
Meadowland Music (Leonid Knipper, Words: Victor Gusev): Originally part of Leonid Knipper's Symphony No.4 for Choir and Orchestra Ballad ofa Young Soldier, Meadowland (Poliushkopole) has long since become a folk song known to everyone in Russia and abroad. Young soldiers are going to the front to defend the Revolution and say goodbye to their loved ones. The girls feel sad and start crying while the soldiers sing a song about their long road and the native meadowlands they are to defend.
Cossacks' Dance: Cossack warriors ride out on horseback into the steppelands and begin a competition to show off their strength and valor.
Folk Song, the Evening Bell: Song about faraway places, youth, love and romance. This Choral is based on the long-lasting sounds of bells, something that illustrates the Russian soul quite well.
Regimental Polk (Music: Boris Terentiev, Words: Vladimir Gurian): At a brief halt on the march one of the soldiers is playing a merry melody on the accordion. His fellow soldiers start dancing. It's a pity there are no girls around! A young soldier puts a shawl on his head and starts a quick-paced polka.
Folk Song, Kalinka: One of the most famous folk songs, Kalioka (Little Snowball Tree) invariably appears in the repertoire of many choirs and orchestras. It is about a small declaration of love dedicated to a snowball tree. It is especially popular because of its impetuous and light-hearted character, speeding up in the refrain to a frenzied tempo. "Oh, my sweet little snowball tree; Oh you, succulent raspberries in my garden; Oh you, my beautiful girl; Fall in love with me."
Russian Melodie (Domra Soloist: Anastasia Chtcheglina): Domra, just like a balalaika, is a Russian folk instrument. The performed arrangements ofthe Russian folk melodies demonstrate technical capabilities on this unusual folk instrument.
Ukrainian Folk Song, Stable The Horse: Like so many Russian songs, the title of this joyful song does not convey its message like its lyrics do. A group of soldiers come back after a strenuous ride. After they stable the horses, they start celebrating their homecoming, building a new life, and, perhaps, starting a family.
Russian Sailor's Dance (Yablotelrko): One of the most famous Russian dances based on folk choreographic traditions. The music is an arrangement of the well-known Russian sailors' song Yablotchko (Little Apple). The plot of the dance is based on a competition between crews from two different ships. Lyrical episodes give way to breathtaking acrobatic tricks and technically complicated elements.
Russian Folk Song, Behind An Islan: This song tells a story about a famous warrior-leader, Stepan Razin, about his life with a Persian beauty, and Volga River.
Russian Folk Song, Korobeinik: This Russian melody lends itself well in an arrangement especially crafted for the multifaceted and varied colors that can be affected by the nation's extraordinary and unique instrument, the balalaika, here arranged and performed by Sergei Nikitin.
Gypsy Romance, Dark Eyes (Oehi Chomye): Gypsies have been wandering for decades in the steppelands of Southern Russia, and their songs and dances have become inseparable from Russian folklore. One gypsy romance, Dark Eyes, is known all over the world. "Dark eyes, passionate eyes. How 1 love you, how I fear you ...You have brought my life to an end, oh dark eyes!"
Holiday on the Don River Danc: As you would imagine, all stops are pulled out for the Finale. This composition showcases a virtuosity of male dancers, the beauty of the girls, the chorus, and musicians of the ensemble. Everyone participates in this joyful holiday-spirited dance.
Military Dance: Not only strong and brave young men serve in the Russian Army, but, also, some pretty girls. This humorous dance is about one soldier who overslept a morning warm-up. Of course, he was noticed by his commander. Before things get too serious, some girls show-up in their uniforms. They all begin to dance.
Moscow Night (Music: Vassily Solovyov-Sedoy, Words: Mikhail Matussovski): The song that is widely associated with Russia tells of love for one's home country. Not a stir is heard in the garden, everything will be so quiet until morning ... "If you only knew how precious they are to me, those Moscow Nights!"
The Sunset Behind a Mountain (Music: Matvei Blanter, Words: Alexei Kovalenko): This heroic song about the Patriotic War of 1941-45 was written by the well-known composer Matvei Blanter, author of the famous Katiusha. It has become one of the best-known and best-loved war songs.
Folk Song, My Living Lov: This song became famous around the end of the XIXth century. For a young man in love there are no obstacles, no borders, even when his sweetheart lives in a distant castle, where she is guarded by her parents.
Russian Dance: This choreographic composition, staged in an academic manner, clearly characterizes the stylistic features of the Russian folk dance. The dance is built on contrasting episodes and unmitigated gaiety. One of its brightest moments is the Finale -full of brilliant tricks, ending in a joyous coda.
Ukrainian Hopak Dance: Ukrainian Cossacks were famous not only for military valor but also for virtuoso quick-paced male dances. The famous Hopak with a lot of tricks and acrobatic elements first appeared as the dance of Cossack warriors but later became one of the most popular Ukrainian folk dances.
Shenandoah, American Folk Song: When asked to select an American folk song and arrange it for this choir, Anatoli Bazhalkin went straight to this magnificent song. Its beautiful melody speaks a universal language.
About the Artists
RED STAR RED ARMY CHORUS & DANCE ENSEMBLE, Colonel Nikolai Rabovsky, Artistic Director & Conductor
The Incomparable Red Star Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble were created in the USSR Strategic Missile Forces in January 1977. In its first stage, the ensemble performed concerts primarily for troops of the Missile Forces. It was in 1989 that the ensemble expanded its artistic horizons. The work of the ensemble was no longer limited to entertaining the troops, but also involved participation in arts festivals in many cities of Russia. Then, came the move into top concert halls of Moscow and the eventual embarking on foreign tours to Switzerland, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Belgium, and the United States. They also performed regularly on radio and television. Thanks to the distinctive creative nature of the ensemble, with its youthful (average age of the performers is 27 years old) personnel, the ensemble is regarded as leading performing group of the armed forces. Currently, the Ensemble has plans for recordings, television specials, participating in arts festivals in Russia, the Ukraine, Belorussia, and touring Europe and the Far East. The Red Star is the only military ensemble out of Russia that performed in Hong Kong before and after the legendary reunion of Hong Kong with Mainland of China.
Conductor Nikolai N. Rabovsky was born in 1947 in Baku, Azerbadjian. His father was an active office of the Soviet Army at that time. As a young child, Nikolai showed a lot of interest in piano playing, as well as in singing. In 1955, he was accepted into the Choral School in Moscow, Russia. His love for choral music didn’t stop at being accepted into the major coral institution of Moscow. The young Nikolai decided that he would like to know more about choral music through the knowledge of a choral conductor. Upon graduating from the Choral School, Nikolai went on to study conducting at the prestigious Gnesin Conservatory in Moscow. His teacher was Professor Chernov. After graduating in 1966, he stayed on to continue his choral conducting education with Professor Sukhanov. In 1971, Nikolai went to serve in a Soviet Army. Based on his education, he served as a choral conductor of a Local Army Division Ensemble of Song & Dance. Then, in 1976, he was transferred to another Army Division Ensemble. Upon leaving the military in 1981, Nikolai Rabovsky was invited to be an assistant conductor of the Red Star Red Army Chorus & Dance Ensemble. Only in April of 2009, after Colonel Bazhalkin, formed leader of the Ensemble has retired, Nikolai was given the position of a Chief Conductor of the Ensemble, as well as a new rank of a Colonel. He is currently the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Red Star Red Army Chorus & Dance Ensemble.