Moscow Chamber Orchestra
Constantine Orbelian, conductor
Ask any music lover to name a few of the most obvious traits of Russian music, and you’ll immediately get an answer: “emotionally intense, melodically rich, often dark in sound and melancholic in mood.” It is such music that comprises the program of Russian Soul, even though the 13 compositions recorded by the Moscow Chamber Orchestra embrace more than half a century of Russian art music and many more years of Russian folk tradition. Some of these pieces were written by composers of great international fame (Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Shostakovich), some by those not so popular in the Western world (Scriabin, ere), and some by those who are virtually unknown outside of Russia (Gedike). Many compositions are long-standing popular favorites (Tchaikovsky’s Meditation or Elegie from the Serenade for Strings), others (although written by the same composer) are new to non-Russian listeners (for instance, Melodrama from Tchaikovsky’s incidental music for “The Snow Maiden” – a play by Alexander Ostrovsky produced by Moscow’s Maly Dramatic Theater in the 1870s). Nevertheless, the notion that all of these works belong to the same musical tradition is quite clear.