September 23, 2016 – Lyra Concert

We held our 4th annual concert on Sept 23, 2016 with Lyra, the Russian vocal collective. We had 5 of their nearly 20 number from St. Petersburg. The evening was beautiful with full sunshine though was a bit warm.  

Before the concert at 5:30pm, Catherine and Cherry fixed a dinner for the 5 musicians. Cherry contributed and arranged many wonderful "sweets." Helping out was Alex Long’s grilled salmon and egg plant, certainly the hit of the meal. The Heimbachs decorated the table with several Russian dolls. The musicians said this was the best dinner of the tour.  Their current tour is 47 concerts over 51 days!

The reception for the guests was at 6pm. Cookie and Betty prepared a wonderful reception before the concert of wine and cheese, cookies, peanuts, cakes, and cookies.  People got to relax and mingle before the show.  

We had about 60 people for the concert. Sergey, the leader of the group, explained Lyra was both a musical instrument and also a word meaning romance . The main goal of LYRA`s activity is exploring and popularizing Russian choir music as well as popularizing Russian history and culture.  The choral works were the first half of the concert and folk music the second half, done in costume.  

The group was established in 1994, based around the St. Petersburg Conservatory. What unites them is a love for ensemble. The focus is on both well known and less known composers. Many of the texts were familiar – the Lord’s Prayer, the Magnificat – though done in Russian. 

The choir tradition comes from the Russian choral tradition originating in the Byzantium (Constantinople) .   Russian became Christian in the 9th century and the choral pieces were written Old Church Slavonic. Sergey explained the this script is different from modern Russian, adding to the complexity. He estimated that 35% could be read by modern Russian. 

Acapella choirs carry much of the 2 hour+ services in the morning and evening in the Russian church. Thus they have to rely on professional singers for that amount of stamina and expertise. Our group are conservatory trained mostly from St. Petersburg.  Apart of our concert activity, they also take part in worship services at churches.  

After the concert, Sergey was busy selling CD’s. We want to thank the Heimbachs and Pogues for housing the musicians as they did 2 years ago. 

Concert Part 1, Russian Choral works

Concert Part 2, Russian Folk music

Examples –Musical Selections

Photo Gallery, September 23, 2016 (full size gallery)

Main program


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