Concert to the 75th Birthday of Lev Kontorovich

December 2, 2022 | Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
Academic Grand Choir «Masters of Choral Singing»
Soloists: Elena Loginova, soprano
Polina Shamaeva, mezzo-soprano
Vyacheslav Vorobiev, tenor
Ivan Lyubimov, tenor
Igor Podoplelov, bass
Conductor – Lev Kontorovich
Schubert. Mass in E-flat major, D. 950
Schubert. Stabat Mater, D. 383

2022 is the year of the 75th birthday of the eminent choirmaster Lev Kontorovich, People's Artist of the Russian Federation, professor of the Moscow Conservatory, artistic director of the Academic Grand Choir “Masters of Choral Singing”. The maestro's concert with his cherished collective in the Tchaikovsky Hall will be part of the jubilee festivities.

For many years Lev Kontorovich and the Academic Grand Choir have been main artistic partners of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia. Together with the orchestra the Masters of Choral Singing have taken part in many subscription series on the Moscow top stages, in memorial and jubilee concerts, at Vladimir Spivakov's festivals in Moscow, Russian Regions and Colmar (France), at the Christmas Festival of spiritual music at the Moscow Performing Arts Center, at the concert remembering Holocaust victims in Jerusalem and other important events, and also in major recordings of Russian music.

In this concert Lev Kontorovich will perform as a symphony conductor directing the united collectives. He has compiled the program from works by Franz Schubert (1797-1828). The Mass in E-flat major is one of the composer's latest scores, written a few months before his death. The Mass was commissioned by Schubert's childhood friend Michael Leitermayer, the chorus master of the Holy Trinity Church in Alsegrund, a district in Vienna. The church had been the place of the funeral service for Beethoven a year earlier with Schubert bearing a torch along with the coffin of his idol in the crowded procession. Many works by Schubert, especially those in many movements, imply Beethoven's influence and the Mass in E-flat major is one of them. It is a life-affirming monumental opus largely using polyphony, which may be compared to Beethoven's Missa Solemnis.

 On the other hand, Stabat Mater is one of the earliest scores by Schubert, written by the 19-year-old author in 1816 for his brother Ferdinand. It is worth noting that the composer used not the canonical Latin text ascribed to Jacopone da Todi, but Friedrich Klopstock's German paraphrase (hence Schubert's version is referred to as Deutsches Stabat Mater). The setting is a short oratorio in twelve movements for soloists, mixed choir and orchestra. Both the Mass in E-flat major and Stabat Mater were performed and published after the composer's death.


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