Christmas Festival of Sacred Music – the Closing Concert

January 21, 2024 | Svetlanov Hall if the MIPAC
Subscription series «The NPR and Maestro Vladimir Spivakov. European Classic»
Moscow Christmas Festival of Sacred Music - The Closing Concert
Soloists: Anna Aglatova, soprano
Vasily Ladyuk, baritone
Victor Skorobrodov, treble
Academiс Grand Choir «Masters of Choral Singing»
Conductor – Vladimir Spivakov
Fauré. Requiem, Op. 48
Jenkins. Requiem


The NPR and Vladimir Spivakov traditionally close the annual Christmas Festival of Sacred Music in the Moscow International Performing Arts Center. The stage will be shared with the “Masters of Choral Singing” Academic Grand Choir, the Bolshoi's star Anna Aglatova and the Perm Opera and Ballet Theater's star Vasily Ladyuk.

For many a year Vladimir Spivakov, the artistic director of the Christmas Festival, performs with his orchestras great music works of various epochs, national schools and confessions, thus acquainting the audience with the heritage of Christian music culture of many centuries. The final concert of the 14th edition of the Festival will feature two famous Requiem masses: one by French composer Gabriel Fauré, representing Later Romanticism, and the other by modern Welsh composer Karl Jenkins who managed to combine music traditions of the West and the East. 

Fauré's Requiem (1888) is in the line with a Mass for the Dead coming from Mozart and Cherubini through religious music by Gounod, Franck, Brahms and Dvořák. However, this opus is singled out by its small chamber orchestra, simplicity and beauty of melodies close to Gregorian chants, softness and exquisiteness of the score. “It has been said that my Requiem does not express the fear of death and someone has called it a lullaby of death, - commented Fauré. - But it is thus that I see death: as a happy deliverance, an aspiration towards happiness above, rather than as a painful experience. The music of Gounod has been criticized for its inclination towards human tenderness. However, his nature predisposed him to feel this way: religious emotion took this form inside him. Is it not necessary to accept the artist's nature? As to my Requiem, perhaps I have also instinctively sought to escape from what is thought right and proper, after all the years of accompanying burial services on the organ! I know it all by heart. I wanted to write something different.

Fauré wrote his work free of any hint of dramatism, omitting the most tragic Requiem part Dies irae. However, he added movements Pie Jesu and In Paradisum, and Karl Jenkins made the same in 2005.  Jenkins wrote his Requiem to the memory of his father. The composer interjects the liturgical Latin text with lyrical Japanese poems in the form of haiku about life and death. The score is written for four soloists (soprano, treble, Japanese shakuhachi flute and harp) and orchestra, which includes the darbuka, daiko and other exotic drums. In 2005, the composer conducted himself the premiere in the United Kingdom; first Russian performance followed five years later. In January 2019, Vladimir Spivakov presented the opus to the Moscow audience closing the Christmas Festival.



One thought on “Christmas Festival of Sacred Music – the Closing Concert

  1. Прекрасный фестиваль!!! Браво всем участникам и организаторам!!!

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