Classical Russian orchestra enthrals music lovers

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New Delhi, Apr 25 (UNI) Music lovers in the national capital got a rare opportunity of witnessing a mesmerising performance by the Russian chamber orchestra "Musica Viva" conducted by Sergey Roldugin, noted cellist and pianist.

The concert at Siri Fort auditorium last evening was part of a joint cultural initiative by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Federal Agency of Culture and Cinematography.

The 18-member orchestra had a rendition of W A Mozart's Divertimento D-major as the opening piece, followed by J Haydn concerto for cello and orchestra C-major. Then came the soft harmonious works of Russian composer Tchaikovsky.

"If you visit the US during the Christmas season, you'll hear the 'Nut cracker' everywhere," Mr Roldugin said adding that love for classical music stretches across the nations.

The one and a half hour-long performance ended with a high energy recital of Dmitri Shostakovich's Scherzo Opera 11, the score anchored by violins and cellos.

The crowd seems to have loved every moment and kept applauding to show their appreciation.

"Initially, I was apprehensive about how they would react to Russian classical music. I was amazed to see the response," Mr Roldugin, a bronze medal winner at the Prague Spring International Cello Competition, said.

As a soloist and orchestra member, Mr Roldugin performs pieces of music of various epochs and styles. "The musicians in the orchestra are unique and can play every kind of music. We specialise in and preferably play classical music, both Russian and European," he said.

The Musica Viva chamber orchestra, established in 1978 in Vladimir in central Russia, adheres to historically authentic performance of music works. It also takes care to introduce little-known or hitherto unknown compositions. For instance, the 'Classic Cavalcade' concert in November 2005, where an entire symphony orchestra played genuine instruments from the times of Haydn and Beethoven.

Asked about criteria for selection of composers, Mr Roldugin said, "the orchestra has been known for reviving forgotten pieces of the great musicians in olden times. It is aimed at reviving classical music. Alexander Rudin, the director, selects all the pieces of art and during the process, CDs are made of the compositions of that particular artiste, which are then analysed again and again.

"Although we use modern instruments, the legitimacy and grace of that particular era are maintained. In one of our earlier concerts, where we played the compositions of an 18th century musician, even the strings used in the violin were like those used at that time, that is, made of organic material instead of metal, along with the flutes and other instruments," he added.

Talking about the significance of the concert during 'The Year of Russia in India', he said, "If any Indian composer gives his work to us, then we will surely perform that in Russia. That would also help us to know the Indian art of music more.

"India has a unique culture and tradition and so the people understand and feel for every kind of music. If you make good music, perfect music, then it surely reaches the people's heart," he added.

The orchestra had also performed in Bangalore on Wednesday, as part of the festival. "The crowd there was so much fascinated by the performance that the whole stock of recorded CDs of the orchestra got sold in a day," he said.

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