The best known military music ensemble leaves for India after its triumph in Canada
November 30, 2008
The ensemble will give eight concerts in India's biggest Delhi and Calcutta music halls and will also give special concerts for Indian Army personnel. This is the first time the Alexandrov Ensemble has visited India in its 80-year history.
On 26 November, they gave their opening concert, which was attended by India's highest-ranking officials. The tour programme includes the most popular music traditionally performed by the Ensemble, as they truly epitomise Russia's rich cultural heritage. Among these are the world-famous "Kalinka" and "Katusha", the old Russian romances "Black Eyes" (Ochi Cherniye) and "Evening Bells" (Vecherniy Zvon), the patriotic composition "Serving Russia", a medley of military songs (performed against a video backdrop of Russian weapons and military equipment), as well as the rousing "Cossack Cavalry", "Palekh Casket" and "Sailor's Madam" Dances. In addition, the audience will enjoy a performance of world classics -Verdi's Nabucco Chorus and variations on Spanish songs. By tradition, the Ensemble prepares a popular local song as a musical gift to the host country. This time it was the Indian song "About Heroes".
Earlier, at the end of August, the Alexandrov Ensemble participated, for the very first time, in the 10th International Military Music Festival of Québec City , this year marking the 400th Anniversary of Québec. This was a major event in Canadian life. The prestigious international competition attracted military ensembles from twelve countries - Germany, Belgium, Chile, South Korea, France, Norway, Great Britain, Poland, the Netherlands, the USA, Singapore and Russia.
"The Alexandrov Ensemble's participation in our Festival is, indeed, a source of great honour, privilege and pride for us", said Ivan Lachance, Festival President and Executive Director. The Ensemble was presented as "the most famous military ensemble in the world". The audience was particularly impressed by the song "Mon pays" sung by the Ensemble's lead singer Pavel Zhuravlev in perfect French. His performance was directed by Réjean Blais, the Festival's chief military conductor.
"Kalinka" was, as always, received with thunderous applause. At every performance of the Ensemble, the audience enthusiastically joined Vadim Ananiev, People's Artiste of Russia in singing this Russian folk song. After the Festival, Ivan Lachance, Festival President, expressed his warm gratitude to the Alexandrov Ensemble. "I knew that those who had this unique opportunity to attend the performance would be profoundly impressed. The Ensemble first visited Quebec many years ago. I was at that concert, together with my parents. I was very young at the time but I still remember everything, as if it were only yesterday. They were incredible." Altogether, the Ensemble gave seven concerts to a total audience of about forty eight thousand people.
Read about the Order of Red Banner folk song and dance ensemble of Russian Army named after A. V. Aleksandrov