• John Tavener
  • Six Russian Folk Songs (1978)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Written as a present to the Nash Ensemble for their 15th anniversary

  • 1(pic)0010100pf.domra2vn.vc
  • soprano
  • 18 min
  • John Tavener
  • Trad. Russian
  • Russian

Programme Note

Six Russian Folksongs were written late in 1978 and they represent 'a musical sigh of relief' (to borrow Stravinsky's phrase) after a long spell of intensive writing dating from my opera Therese (1975-77, receiving its Premiere at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1979) up to my monodrama The Immurement of Antigone (1978). They also belong to a group of 'Russian inspired' works including my opera A Gentle Spirit and Liturgy of St John Chrysostom.

I have made basically simple settings of Russian Folksongs to make this wonderful folk-art available to concert performance. This instrumentation of the songs includes an ancient Russian instrument called a domra which bears a family resemblance to the balalaika.

The songs are an anniversary present to the Nash Ensemble and are dedicated with my love to Amelia Freedman. The Nash Ensemble with Elise Ross (soprano) conducted by myself gave the first performance on 15 January 1979 at the Wigmore Hall, London

John Tavener