Part of the exposition Chagall: Colour and music serie presented in Bourgie Hall by the Arte Musica Foundation
The great Russian choral tradition goes back centuries. The fact that the Orthodox Church had forbidden the use of instruments in liturgical music allowed a magnificent repertoire of religious music for a cappella choir to build up over time. Compellingly original, and by turns hieratic and virtuosic, it made the Slavonic language a vehicle for intense spirituality. With the rise of the Romanovs in the 17th century came a European influence, with composers adopting polyphony and the concertanto style, while managing to keep with tradition, uniting “popular Russian song and good old Western fugue,” in the words of Glinka.