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Subject: Vocal Arts DC brings the NY Festival of Song in Pyotr the Great:The Song of Tchaikovsky and his Circle starring Blier, Barret, Chehovka & Lavrov (1-13-17)
From: Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 23 Jan 2017 14:37:45 -0500
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Yesterday afternoon the inimitable Steven Blier brought a new program to Washington with his partner at NYFOS, Michael Barrett as well as two superb Russian singers: soprano Antonina Chehovska and baritone Alexey Lavrov. It was a moving and most interesting program as well as a revelation with so many new songs. Mr. Blier welcomed us and thanked us for "our bote for culture," even thought the hall was not full, likely due to the events in DC causing many folks to be scared away. The streets were empty, the parking lot was free, and those that came were well rewarded.



Tchaikovsky's Family
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
(1840–1893)
"Passion has cooled"
   

Tchaikovsky's Men
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY

 

 
“We were sitting together”
“It’s painful, it’s sweet”
“At the ball”
“None but the lonely heart”
“It was in the early spring”

Tchaikovsky's Colleagues
ANTON GRIGOREVICH RUBINSTEIN
(1829–1894)
“Zuleika”
ANTON STEPANOVICH ARENSKY
(1861–1906)
“All is quiet in the enchanting night”
SERGEI IVANOVICH TANEYEV
(1856–1915)
“Restless heart”

Tchaikovsky's Women
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Alexandra Andreyevna, his mother:
“Lullaby"
Desirée Artôt,
a woman he considered marrying:
“Les larmes"
Antonina Miliukova, his wife:
Eugene Onegin: Onegin’s Act I aria
Nadezhda von Meck, his patroness:
“Does the day reign?"

Tchaikovsky's Last Days
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY

 

 
“Forgive!”
“A tear trembles”
“Fall asleep”
“Again, as before, I am alone”

There were two encores: Serenade as well as the Weill/Gershwin ditty "Tchaikovsky," giving Mr. Lavrov a chance to be silly and motor mouth through the names of dozens of Russian composers.

The opening song was as passionate as it gets, despite it name and got us off to a red hot start indeed, or as Mr. Blier called it, "passion with a lot of conditions." The despondent music of "at the ball" was so sweetly innocent in the section of Tchaikovsky's Men which Mr. Blier explained was often the source of his great angst and ultimate downfall.
The sadness was even more apparent in "Fall asleep" with Ms. Chehovka's "u-see-yah" intonation of "Sleep..."
Both singers excelled and I really learned a lot about a composer I knew very little about. A great afternoon and an even greater education!
Alan J. Savada
Washington, DC

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