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Getting rid of cliché by means of music
Ensemble of Russian national instruments "Art-Contrast" at "Center of Arts" in the city of Ettelbruck.

"Music - is not only an important part of arts, but also a connection between cultures of different countries" - Russian ambassador Yuriy Karpalov mentioned, greeting the audience Wednesday night at the "Center of Arts" in the city of Ettelbruck. Since music language is comprehensible to everybody, Russian music night was opened by Luxembourg choir. Under Marion Michele's direction "Choir ensemble" from the city of Bourscheid performed French, German, English and Italian Renaissance songs.
Amazingly harmonious voice introductions, perfect expression of melody and strong accents supported simple, mostly one-phrase accompaniment, which all in a whole made an impression of something fresh and natural. It is important to mention harmonious singing in several parts, which did not misbalance the folklore manner of singing. It proves that even small country ensemble can do a lot!
Funds raised by benefit concert and sale of artwork, provided by celebrated artists, will pass to different charity organizations' accounts - AVR ("Association nationale pour les victimes de la route"), Wannth ("War Against Malnutrition, Tuberculosis and Hunger") и Wega ("Aide humanitaire pour la Russie et l'Annenie") to promote charity.
The performance was continued by Balalaika-ensemble "Art-Contrast" under direction of professor with a promising name - Glazunov. Six young St. Petersburg Conservatoire graduates created this ensemble to revive a musical instrument, which most people know from American movies "War and Peace" and "Doctor Zhivago", where balalaika played a role of monotonous and sentimental accompaniment.
Nevertheless there is more to balalaika than that. As well as most of the instruments it can be different sizes and different tunes. The same way as from mandolin, a related to balalaika instrument, you can make a whole orchestra from different balalaikas. Such orchestras are of great popularity in Russia.
In Ettelbruck we heard round, covered with reddish vanish domras, which fast women hands played with a plectrum. Balalaikas were really men's instruments: once those used to be big triangle monsters, which they played standing, the same way as contrabass.
Three-stringed balalaika-prima is much more graceful. Young man playing it performed an unusual, eminent celerity of his fingers. He would touch several strings deriving distinctive sound, or he would suddenly astound us with turbulent chords, and then in contrast with his colleagues, playing domras with a plectrum, he would using just a whirl of his fingers derive vibrato expressing the Russian soul and especially touching on balalaika.
Emotional bayan and gusli, an old Russian stringed instrument looking similar to zither, joined them. Anna Pavlova touched the strings gently but with Slavs temper.
The sounding warrants such not very large instrumentation.
Variations on pieces by Tchaykovsky and Skryabin were harmonious and due to the high quality performance far from a cheap kitsch. Not a very strong sound of a plucked instrument itself became amazingly deep and variable due to register setting. As for the sound and technical characteristics of balalaika, it was hard to imagine what a wide scope this instrument has.
Vocal music was in the second part of the program. Ekatherina Popova performed romance-suffering "Kabi znala ya - If only I knew". The next song was presumably close to the temper of soprano-singer. Her colleagues instrument-players starred with professionalism. "Song of Lara" from "Doctor Zhivago" , repeated at the performance, gave one more impression of rich Russian soul, which we had learned a lot about thanks to this fabulous concert.

Andre Link
"Luxembourger word",


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