The beginning of the year 2022 was marked with a series of chamber concerts at musicAeterna’s creative residence — Dom Radio in St. Petersburg.
On January 22, Anna Prohaska — the headliner of the Salzburg Festival, the soloist of Berlin State Opera, one of the world’s best sopranos — together with the musicians of musicAeterna presented an anthology of songs by romantic composers from Schubert to Wolf.
On January 27, to mark Mozart’s birthday, Alexei Lubimov — an outstanding pianist, one of the largest Russian figures in the field of historically informed performance — gave a concert of four Mozart’s sonatas for clavier at Dom Radio.
On February 1, 3 and 5, musicAeterna gave its first large-scale concerts this year: in the St. Petersburg State Academic Capella, the Zaryadye Hall in Moscow and the Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic, the musicAeterna orchestra and choir, and the soloists Fanie Antonelou (soprano, Greece) and Thomas Mole (baritone, UK) conducted by Teodor Currentzis performed Requiem and Pavane for orchestra and choir by Gabriel Fauré, as well as the symphonic suite “Pelléas et Mélisande” by Jean Sibelius.
As part of a concert tour with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, the musicAeterna orchestra and choir conducted by Teodor Currentzis made an audio record of this work in the Megaron Athens Concert Hall. The video recording of the concerts given in the Megaron Hall on February 19 and 20 was carried out by the Arte television company (hyperlink to the Arte broadcast). Concert performances were also held at the Zaryadye Hall in Moscow on February 22 and 26 and at the St. Petersburg Philharmonia on February 24.
The programme of the next musicAeterna concert tour has been changed. On March 12 at the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, on March 15 at the Krasnoyarsk Philharmonic, and on March 19 at the Zaryadye Hall in Moscow, Richard Strauss’s symphonic study Metamorphosen and the Sixth “Pathétique” Symphony by P.I. Tchaikovsky were performed. On March 17, in Norilsk, the chamber cast of musicAeterna gave a concert with a Serenade for the string orchestra by P.I. Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings.
On March 26, a new concert cycle “Saint Petersburg Union of Composers at Dom Radio” was launched in the musicAeterna residence in Saint Petersburg. One name — one composition — one stroke from the local musical landscape. The cycle programme is designed to represent various genres and styles in which contemporary composers of Saint Petersburg work: from academic tradition to avant-garde and minimalism. The eight concerts will feature compositions by about 50 actively working members of the Union of Composers of Saint Petersburg. At the first concert, the musicians of the musicAeterna orchestra and choir performed chamber works by Grigory Korchmar, Leonid Rezetdinov, Svetlana Nesterova, Mikhail Krutik, Sergey Oskolkov Jr. and Anna Kuzmina.
On March 27, the musicAeterna choir gave a concert at the State Hermitage Museum to mark the finissage of the exhibition “Albrecht Dürer. 550th Anniversary of the Artist’s Birth” with a programme of spiritual and secular music by Josquin des Prez, Claudin de Sermisy, Nicolas Gombert, Henry VIII, John Taverner, John Dowland, and others. Earlier, Teodor Currentzis, Vitaly Polonsky, Fyodor Lednev and musicAeterna resident composers compiled author’s playlists themed on Dürer’s masterpieces.
On April 10 and 11, at the Wiener Konzerthaus, the musicAeterna orchestra conducted by Teodor Currentzis performed Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and P. I. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6. On
April 14 and 16, the same programme was performed at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg.
At the end of April, a new project “Raspev” was launched at Dom Radio — a public choral workshop. Every Saturday ever since, one of the artists of the musicAeterna choir has been teaching one piece of his own choice to the project participants. Everyone who has basic skills of singing and reading music can participate in the project.
On April 30 in the Zaryadye Hall and on May 1 in the St. Petersburg Capella, the musicAeterna orchestra conducted by Teodor Currentzis and pianist Polina Osetinskaya presented a new version of the programme “Slow Music”. It represents a collection of slow movements from piano concertos written in different times from the Baroque era to the present day that will be performed without interruptions.
From June 11 to June 20, the Diaghilev Festival was held in Perm under the artistic direction of Teodor Currentzis. For 10 days, symphonic and chamber concerts, an opera production, and interdisciplinary performances were held at various venues of the city, both classical and alternative music was performed. The Diaghilev Festival opened with a concert by the musicAeterna orchestra conducted by Teodor Currentzis with a programme including Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and P. I. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”. The orchestra and choir took part in a chamber concert including the works by Schoenberg and Schubert on June 13, an evening of one-act performances on June 14, and a two-part performance-concert “Love Will Tear Us Apart” on June 15. The Closing Gala of the Diaghilev Festival on June 20 was a large-scale production of Carl Orff’s opera “De temporum fine comoedia” with the participation of the musicAeterna orchestra and choir conducted by Teodor Currentzis (Stage Director — Anna Guseva).
Teodor Currentzis and musicAeterna traditionally spent July and August at the Salzburg Festival. On July 19, Teodor Currentzis conducted Dmitry Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 13 “Babi Yar” performed by the musicAeterna choir, the Salzburg Bach Choir, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, and soloist Dmitry Ulyanov. On July 25, the musicAeterna choir took part in the concert “In Memoriam”, having performed Alfred Schnittke’s Requiem for soloists, mixed choir and instrumental ensemble conducted by Gregor Mayrhofer. On July 26, the premiere of two operas staged by Romeo Castellucci under the musical direction of Teodor Currentzis took place — “The Castle of Duke Bluebeard” by Bela Bartok and “De temporum fine comoedia” by Carl Orff. An international team of soloists, the musicAeterna choir, the Salzburg Bach Choir, the Salzburg Festival and Theatre Children’s Choir, and Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra were involved in the performances. On August 17, at the Salzburg Festival the musicAeterna soloists, orchestra and choir conducted by Teodor Currentzis presented a concert performance of Henry Purcell’s opera “Dido and Aeneas” and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14.
On August 19, Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 were performed in Ravello.
On September 2 and 4, musicAeterna opens the new season with concerts at the St. Petersburg Capella and the Zaryadye Hall in Moscow. The programme includes Tchaikovsky’s symphonic fantasies “Francesca da Rimini”, “Romeo and Juliet”, and “Italian Capriccio”.
On September 6 the fourth season at Dom Radio opened with a new version of choreographer Olga Tsvetkova’s ballet Cry for Silence. Tao Te Ching set to the music by Anton Svetlichny. The concert programme was opened on September 16 by Georgy Sviridov’s cycle for voice and piano Russia Cast Adrift arranged by Alexey Sioumak. In addition to the traditional lectures on music, the educational programme has been supplemented with three new cycles: Psychoanalysis in the Space of Sounds by the psychoanalyst, art theorist Viktor Mazin, The Teachings of the Church Fathers by the patrologist Vadim Lurie and The History of the Eye by the film critic Evgeny Maisel. The resident of Dom Radio in the new season became composer Alexey Sioumak. Sound artists Egor Ananko and Vika Kraaa are developing an experimental sound studio. Alexey Retinsky and Andreas Moustoukis, the permanent residents of Dom Radio, continue their work.
At the beginning of the season, musicAeterna announced the creation of its own choreographic troupe — musicAeterna Dance. The troupe will consist of 10-12 artists and will be based at Dom Radio. In the course of the season, the dancers will practise with Russian and foreign choreographers and take part in ballet, opera, and performative productions.
From the 26th to the 28th of September, musicAeterna held another Moscow residency. Its key event was a concert in the Zaryadye Hall with a programme of Shostakovich’s later works: Symphony No. 14, Quartet No. 13 and the vocal cycle “Seven Romances on Poems by Alexander Blok” for soprano and piano trio. This programme was accompanied by master classes in quartet performance and new music, inclusive literary and musical evenings, and was concluded with the enigma concert Lux Aeterna at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of the Holy Virgin Mary. The programme with Shostakovich’s music was performed again on September 29 at the St. Petersburg State Capella.
From the 14th to the 17th of October, the first musicAeterna tour in Armenia took place. The orchestra presented a programme of Tchaikovsky’s overtures and fantasies (“Romeo and Juliet”, “Francesca da Rimini” and “Capriccio Italien”) in Yerevan, while the choir performed Schnittke’s Choir Concerto based on poems by Grigor Narekatsi in Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall, as well as, together with the musicAeterna Byzantina Choir, the Lux Aeterna programme at the Church of the Holy Virgin in Gyumri. The musicAeterna Dance troupe made its debut in a dance performance by Vladimir Varnava and Anna Guseva “In Every Language Suffering Sounds the Same”, which was performed at sunset in the ancient Zvartnots temple complex — the Temple of Watchful Angels at the foot of Mount Ararat.
On November 9, Verdi’s Requiem was performed by musicAeterna in the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory and on November 12 in the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, after which the orchestra went on a European tour: from November 17 to 25, Verdi’s Requiem and a programme of Wagner overtures were performed in Baden-Baden, Berlin, and Dortmund.
On November 26 and December 10 in the Moscow cultural space Zotov Centre for Constructivism Studies the soloists of musicAeterna performed a series of two concerts dedicated to the early Soviet musical avant-garde.
The musicAeterna Choir continued its cooperation with the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (September 29, Moscow) and the Hermitage (December 7, St. Petersburg), performing as part of cultural programmes associated with major exhibitions.
On December 16-19, the musicAeterna Youth Programme was launched at Dom Radio. It was opened by the soloist and one of the orchestra’s concertmasters Vladislav Pesin who worked with the Moscow Euphoria Ensemble on a programme of contemporary works by Russian and European composers of the 21st century. Vladislav Pesin held two master classes devoted to various aspects of modern performance, and the Euphoria ensemble gave the resulting concert.
On December 24-26 a special project of the Diaghilev Festival — “Diaghilev +” was carried out in Perm. Its main event was Carl Orff’s mystery De temporum fine comoedia staged by Anna Guseva and performed by musicAeterna orchestra and choir conducted by Teodor Currentzis. The stage production was nominated for the Russian National Theatre Award “Golden Mask — 2022” in five nominations. The programme of “Diaghilev+” also included a Christmas concert by the musicAeterna choir, Dmitri Shostakovich’s quartets performed by musicAeterna soloists, a master class by Teodor Currentzis, and an alternative music concert. All events were accompanied by lectures given by performers and musicologists.
In the waning days of 2022, the musicAeterna orchestra and choir performed overtures from Wagner’s operas “Lohengrin”, “Tannhäuser”, “Tristan und Isolde”, “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” and “Parsifal” in the Zaryadye Hall on December 28 and in the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia on December 30.