The ensemble of ancient Russian sacred music
«Sirin», conducted by Andrey Kotov (Moscow, Russia)
includes the following: liturgical chants of the XVI-XVIII centuries, znamenny
chants, linear and demestvenny polyphony, early partes, monastery chants,
spiritual verses, psalms, and wassail songs.
music that we perform speaks of the eternal. Listen to what all these songs are
telling! They contain reflections on the birth, death, and existence of God andthe root cause of creation of the world. In short, they
address questions raised, one way or another, by everybody, ever those who got
stuck in a daily routine. These questions have always been important, they are
important today and were important ten centuries ago. Forms and ways using
which people tried to express their feelings changed. However, subject matters
are always releveant and understandable to everyone"
The ensemble of
ancient Russian sacred music “Sirin” was created in 1989 by a group of
professional musicians who united in order to bring the ancient Orthodox
singing traditions back to life.
Combining research and performing activities and based
on the achievements of musical experts and philologists, the ensemble musicians
are seeking to give a new life to the ancient Russian chants of the XV-XVIII
centuries. The ensemble repertoire is really wide: it includes znamenny,
putevoy, demestvenny, Kiev, Bulgarian, Greek, and various monastery chants,
early forms of Russian polyphony, early Russian partes.
The unique area of the ensemble’s activity is the collection, study and
performance of spiritual verses, the distinctive genre of folk music and
poetry, which has preserved and brought the Orthodox philosophy of life of the
Russian people over many centuries.
The unique repertoire and style of performanc, the highest level of singing
culture make the “Sirin” ensemble successful, and therefore the concert
activity of the ensemble has always been wide and diverse. It has taken part in
many medieval and spiritual music festivals in Russia and abroad. The
performances of “Sirin” ensemble are extremely popular in both the Motherland
and European countries, Asia, Africa and Americas.
In its activity, “Sirin” definitely uses its knowledge of the liturgical
practice. The ensemble is in constant search, bringing ancient works back to
life and creating new forms that arouse keen interest of leading contemporary
composers. In cooperation with leading contemporary directors, the ensemble has
created several theatrical performances highly valued by the public and
‘leading’ critics, namely: mystery “Lamentations of Jeremiah” directed by
famous Anatoly Vasiliev: more than 150 performances in Moscow, the performance
in Catania (Sicily) during the Taormina Festival in January 1997, 4
performances at the Habbel Theater in Berlin in May 1997, 5 performances as
part of the Official Festival Program in Avignon in July 1997, it earned the
Golden Mask Award as the best theatrical performance of 1996, performances in
Estonia, Sweden (1998) and Spain – Seville and Barcelona in January 1999.
The ensemble has also taken part in the performances “Mozart and Salieri”
(directed by Anatoly Vasilyev, School of Dramatic Arts Theater); “Overcoat”
(directed by Valery Fokin, Sovremennik Theater); “The Ridiculous Poem”
(directed by Kama Ginkas, Youth Theatre); “Poverty is Not a Vice” (directed by
Aleksandr Korshunov, Maly Theater).