Pokrowsky Ensemble

Posted on Friday, September 28, 2007

A couple of months ago I attended a concert in London as part of the Ades festival, which included a mind-bending performance of Stravinsky's Les Noces by a stellar line up of pianists that included the Labeque Sisters, and the Russian 'folk-choir' the Pokrovsky ensemble. The gutsy voices of the choir added a fascinating extra dimension to the piece, which drew it closer to its ethnic roots while at the same time maintaining its absolute originality and bizarreness. It was one of the most inspiring performances I've seen in a long time. I went out and bought the CD - the disc contains many of the original folk songs that were incorporated into Les Noces in some form or other, and many of them are trully wonderful. It's let down by a hideous recording of Les Noces with awful sounding electric pianos and a bucket-full of reverb (I hasten to add these were not the same performers as in the concert - the CD doesn't even list the pianists and percussionists who may well have been prerecorded by one player I suspect). The disc is worth it for the folk songs alone though.



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