Art and Faith

Friday, 28 December 2007

A Day by the River. music by Schubert

The early 20th century Impressionistic art of the Russian painter Konstantin Gorbatov is matched with one of the most famous lieder by Schubert, “An die Musik” . Every time I hear that song, I hear the classic recording by Lotte Lehman play in my head.

Nikolai Fechin. Reading the Newspaper


Reading the Newspaper (Nikolai Fechin, 1916)

Well, Bill, I did find some Fechin to post! Here is one of his paintings done before his emigration after the Civil War in the 20s.

Meet the Artist (Conductor): Angelina Aleksandrovna Tolstokulakova

Angelina Aleksandrovna Tolstokulakova was born in 1964. In 1984, she graduated from the class for the violin, and in 1984, she completed the course for choral conducting. At the Leningrad (now St Petersburg) Theological Academy, she studied at the conducting department, graduating in 1987. She did graduate work at the Kemerovo Institute of Art and Culture, finishing in 1999.

In 1987, she was named director of the cathedral choir in Omsk. Under her direction, the choir made studio recordings of selected church chants from their repertoire. In addition, Ms Tolstokulakova engaged in an energetic programme of concert performances throughout the Diocese of Omsk and Tyumen. In 1988, she became director of the choir of the Cathedral of the Protection in Tobolsk. Besides directing her chorus in the weekly round of ordinary and festal services, Ms Tolstokulakova made numerous concert appearances with this choir in Tobolsk and Tyumen. During this time, the television studio “Tyumen Meridian” made and broadcasted an exceptional film on a concert led by Ms Tolstokulakova. She was one of the founding members of the conducting faculty of the Tobolsk Spiritual Seminary.

Since 1994, Ms Tolstokulakova has been both director of the choir of the Cathedral of the Transfiguration in Novokuznetsk and a founding member of the faculty of the Novokuznetsk Spiritual Seminary. She is the chairman of the conducting faculty, and also teaches classes in church regulations, church singing, choral conducting, and choral arrangement. With the blessing of Archbishop Sofrony of Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk, she led the choir in the recording of three full-length audio CDs.

A festival of Orthodox spiritual music took place in Novokuznetsk on 14 January 2001, on the initiative of Ms Tolstokulakova and her husband, the contemporary Orthodox composer Sergei Tolstokulakov. It was dedicated the 2000th anniversary of the Birth of Christ. Ten groups participated in the event. Three were religious, including a children’s chorus, and seven were secular (both professional and school ensembles). A second festival of Orthodox spiritual music occurred between 24 to 29 April 2001, and 21 groups (13 religious, 8 secular) took part in the event from two regions of Siberia. The department of religious formation of the Diocese of Kemerovo and Novokuznetsk honoured her with a certificate recognising her role in the organisation and performance of the festivals. In addition, in August 2001, Ms Tolstolulakova received from Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all Russia the Order of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Grand Princess Olga, Third Class. A third festival of Orthodox spiritual music was held 15 to 19 May 2002; it was dedicated to the celebration of Slavic written culture and language.

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