You would not want to know anyone who would not enjoy the Pokrovsky Folk Ensemble”
“’Performance’ isn’t quite the right world-these people are sharing a kind of living with us; they create whole ancient worlds that have not vanished at all.”
The Boston Globe
Today, modern composers themselves bring their music to Pokrovsky Ensemble, because they know that nobody will be able to do their music so good like this forever growing music team can , based on ancient traditions, (S. Koshkarova,"Kurgan and Kurgan citiziens"19.12.18)
Pokrovsky Ensemble – are autentisic, literate and profound. Invite them to sing Stimmung Stockhausen – was the interesting idea .Ensemble created in the early 1970s, but was far from the Soviet notions of pop populists and diverse “aylyuley “ in the headdress. These are people who are very seriously engaged in authentic folklore. They explore the archaic spiritual practices that formed the basis of Russian folklore, pagan rituals. Team, looking to his work in the past, dealing, for the most part, its reconstruction, and perhaps to a lesser extent, but still comprehension place of folklore in the world today.07/19/2013 Vladimir Rannev magazine "Theatre"
I don't even know unsuccessful performances of any kind of music performed by this ensemble. Maybe because everything they do - they make with love. \ Interview with Marina Shmotova \ magazine "Harp"\Gusly\ 1 \ 2013 N.Alparova
I think that one of the best vaccination of patriotism occurs at concerts Pokrovsky Ensemble.Because that here you truly feel your root, natural and joyful belonging to your own people, your culture and history \ S.Ptitsa, AN-online, 17.05.2013 "Word about Igor's regiment" in the new reading "
In the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre performs the most authoritative Russian folklore ensemble. With a program of spiritual chants "Man lives - as the grass grows ..." serves the national heritage - Vocal Dmitri Pokrovsky Ensemble. For almost forty years, recognized worldwide as an ensemble combines the scientific study of folklore with its performance, and folk music traditions synthesize the achievements of modern music. In past years, the Pokrovsky Ensemble performed at the third stage of the Mariinsky relatively modern repertoire - "Les Noces" by Stravinsky and "Nights in Galicia Martynov. Now finally it was the turn of authentic Russian music.
By Barry Millington, Evening Standard 15.06.07
TRACED OVERHEAD’- the musical world of Thomas Adès
(Barbican Centre, London – March-April 2007);
The concert ends with an unmissable performance of Stravinsky's Les Noces. Thomas Adès leads the legendary Russian vocal group the Pokrovsky Ensemble and a wonderful line-up of performers, through a fastpaced performance of this work.
The concert ended with a truly revelatory performance of Stravinsky's Les Noces, a work whose hard-edged sonorities and Cubist-like structures evidently appeal to Adès.
With the Pokrovsky Ensemble enacting the wedding-day ritual in suitably raw, ancestral tones, the Labeque Sisters with Rolf Hind and Peter Donohoe pounding away on a quartet of pianos and Adès himself driving the ensemble forward, this was a mesmerising piece of theatre. Les Noces is a work I usually try to avoid, but here, for the first time, I got it.
the Evening Standard/29.03.07
To end, Adès conducted a starry ensemble in Stravinsky’s Les noces: the four pianists included Peter Donohoe, Rolf Hind and the Labèque sisters, and the all-Russian Pokrovsky Ensemble brought an earthy, native energy to Stravinsky’s choral parts that was irresistible. An exhilarating way to start.
The Financial Times Limited 2007/26/03/07
Talking ofStravinsky, his "Les Noces" completed the concert. Stravinsky also borrowed from numerous styles liberally, but never sounds like anyone but himself. And how wonderful to hear the singing of the Pokrovsky Ensemble, whose raw, strident folk singing style energised this wonderful piece in a way that preened conservatoire voices never could.<
Richard Fairman, The Financial Times, 27/03/2007, 5stars
"To end [the performance], Ades conducted astarry ensemble in Stravinsky's Les Noces: the four pianists included Peter Donohoe, Rolf Hind and the Labeque sisters, and the all-Russian Pokrovsky Ensemble brought an earthy, native energy to Stravinsky's choral parts that was irrestible. An exhilirating way to start [the Thomas Ades season]."
Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 28/03/2007, 4stars
"Stravinsky's Lec Noces was given the full Russian folk treatment by the gloriously throaty singers of the Pokrovsky Ensemble..."
It was splendiddy “primitive” performance
By Barry Millington, Evening Standard 26.03.07
The concert ended with a truly revelatory performance of Stravinsky's Les Noces, a work whose hard-edged sonorities and Cubist-like structures evidently appeal to Adиs. With the Pokrovsky Ensemble enacting the wedding-day ritual in suitably raw, ancestral tones, the Labeque Sisters with Rolf Hind and Peter Donohoe pounding away on a quartet of pianos and Adиs himself driving the ensemble forward, this was a mesmerising piece of theatre. Les Noces is a work I usually try to avoid, but here, for the first time, I got it.
Reviewed by: Rob Witts -25.03.07 classicalsourse.com
For these intimate, packed concerts, Adès tagged Stravinsky and Nancarrow as influences, and the finale of the first programme was a terrific performance of “Les noces” by an all-star cast. The Pokrovsky Ensemble of Russia, in flamboyant peasant costume, sang the chorus and the solo roles in almost operatic fashion, emphasising the folk-roots of Stravinsky’s music while the mechanical accompaniment pounded away behind. Unfortunately this accompaniment sometimes drowned the soloists; otherwise, this was a performance to savour, and Adès, clearly enjoying himself, held the wonderful buzzy reverberations of the last pianos’ note for as long as it lasted
Times Online, October,31,2006 Richard Morrison
…But nobody, or at least nobody who hadn’t heard the Pokrovsky Ensemble before, could have predicted how exciting the result would be… And what ear-popping sounds it creates! Instead of the homogenised blend of a conventionally trained vocal ensemble, these singers glory in pungent individuality, nasal tone and theatrical characterisation – plus all sorts of weird and wonderful glissandos and microtonal inflections that add a jangling richness to their gradually piled-up ostinatos. Sometimes wild , hoarse, wailing or squawky, elsewhere haunting, tender or ebullient, their wedding-songs selection was the most unexpectedly uplifting half-hour I’ve heard in a concert hall for months.
The Pokrovskys went on to sing Les Noces in the same way^ no scores, oodles of flamboyance and what seemed like improvisational freedom, yet a rock-solid adherence to the dots on the page… The result wasn’t the most precise Noces of all time (\symphony Hall is too resonant for that), but something better : a performance that took off like a rocket and never stopped climbing.
Last Updated 31.10.2006 Matthew Rye
It proved a fascinating insight into the performance of Les Noces that followed, where one could marvel anew at Stravinsky’s absorption of the language and exuberance of the wedding ceremonies, This is one of the Pokrovsky’s party pieces, and its members sang it without scores and with a dramatic vividness one would never get from a Western choir – an unrefined, earthy edge that caught the parallels with the traditional music they had performed earlier.
BirminghamOct 30.2006 Christopher Morley
Amazing vocal techniques were on display here, as well as vivid costuming and body-language. And this delightful (if slightly over-long) offering created an illuminating context for the performance of Les Noces which followed.
Western listeners tend to regard this extraordinary work as a colourful piece of gossipy, posturing folklore, but here, with the jaw-dropping collaboration of the Pokrovskys (singing from memory, let alone their involving interaction of movement and gesture), plus the enlightenment they had just brought us , it emerged as something both comic and sacramental, affectionate in its portratal of a young couple’s journey to the marriage-bed.
There are no fewer than three retrospectives running of Thomas Ades’s work this year - the Presences festival in Paris, the Ultima Festival in Oslo, and Traced Overhead at the Barbican. The last was programmed by Adès and includes work which informs his own, such as Beethoven's First Symphony and more modern works from György Kurtág, Conlon Nancarrow and Stravinsky.
Stravinsky's Les Noces is his "favourite piece in the world ever, really, and when I heard the Pokrovsky Ensemble [a choral group who have researched ancient Russian singing techniques], I knew that's what I wanted. Stravinsky would love this version.
First came Stravinsky's Les Noces, in which the Russian peasant nuptials were celebrated by a cast including Olga Savova and Gennady Bezzubenkov, together with members of the Mariinsky Chorus.
For all that these performers were singing in their native language, and for all Gergiev's characteristic drive, it lacked the raw, ancestral quality and theatricality of the revelatory performance by the Pokrovsky Ensemble under Ades three months ago.
1: THE TOP FIFTY: Our critics' choice of the week's hot tickets
From Independent On Sunday- 27/11/2005 FOLK, JAZZ & WORLD
UNORTHODOX CHANTSThe Pokrovsky Ensemble present the many sides of Russian vocal music. Anvil, Basingstoke (01256 844 244) Wed
Classical: THE FIVE BEST CONCERTS
From The Independent- 26/11/2005)
By Mark Pappenheim
Russian folk specialists the Pokrovsky Ensemble are joined by the strings of Opus Posth and the singing accordionist, Evelyn Petrova, in a mix of minimalism, folk, 20th-century classical and improvised jazz.
RNCM, Manchester (0161-907 5555) 7.30pm
3: Russian song
From Newsquest Media Group Newspapers- 25/11/2005 whatson
"UNORTHODOX Chants", at The Anvil next Wednesday, is a celebration of the power and vitality of Russian vocal music, from the intimacy of traditional folk song to metropolitan St Petersburg.
The programme includes the Pokrovsky Ensemble performing Russian wedding songs, accompanied by evocative film footage, Evelyn Petrova performing Year's Cycle, and the Pokrovsky Ensemble and Opus Posth performing Night in Galicia.
the choir has collaborated with Peter Gabriel and Paul Winter.
They perform with the authentic voice of ancient Russia, sometimes accompanying themselves on traditional instruments including wheel lyra (hurdy gurdy), vargan (harp) and zvenelki (jingles).
From The Times- 25/11/2005)
From Huddersfield Examiner- 24/11/2005 (When the Pokrovsky Ensemble walked on stage and began to sing a sequence of traditional Russian wedding songs, the atmosphere was electric.
This was not the sanitised Soviet version of Russian folk music, but something much older.
The piquant harmonies and raw singing style of the ensemble re-creates a vernacular vocal sound that influenced the young Stravinsky, and a section from his ballet "The Wedding" of 1923 followed.
The great shame here was not just that a pre-recorded instrumental soundtrack accompanied the singers, but that it was a weak computerised simulation of Stravinsky's original instrumentation.
Joining the singers on stage for the second half of the programme was the Russian Opus Posth stringensemble to perform one work, Vladimir Martynov's A Night in Galicia. The programme notes promised an archaic ritual based on the writings of the Futurist sound-poet Khlebnikov ( adventurous stuff. In fact, Martynov's music is dispiritingly static, obtusely minimalist with all the vitamins taken out.
Eventually the performance came to life with a spirited interchange of vocal interjections between the male singers at one side of the stage, and the females on the other.
The piece ended with a surprisingly sentimental song, not at all archaic. Overall, a disappointing evening that was very nearly marvellous.
So you think you hate contemporary music
From Huddersfield Examiner- 17/11/2005
I have been going to concerts at the Contemporary Music Festival for 15 years, and like many of those who are keen regular attenders I have discovered over a period of time that experiencing live performances of new concert music can be exciting, rewarding and addictive.
If I were you, I would rush to get a ticket to hear the Russian Pokrovsky Folk Ensemble. But don't expect them to sing "Kalinka". They are described as "at once hauntingly ancient and shockingly modern."
The main evening events get the most attention, but there are other performances that often undeservedly don't even get reviewed.
The late-night concerts are often quite special, intimate experiences, where the audience gives the music their rapt attention.
“An early smash was the Pokrovsky Ensemble, a lively song-and –dances whose perfformance demonstrated that Cossack music has parallels in native American music and medieval plainsong.”
“(The Pokrovske’s) music can seem as deep as the Russian soul and as expansive as the vast spaces of Russia itself. The mood created by the ensemble is so infectious that it communicates itself to the audience. Several performances in Boston ended with the spectators dancing their way out of the hall.”
“....the Pokrovsky Folk Music Ensemble....offered a rich experience..”
The New York Times
“The youngsters...clapped their hands, danced in their seats, laughed across the language barrier at universal folk tales and story-songs ...”
The Boston Globe
“This is the real thing.. Seeing the normal Russian folk ensemble is a bit like going to Disneyland and thinking you have experienced America.”
Professor of Slavic Laguages
“The Pokrovsky Singers combine a marvelous blend of voices with boundless enthusiasm and energy, and a totally engaging manner.. The crowd absolutely loved it”.
Des Moines Register
“The high point of this thematic extravaganza (Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Stravinsky festival) \was\ when Dmitry Pokrovsky’s remarcable group of singers, dancers and instrumentalists performed Les Noces...a musically accomplished electric performance ... compelling realization..”
“... the most convincing act of Russification was performed by Moscow’s Pokrovsky Ensemble, with its colorful, ear-opening re-enactments of archaic folk rituals...”
The Wall Street Journal
“The highlight of the weekend was the Pokrovsky Ensemble’s revamping of Les Noces... The austere choral ballet , which the composer conceived as perfectly impersonal and perfectly mechanical, became a swirl of bright, raucous voices, colorful costumes and energetic peasant rituals. But Mr. Pokrovsky did not neglect the mechanical aspect altogether; for the accopaniment, he brought out comuterized pianos, picking up on Stravinsky’s well-documented interest in the pianola. The result was an irrational but compelling mix of sonorities”.
The New York Times
“ the Pokrovsky Ensemble of singers and instrumentalists gave thre Brooklyn weekend most of its special character... The Ensemble]set] the BAM lobby ringing with their fullthroated, vibrato-less songs..”
The Village Voice
“...a visually stunning performance... the singers chorepgraphed Stravinsky’s score as if it were a cross between a village marriage and a contemporary dance-theater piece-at times dancing expressively, at times imitating the (often cruel) ancient rituals of the primitive ceremony. The effect was both emotionally compelling and intellectually disturbing...this Les Noces was powerful suggestion of an esthetic that has appealed to all sides of the political spectrum, and been put to service for ideas both liberating and dehumanizing”
THE DMITRY POKROVSKY ENSEMBLE
THE WILD FIELD
Release date: 28 May 1991
Manufactured, Marketed and Distributed by Virgin Records
“…as deep as the Russian soul, as expansive as the vast spaces of Russia itself…” Washington Post
..The music on this album is peasant music from Southern Russia, specific to an area known as “wield field”
because it has no natural barriers and over the centuries has been ravaged by invaders and marauding Tartars. The songs all date from before the 1917 revolution – most have been handed down generation by generation over several centuries – and now they are usually sung by farmers working on collective farms. Music in as integral part of the daily lives of these villagers; in order to understand it Dmitry and the group lived within the joining in the activities and celebrations as well as singing and recording. The ensemble play the ancient “kaliuki” – simple hollow reed flutes traditionally played by shepherds to guard the fields. Their voices are natural, flexible – singing difficult harmonies and improvising in the customary style.
Now recognized as the founder of the modern folklore movement in the Soviet Union, the Ensemble has toured extensively through the United States, Europe and Japan, thrilling audiences with their boundless enthusiasm and tireless energy. This album was recorded at Real World Studios on their first visit to England in 1990 – where they performed top thunderous applause at WOMAD’s Reading festival – and captures all the excitement and energy of a live performance.
On the Elektra Nonesuch recording of “Les Noces”:
“Most recordings document the history of performance but this new, extraordinary recording represents a stage in the discovery or recovery of the history of music….. The results are astonishing, delightful, terrifying, and, most of all, deeply stirring; these performances connect us with something primal in human experience… \a\ dazzling, informative, opinion-challenging recording…”
“ Poignant, powerful music… at once hauntingly ancient and shockingly modern”..
The Boston Globe
“(Album of the Week) Everything on this CD… is sung in genuine Russian folk style.(Imagine a cross between a red-hot gospel choir and a Sacred Harp convention. Now stir in a gallon of vodka.)… this is by far the most vitalLes Noces on record. Refined it isn’t. Thrilling it most definitely is the real, raw, right thing”.