We hope you can join us to experience the music of Dmitry Bortnyansky to be performed by the Osanna Chamber Ensemble on October 26 and 27 in two historic and magnificent cathedral venues in New York City.
And please stay after the concerts for the fundraiser-receptions and enjoy socializing with the conductor and singers, delicious hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails.
To purchase tickets and for more information:
From John Arlievsky, Conductor:
“Today, too many dismiss Bortnyansky’s compositions as ‘merely’ Italianate Galante artifacts – yet his output is undeniably a cornerstone of Russian Orthodox liturgical singing to this day. As a group equally comfortable in singing Western European as we are Eastern European music, Osanna Chamber Ensemble is uniquely equipped to tackle the question: What about Bortnyansky’s music has for centuries moved people in prayer, and why does it continue to do so today?
In 1789 Russia, liturgical music was at a point of crisis. Nobility, clergy and laypeople maintained a great variety of opinions about the appropriate direction for their sacred music, placing enormous pressure on the people creating that music. Returning from studies in Italy, composer Dmitry Bortnyansky received a royal invitation to continue his work in St. Petersburg shortly after his contemporary, Maxim Berezovsky, had taken his own life. In an exceedingly complex environment, Berezovsky had begun what Bortnyansky would go on to complete: the creation of an effective synthesis of the compositional language used at the time in Italy with his intimate knowledge of the ancient aesthetics of Orthodox Christian chant and liturgical arts in general. A heavy weight born on Bortnyansky’s shoulders indeed, and an undertaking which would change the course of music and history.
By juxtaposing Bortnyansky’s liturgical harmonizations with several of his more para-liturgical choral concerti, our concert program aims to demystify the essence of his compositional language. Armed with a nuanced and informed musicological approach and a deeply rooted love for this music, the goal of our upcoming concert is to cultivate a stylistic approach to unlock the treasures of Bortnyansky’s works by decoding his compositional language.
Library fires, a lack of research in sacred music throughout the Soviet period, and the utilitarian nature of Bortnyansky’s music have led to a multitude of unanswered questions. There are even those who bitterly maintain that there is simply no place in liturgy for this music. Despite all this and more, we continue to chant Bortnyansky’s music across the Orthodox world.
What is the value of Bortnyansky’s music to Orthodox prayer of yesterday, today, and tomorrow? Join us – and decide for yourself – as we explore these questions in concerts on October 26th and 27th in NYC.”
We sincerely thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at the live performances.