Wincehster Festival 2009

Grechaninov's Passion Week

Thursday 16 July 2009 9:00pm
Winchester Cathedral quire
directed by Charles Stewart

Tickets £12.50

Our contribution to the 2009 Winchester Festival was a late evening performance of 'Passion Week', a majestic setting of thirteen texts by the Russian composer Alexander Grechaninov. Composed in 1911, this music was largely forgotten until it emerged in recent years to take its rightful place among the high points of Slavonic church music, alongside the masterpieces of Rachmaninov.

The texts are from the morning and evening services during Passion Week, the days leading up to Christ's crucifixion, although Grechaninov did not intend that his settings would be used liturgically. The work is largely unknown in the West, despite the transcendent beauty of the choral writing, and we hope that the Festival audience will share our passion in this performance.

For several years British music lovers have been able to enjoy Passion Week in the form of two highly acclaimed recordings of Russian and US choirs on the Chandos label. We believe that this concert in Winchester Cathedral was only the second complete performance in Britain, allowing the Festival audience a unique opportunity to experience it at first hand and in an appropriate setting.