It is not often that we have one of the world’s outstanding interpreters Russian Orthodox music in Australia.
Protodeacon Nicholas Triantafillidis who, regardless of his Greek name, is of Russian heritage and from the USA, is a guest of Walk to the Field of Stars: A Musical Pilgrimage, a festival celebrating the music of the Easter and Western Christian Holy Week as well as Jewish Passover.
Protodeacon Nicholas Triantafillidis will be performing the Saturday before Greek Easter at the Melbourne Recital Centre.
Peter Mousaferiadis has been contracted to curate a series of concerts “about the sense of place and source,” as he said to Neos Kosmos English Edition, (NKEE).
As Mousaferiadis highlights that “Russian Orthodox music has a different tradition of singing which is Western based with its sources are in Venice, Vienna, Rome, and other parts of Western Europe which started composing in four-part vocal tradition.”
The desire for the Russian Church and state to stamp their own identity in the 15th Century on Orthodox resulted in the search of new musical idioms borne in the west.
“The Byzantine tradition is vertical and melismatic while the western Latin tradition is based on horizontal scales,” says Mousaferiadis to NKEE.
The concert promised to take the audience on a musical voyage through the darker Great Lent to the joyous music of Pascha and Anastasi.
“Prince Vlad around the late 900s, was baptized as a Christian after marrying a Byzantine princess. He destroyed all the pagan monuments and established churches, like Church of the Tithes (989) and even the monastery on Mt. Athos.”
“Orthodox faith was chosen by Vlad as you could get married as a priest unlike in the Catholic tradition,” Mousaferiadis adds wryly.
Protodeacon Nicholas Triantafillidis began singing in the Holy Virgin Cathedral youth choir of 60 voices under the direction of Vladimir V. Krassovsky at the age of six. Since 2004 he has been singing in the Saint John of San Francisco Men’s Chorale under Nicholas Kotar. The Russian Easter Vigil features the Melbourne Cappella performing in the tradition of Imperial Court Cappella choirs under the direction of Nicholas Cowall, Australia’s leading interpreter and promoter of Russian Choral Repertoire.
A Russian Easter Vigil is on Saturday 11 April for more information go to www.melbournerecital.com.au or call 9699 3333.