Performing Musician & Teaching Artist
Russian Song Ensemble
The Russian Song course at Case Western Reserve University is dedicated to the exploration and performance of vocal music from Russia and the former USSR. Russia comprises many ethnic groups and has a vast repertoire of folk music, folk instruments, and singing styles. Students will learn children’s songs, art songs, “city” romances, Cossack songs, Georgian polyphony, music from Soviet film, and folk dances. Each song is placed in context, with an eye towards culture, symbolism, history, poetry/lyrics, and customs. Students will look at how classical composers use Russian folk music in their long forms and how Russian opera borrows from folk tales. The study of Chastushki, an ancient Russian village phenomenon which continues to evolve, will lead to creating students’ own stylistically appropriate poetry and ostinato. Russian percussion and other instruments will enhance the song and dance, all culminating in a final performance at the end of the semester.