St Serf’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Burntisland proved to be an excellent venue for a concert presented on Friday 13 November 2015 by the Voskresenije (Resurrection) Choir of St Petersburg. The church’s acoustic is well suited to small-scale choral music of this kind and the eight members of the choir filled it with their remarkable sound.
In the first half of the concert the eight singers, conducted by the choir’s founder, Jurij Maruk, performed sacred music by Rachmaninov, taken from his Vespers (written in 1915) as well as music by Tshesnokov, a contemporary of Rachmaninov who is perhaps less well-known outside Russia. The choir’s interpretation of these pieces was both sensitive and diverse, exploiting the virtuoso qualities of the individual voices within the group, ranging from the basso profundo velvet richness of Anatoly Artamonov to the ethereal purity of Ganna Zhivaeva’s soprano. A well-balanced and deeply spiritual performance of Saint-Saens’ Agnus Dei completed the first half of the concert and a complete contrast of style was provided after the interval as the choir had fun with a series of Russian folk songs, which allowed individual members plenty of opportunity to step into the limelight and demonstrate that this choir is made up of extremely talented virtuoso musicians.