Interview with Roman Karabatov, the artistic director of the ensemble of ancient music "Choral"

The opening ceremony of the festival UNIFEST-2013" and XVII Kazan choral Assembly took place at February 26 at State Big Concert Hall named after S. Saidashev.

The concert known as "Student choirs of Russia", brought together in one program the performance of three universities and three conservatories. In the first part of the concert there was a brilliant performance of early music ensemble "Choral", which  celebrates its 45th anniversary this year .

In anticipation of this important event the correspondent of "Music of Russia" had a talk with the artistic director and principal conductor of the ensemble, the laureate and winner of national and international competitions, Roman Karabatov.

 -Roman, tell us, please, about the history of your ensemble. When it was founded and who stood at the origin?

-  Our choral collective was organized by the Department of Foreign Languages at the Ural State University named after Maxim Gorky in 1968. And it has been organized by a wonderful person, Galina Isaakovna Strepetova. She was a lecturer at the Department of Foreign Languages, and the by fact that she was on good terms with her friends in Germany, she decided to organize such a great ensemble that could perform early music in different languages.

-  So in the early years since the founding of the ensemble, your collective played mainly the German sacred music?

German sacred music. Yes. That’s right.

Do you perform works by Russian composers?

-It happens in our program that we perform works of Russian composers, but not in such large numbers, because after all there is a certain specificity, which was laid at the base, at the origins of my ensemble. I'm trying to keep it now after such a long period.

-Tell us about the audience that comes to your concerts.

-Well, we started with a small audience, because after all it was a difficult time, when people perceived only Russian music, but the love audience has been defined in this area. Audience began to steadily increase. There are thematic concerts that helped define precisely the contingent of people, which is interested to have familiarity with this music. Certain projects, which were aimed at a specific audience. Therefore at our concerts there is a lot of people.

- How close is the music that you perform to the modern audience?

In connection with the recent events of interest was revived to some old times. So, now, now, the composers are trying to do polystylistics on early music.

This just shows the right time to raise the formation which is fundamental, the source of which we actually propagandize. At the root of which there was were all vocal and choral art from different times.

Therefore, this interest is alive; we have a lot of ensembles there, instrumental ones, which play medieval authentic instruments. But, as we have been organized long ago, and now, this year we celebrate 45 years, they want us to have this project together, because they know, that we have some experience in this area. There are certain traditions.

- This is your first appearance before the Kazan spectators?

Before Kazan spectators in is not the first one. This is our third show, but in this hall it is the first. The first performance.

And what will you perform today before Kazan audience? What compositions were included in the program of the festival UNIFEST 2013?

- We have prepared a very interesting program, because we had planned it from the point of view of different styles. We have chosen three areas. The first is the sacred music of the Renaissance, that is to say, it was an old music.

The second part represents the secular music of the Renaissance, it is a secular formation. Small. And in the third section we will have spiritual music. English music, but later composed. That is, the twentieth century. And this is just the combination by which you can be trace an interesting feature of our collective, as it can transform from one mood to another.

-  Thank you for the interesting conversation.

- -Not at all.  Wish you all the best.

- Good luck with you concert.

- Thank you very much.

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