Russia came to Eye Church in this concert of Rachmaninov and folk music, directed by Leslie Olive.
Composed during the First World War, two years before the revolution, the ‘Vespers’ seemed like the end of the Russian Church.
A century later, those gentle alleluias are still pouring out, seeming to show an inextricable link between faith and folk.
Some of the more stentorian bass items were omitted, but others had a murmuring, hive-like quality, with spurts of rejoicing.
It was a masterstroke to include the Muzika Lyra trio, interspersed with the Rachmaninov. Lila Moshtel sings in such a warm, impassioned way that, as with Edith Piaf, you don’t have to understand the words. Pianist Nadia Giliova made the difficult Rachmaninov Preludes seem easy. Julian Milone is a master violinist, whether in stately moods or a bow-blurring Hungarian Dance. The well known pieces known to us as Midnight in Moscow, Kalinka and Those Were The Days ended this endearing concert, with the audience singing along.
Basil Abbott, Diss Express