Nikolai Golovanov (1891-1953), People’s Artist of the USSR, Conductor of the Orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre
On Thursday, in the Rakhmaninov Hall of the Moscow Conservatoire, a concert in the Moscow Easter Festival shall highlight spiritual works for mixed choir of the famous Soviet conductor Nikolai Golovanov. On Wednesday, Aleksei Puzakov, the head of the Moscow Synodal Choir, told Interfax-Religion that Golovanov created his religious works “in the midst of the struggle of the Soviet government with the legacy of the Orthodox culture of Russia”.
The tropar to St Nicholas the Wonderworker, arranged by Nikolai Golovanov
He went on to say that, in recent years, “the creativity of this great conductor, who led orchestra of the Bolshoi Theatre and the Large Symphony Orchestra of the all-Union Radio, three times winner of the Stalin Prize, has revealed itself in an unexpected quarter. Maestro Golovanov was the only major musician in the Soviet Union who created religious music on this level in the 30 years following the revolution, knowing that there was no possibility or even hope of hearing them in public performance. In all this there was an important feature in Golovanov’s output… there was a commitment to the principles he learned in his childhood from the Moscow Synodal School of church music”, Mr Puzakov said.
Nikolai Golovanov conducting Christmas Eve Overture by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
The concert programme will include works taken from his last four spiritual compositions, covering different times in the creative output of Maestro Golovanov. This will be the first concert devoted entirely to Golovanov’s spiritual works, because of their great complexity, and, more recently, due to their inaccessibility, performance of his early works became a rarity, for printed scores were only published in 2004.
7 April 2010