Voices from Russia

Sunday, 20 July 2008

The Expedition of Mir-1 and Mir-2 begins in Lake Baikal

Filed under: intellectual,international organisations,Russian,science — 01varvara @ 00.00

The deep submergence research vehicles (DSRVs) Mir-1 and Mir-2 are being prepared for their dives to the bed of Lake Baikal. Their crews are readying the craft for serious scientific studies of the plant and animal life at the bottom of the lake, the level of hydrocarbons, and a precise measurement of the depth at the lakebed. This upcoming expedition is the first of its kind, for no earlier DSRV exploration reached the bottom and were able to conduct experiments there.

Baikal, a unique ecosystem in all of nature, lies in the southern reaches of eastern Siberia. In size, it is about equal in area to Belgium, Switzerland, or Holland. It holds 22 percent of the freshwater in the world, and 90 percent of the Russian supply. If one was to fill the Baikal basin by diverting to it all the rivers of the world, scientists calculate that such a move would take 300 days. The plant and animal life of the lake is no less unique. More than 2,600 species of animals and over 1,000 kinds of plants live here, the majority of them being unique to this ecosystem habitat. The purity of the lake is ensured by its microscopic life that filters the upper layer of the water down to a depth of 50 metres (@165 feet).

The DSRVs shall dive at several locations around the lake. Near the mud volcano on the lakebed, chemical measurements shall be taken, water samples shall be obtained, and benthic sedimentations with gas hydrates shall be measured.

According to Robert Nigmatulin, the Director of the Institute of Oceanography, “We assume that there are large deposits of gas hydrates on the bottom, that is, crystals composed of methane and water. According to some theories, a heavy concentration of gas is found in them. No one thinks that we can take them from the bottom. However, scientists shall try to see if we can obtain cheap natural gas from them in future. Besides this, we intend to study the undercurrents, which are of great interest. Baikal is not like a cup with still water. The water flows in one direction on the surface, and, yet another in the depths. We would like to find out how this occurs and how it affects the life in this habitat”.

The first descent is planned for late July, tentatively scheduled for 23 July. 60 dives are planned this year, and next year, 100 more are on the docket. Not only Russian specialists shall participate in the Baikal expedition, for foreign scientists are slated to take part as well. Experts from the Oceanographic Institute of Prince Albert II of Monaco, various UN bodies, and from leading institutes in the USA and Japan are part of the effort. All of the scientists are confident that many new discoveries await them.

18 July 2008

Svetlana Andreyeva

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=rus&q=77503&cid=23&p=18.07.2008

“Tsarist Days” in Yekaterinburg

Boris Gryzlov (1950- ), Speaker of the RF Gosduma

______________________________

Yekaterinburg in the Urals plays host yet again to the now-traditional “Tsarist Days” Festival of Orthodox Culture from 13 to 18 July. This event is in memory of the tragic end in 1918 of Tsar Nikolai II and the members of the imperial family. “It shall require decades for Russian society to totally realise the scope of this tragedy, one that seems to have occurred in another epoch, the shooting of the entire imperial family”, said Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of the RF Gosduma. “We must learn the lessons of our past so that they may be a solid foundation for unity, not division”, Gryzlov said to the participants at the World Russian People’s Congress session in Yekaterinburg. Over 2,000 clergy, scientists, public figures, and artists of all kinds came from Austria, America, Germany, Russia, Serbia, and other countries. Amongst them were members of the Romanov house, including Princess Olga Kulikovskaya-Romanova. The main events of the Congress were the première of the film Nikolai II: The Trampled Triumph (Nikolai II: Sorvanny Triumpf), greetings from Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias, and a concert of sacred music in the Memorial Church of the Saviour on-the-Spilled-Blood. The church was built on the very spot where the Ipatiev House stood, the place where the imperial family was killed some 90 years ago on the night of 16/17 July 1918.

******

Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God “of Feodorovskaya”

______________________________

14 pictures, dedicated to the historical events of 90 years ago, shall be shown as part of the international exhibition of documentary films, Lastochki Rossii (The Swallows of Russia). The audience was particularly moved by the film Put na Golgofu (The Way to Golgotha) directed by the brothers Anatoly and Viktor Golovkov from the Siberian city of Tobolsk. This was based on the imprisonment of the imperial family in Tobolsk and Yekaterinburg, as reflected in the last diaries of the tsar. In the Yekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts, there was a show of the works of the Moscow iconographer and painter Filipp Moskvitin entitled Diven Bog vo Svyatykh Svoikh (How Wondrous is God in His Saints). A central place in this presentation is taken by the monumental painting Svyatye Tsartvennye Mucheniki (The Holy Royal Martyrs). In it, the imperial family is depicted holding crosses, and the figures are 2 to 2.5 metres (@ 6.6 to 8.2 feet) in height. Pilgrims from around the world, and this year, there were over 10,000 even at this early point, flocked to the museum for the exhibit and to visit a gallery with the ancestral icon of the Romanovs, the icon of the Mother of God “of Feodorovskaya”. This exhibit shall run for the entire period of the “Tsarist Days”.

Exhibits from seven countries were on display at the 4th International Orthodox Exhibition-Fair From the Repentance to the Resurrection of Russia. For the first time, it was not only possible to buy church goods created at different monasteries, parishes, and podvorie, but, it was also possible to converse with theologians and to listen to spiritual music. Orthodox choral music also resounded at the all-Russian Choral Festival Resounding Angels from the Heavens, where male choruses and boys’ choirs from all over Russia participated. Bell-ringing shall peal out during the period of the “Tsarist Days” Festival. The best bell-ringers of Russia gathered for a festival of bell-ringing, Church Bells of the Ural Land. Traditional and special methods of bell-ringing were demonstrated and master-classes in the art of ringing the bells were given. They also performed the 1812 Overture of Pyotr Chaikovsky, a piece in which the composer used the old tsarist anthem, Bozhe, Tsarya Khrani (God, Protect the Tsar).

15 July 2008

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=rus&q=77177&cid=24&p=15.07.2008

“Russian Sounds” in Schleswig-Holstein

Filed under: art music,cultural,history,music,opera,performing arts,Romanovs,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Christoph Eschenbach (1940- ), renowned German musician and conductor

“Russian Sounds” is the subtitle of one of the largest European musical festivals this summer; it shall run in the cities of the northern German Länd of Schleswig-Holstein until 21 August. Russian names predominate amongst both the composers and musicians on the posters. Neighbourly relations between Russia and Schleswig-Holstein go back to 1725, when Anna Petrovna, the daughter of Tsar Peter the Great, married Grand Duke Karl-Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp.

The duke presented to is future father-in-law the so-called Gottorp Miracle Globe, an enormous sphere some three metres (@10 feet) in diameter. As he was just as intrigued by science as was the tsar, the duke made a copy of the globe for his court. The prime minister of Schleswig-Holstein, Peter Karstensen, related this shared history and added, “Since then, this masterpiece of the Schleswig craftsmen of that past time symbolises the connection of our peoples, which did not fight one another over influence in Europe, but, shared a common interest in science and culture”.

For some seven weeks, Russian music shall sound in the 50 cities and towns on the itinerary of the festival. The works of Modest Mussorgsky and Igor Stravinsky shall be performed by Cristoph Eschenbach, who started this particular musical festival 23 years ago, and he has been a permanent fixture of the event ever since. The majority of the orchestral programmes shall be played by the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, which recently appeared in St Petersburg at the Stars of the White Nights Festival organised by the famous conductor Valery Gergiev.

Now, Maestro Gergiev is making a reciprocal visit to Schleswig-Holstein, bringing with him the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre. The best operatic soloists and musicians of Russia, the conquerors of stages throughout the world and justly loved by global audiences, shall be prominent figures on the stages of the festival. Amongst them are the pianists Eliso Virsaladze and Denis Matsuev, violoncellists Natalia Gutman and Boris Andrianov, guitarist Dmitri Illarionov, and others as well. Besides academic ensembles and soloists, other Russian musical groups to appear shall be folk-music choirs, church choirs, and folk-instrument orchestras, including the popular folk quartet Terem.

15 July 2008

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=rus&q=77176&cid=24&p=15.07.2008

Lyubov Kazarnovskaya Wins Award from “Gramophone” for Recording of Romansy of Pyotr Chaikovsky

Lyubov Kazarnovskaya (1958- ), famous Russian operatic soprano

******

“Triumph of the Victory”… not a performance by Ms Kazarnovksaya, rather a project conceived by her in honour of Victory Day… music by Verdi with footage of the Second Great Patriotic War… truly, a multi-talented artist.

******

Another part of the “Triumph of the Victory”

******

The British magazine Gramophone bestowed its prestigious Critic’s Award on the well-known Russian opera-singer Lyubov Kazarnovskaya for her CD anthology of romansy {“romances”, sentimental Russian love songs of the 19th and early-20th century: editor} by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. For the first time in the history of recording, all 103 romansy of Chaikovsky are performed by a single performer in a single multiple-CD album, regardless of the voice for which they were originally written, from bass to soprano! International experts gave a thumbs-up to this project of Ms Kazarnovskaya, one that she considers a highlight of her career. She considers Chaikovsky one of her favourite composers, and after completing work on the romansy project, she is going to record his opera, Pikovaya Dama (Queen of Spades).

******

******

Ms Kazarnovskaya is convinced that “there’s no limit to the possibilities that we can take as singers, as creative personalities”. She stated this at a recent meeting with young musicians in Moscow. This was a unique master-class, during which she not only gave her audience advice on vocalisation and vocal technique, but, she also attempted to give the entire spectrum of the singer’s art, repeatedly stating that an operatic singer is, first of all, an artist, not merely “a package for a voice”.

******

******

******

“Contemporary operatic performance requires much work. We can’t merely rely on the scenery and set poses, and then just sing. When I prepared for the role of Salome in Richard Strauss’ opera at the Teatro Santa Cecilia in Rome, I worked much on my dramatic presentation, giving particular attention to the choreography, because, in one of the episodes, Salome performs a twelve-minute dance”. Lyubov Kazarnovskaya is the first, and, thus far, only, Russian singer to portray this most complex role on the world operatic stage. She works with the leading operatic talents of our time, conductors, directors, and singers. She participates in many musical festivals and has initiated many unusual creative projects. This summer, her schedule is crammed with concerts in Italy and Germany, where she shall perform an original programme comprised of the repertoire of the famous French singer of the 19th century, Pauline García-Viardot, who had a romantic liaison with the famous Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev.

15 July 2008

Voice of Russia World Service

http://www.ruvr.ru/main.php?lng=rus&q=77175&cid=24&p=15.07.2008

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.