Vocal Area Network logo VAN Feature

Sunset, Night, Sunrise: RCCNY offers choral miniatures and romances
by Jeremy Green for Vocal Area Network
Posted May 25, 2008

Little stars timidly lit in the sky
Speaking to my sad soul:
In this pale night toss away all thoughts
Rest, quiet down, my soul
Quiet down, quiet down, my soul
And listen how beautifully in your heart
The stillness resounds.

        -- from Zor'ka (Little Dawn), set to music by Krylov

The Russian Chamber Chorus of New YorkOn Sunday, June 1 and again on Thursday, June 5,  The Russian Chamber Chorus of New York, Nikolai Kachanov, Artistic Director and Conductor, will perform a special program of some of Russia's most beautiful and lyrical music for chorus and soloists, including works by Arensky, Glinka, Mussorgksy, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Taneyev.

In his notes for the concert, Maestro Kachanov says that the theme of the concert, "Sunset, Night, Sunrise," is one that he has contemplated for many years, and that night, specifically, is the most treasured time of day in the artistry of Russian poets and composers of the 19th and 20th centuries. Night sets loose the imagination of composers, sending their thoughts and feelings on a creative journey.

A singer with the Chorus, Jeremy Green, describes a recent experience rehearsing for this special concert.


The other night I emerged from rehearsal as if floating on a wing. My footsteps seemed to have no weight, although I could hear the sound of my shoes as I moved across the shadowy sidewalk. I had lost my purpose, although I knew where I was going.

I thought: Where am I? How have I arrived here?

I listened to the faint rustle of young leaves and waited for the moon to emerge from behind a cloud, all the while hoping to find more than the usual imaginary stars which glow so weakly above the raging light of the city. I often feel bittersweet longing for stars. A blue-black velveteen cloth punctuated by millions of needle-points of light is perhaps the first image I bottled inside of me the minute I abandoned the countryside of my youth.

I made my way underground, and the brazen metallic sounds of the subway lurching through the city's belly didn't completely pull me from this state of mind. I kept thinking of stars, and water.

During the rehearsal, Maestro Kachanov had inspired me to consider the significance of stars, and night, and the sound of owls and the heavy movement of the moon in the art we were creating together as a group. At one moment, as we sang, the bottled-up and immense, starry nights of my childhood expanded inside of me until I felt the incredible pull of their memory-gravity: I was suddenly suspended between two places. I was in rehearsal, surrounded by my fellow singers; and I was near the home where I grew up, laying in a field and watching the summer stars wheel overhead as crickets chirped in the distance.


The Russian Chamber Chorus of New York performs "Sunset, Night, Sunrise" on Sunday, June 1 at 3:00 PM at St. Joseph's Church in the West Village, 371 Sixth Avenue, between Waverly and Washington, and on Thursday, June 5 at 8:00 PM in the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall.  Please note that tickets to the Weill engagement are very limited.

Jeremy Green has been singing with the RCCNY since 2007.

Content Contact: Jeremy Green.
Revision Date: May 25, 2008.
Technical Contact: Steve Friedman.

 Vocal Area Network logo