Russian Serenade
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Sergey Rachmaninov

Russian Serenade

Gamma Majoris Ensemble

Label: Champs Hill
Format: CD
Barcode: 5060212591449
Catalog number: CHRCD 138
Releasedate: 09-02-18
- Debute release for this ensemble
- Russian song transcriptions, chamber & piano music by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov

Gamma Majoris is a London-based ensemble created by 4 established soloists: Ksenia Berezina (violin), Yulia Chaplina (piano), Alisa Liubarskaya (cello) and Anastasia Prokofieva (soprano). The ensemble’s name derives from the star Gamma Ursae Majoris and the term for 'major scale' in Russian musical terms (гамма - scale, мажор - major).

The debut release by this ensemble presents music by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov in arrangements by the ensemble. “The idea of arranging Russian songs emerged spontaneously from a rehearsal one day. What would happen if we added lyrical string instruments to complement the soaring melodies and polyphonic and complex accompaniments of songs by the great Russian composers? To our delight, it worked beautifully.”

The songs cover a wide emotional range, from dark and dramatic, to tender and the overall concept chimes with the idea of late-nineteenth domestic music-making, with the Tchaikovsky settings of texts by Russian poets including Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Rachmaninov also using translations of Shelley and Hugo.