Tuesday, 23. July 2024

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The Russian Choir of the University of Freiburg has been founded in 1930 and performs songs of ancient Russian tradition. There is a great variety of subjects in these songs, like for example love songs, lullabies, bylins (sung myths), dancing tunes, mocking songs, clerical songs, liturgic chants and many songs on nature and the different seasons of the year. Nearly all of these songs have been collected by Alexander Kresling (1897–1977) – founder of the choir – at the beginning of the last century in the northern part of Russia, the southern Ural mountains and in Siberia. Many of these songs got lost in Russia itself and are sung in this original form only in Freiburg.

New singers are welcome anytime.

The choir consists of around 30 singers, many of which are students at the university, but there are also members of different other professions. To keep alive the message of the songs the singing is in Russian language, usually a cappella and without notes. It is not the aim of the choir to preserve ancient Russian "folkloristic" songs, but to make the treasure of these old Russian traditions public to the people of the present. Today, these songs build bridges over boundaries set up by language and history. Therefore, songs like "Katjuscha", "Kalinka" etc., common salon and military songs of the last century which are usually referred to as "Russian folk", are not part of the choirs repertoire. The heart of the choirs tradition is formed by songs of the Old Believers of northern Russia, songs of the Baschkirs of the Ural and Siberian folk songs.



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