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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » September 30, 2011
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Sacred and Sublime
September 30, 2011   
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The Men’s Orthodox Church Music Ensemble, conducted by Jerzy Szurbak, turns 40 this year. The choir will mark the anniversary by giving a free concert Oct. 23 at 4 p.m. at the John Paul II Museum, 1 Bankowy Sq.

The ensemble’s career began in 1971 when they recorded religious chants for a production of Nikolai Gogol’s The Government Inspector at the Dramatyczny Theater in Szczecin. Following an invitation from Stefan Sutkowski, the director of the Warsaw Chamber Opera, the ensemble became frequent performers of choral music at the Holy Trinity Protestant Church in Warsaw.

In their performances, the singers blend Byzantine, Greek and Old Russian musical roots. Over four decades, the choir has delivered over 1,600 concerts and numerous recordings for radio, television and movies. Apart from concerts in Poland, they have performed in Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Ukraine and Senegal. The singers have also taken part in sacral and oratorio music festivals in Poland and abroad.

The ensemble performs both anonymous compositions and works by the greatest Orthodox church music composers, such as Bortnyansky, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, to deliver renditions that allow listeners to explore “different dimensions of reality.”
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