From Russia . . . with Music includes two pieces from Rachmaninov’s glorious Vespers: Bogoroditse Devo and Priidite, both sung in Russian. A group of five Russian composers known as the Mighty Handful who focused on defining a specifically Russian form of classical music in the mid-19th century are represented by Cesar Cui, with Hunger and The Dawn, Modest Mussorgsky, with the humorous Gopak, Rimsky-Korsakov with Chertog Tvoy and Mily Balakirev with Angel Vopiyashe. From American composers with a Russian origin, the concert includes Gershwin’s Love Walked In and Irving Berlin’s Give me your Tired, your Poor and Let’s Face the Music and Dance. We’ll also be performing Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances, the music made famous in the film Kismet as Strangers in Paradise.

Says founding music director David Huff: “At a time when our relationship with Russia is problematic, to say the least, we can all agree that some of the greatest choral music was written by Russian composers. It’s our pleasure to showcase the best of Russian choral music, at once emotional, stirring and unforgettable. While some of the music in the concert is well-known (particularly the Rachmaninov Bogoroditse Devo and the Gershwin and Berlin pieces) much of it will be new to our audiences. We think they’ll love its high energy, pathos and humor. Come and hear the best that Russian music can offer!”

Performances will be at:

    • Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church at 1570 Kirker Pass Road in Clayton at 7pm on Saturday November 3.
    • Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette at 3pm on Sunday November 4.
    • Peace Lutheran Church, 3201 Camino Tassajara in Danville at 7pm on Saturday November 10. Tickets for this concert include a wine reception after the performance.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for students, and children 10 and under are admitted free. For concert tickets, visit www.TicketRiver.com. Tickets for all concerts are also available at the door.