On May 10, 2015, after the liturgy at the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia attended the concert given at the church square. It was devoted to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s 175th birthday and the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. Present at the concert were high church and city officials and diplomats.

The Tchaikovsky Grand Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow Synodal Choir and the Moscow University Academic Choir conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev performed Tchaikovsky’s Cantata ‘Moscow’ and the Solemn Overture ‘1812’.

The Cantata ‘Moscow’ was commissioned to Pyotr Tchaikovsky by the Moscow Coronation Commission for the coronation of Emperor Alexander III. It was first performed on May 15, 1883 at the Faceted Chamber of the Moscow Kremlin.

The overture was commissioned to the composer for the consecration of the Church of Christ the Saviour dated to the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the 1812 Patriotic War.

After the concert, Patriarch Kirill addressed the public, saying in particular, ‘When I heard the remarkable words of the Cantata ‘Moscow’ devoted to the coronation of Alexander III, I thought about the atmosphere that prevailed at that time of Russia’s flourishing when people could greet the tsar with words about his taking upon himself a cross, about his humbleness before God, about his rule as service. And when you hear Tchaikovsky’s wonderful combination of our hymn ‘Save, O Lord, your people’ and the Marseillaise you involuntary ask yourself about the most complicated conflicts in the European civ And all this was expressed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky in the wonderful language of music. The only thing for us is to kneel before him and commemorate him in our prayers’.

His Holiness thanked Vladimir Fedoseyev and his wonderful orchestra as guardians of the purity of Russian and world classics at a time when many seek to reformat it. ‘Since the classics carry a clear understanding of what is good and what is bad, the musical compositions we have heard now have clearly shown that every attempt to reformat classics involves the destruction of human ability to distinguish between things good and bad, beautiful and ugly, lofty and low… Let us be faithful to the historical tone and value orientation that was laid down in the soul of our people since Prince Vladimir so that nobody could ever destroy our system of values’, he concluded.

For the Grand Symphony Orchestra, this concert marking the 70th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War was a special occasion as it was the only orchestra which did not leave Moscow for a single day in 1941, performing in the House of the Unions, with concerts broadcast to the front; while Vladimir Fedoseyev as a child survived the siege in Leningrad. He is decorated with the Order for Services Rendered to the Motherland as well as Orders of St. Vladimir and St. Sergius of Radonezh.

Patriarchal Press Service

DECR Communication Service