We’re doing a couple of Rachmaninoff pieces in choral ensemble. For one, I didn’t know Rachmaninoff did choral music. For two, they’re in Russian. Give me Latin, give me Spanish, French, Italian. But please don’t give me Russian. I have no idea how to pronounce anything. Cursed consonants! It was quite a contrast – last night we reviewed a Spanish piece that they’d learned last semester. I only joined this semester, so I didn’t know it, but the Spanish didn’t give me any trouble. I just sight-read my way through both the music and the text, and it was fine. But then we did the Rachmaninoff piece. And despite going through the pronunciation once and practicing the piece as a whole several times since then, I still didn’t have a clue what I was supposed to be saying.
“Izhe kheruvimi, tayno obrazuyushche, i zhivotvoryashchey Troytse trisvyatuyu pyesn’ pripyevayushche!”