‘Voyces’ carry ancient chants to City College

Mario Diaz

“If there was ever a quire concert that you would consider going to, this is the one that everyone is going to like,” said Nathan Kreitzer, director of the Quire of Voyces of City College, introducing his coming concert at the St. Anthony’s Seminary this coming weekend.

The Quire of Voyces will be performing this Saturday and Sunday at St. Anthony’s Seminary, one of the best acoustic places within 100 miles, creating an amazing sound for the outstanding presentation of Russian songs of the most requested repertoire.

“From Ancient Land” is the name of the concert that brings selections by Gretchaninov, Chesnokov, and Tchaikovsky, considered the finest choral music from Russia.

“The early Russian were just chants like we have in the early Roman tradition, we have the monks chanting, while on the orthodox you have the same idea but different styles of chanting that came from early Greek influence,” Kreitzer explained.

“They had a whole series of chants that they sang in the service, so these composers elaborated on those chants,” Kreitzer said. He added they selected famous melodies and turned them into pieces for eight or twelve voices. “But instead of everybody singing just one part, you have this huge version of all these chants so most of the works are based on the early Russian church, orthodox chants,” according to Kreitzer.

The concert will include two pieces in Latin, a Renaissance piece, and a modern piece. Everything else will be interpreted in Old Church Slavonic, which is the language of the Russian Orthodox Church during the 19th century.

“It is just a sampling of the greatest church Russian music ever written or performed,” said Kreitzer. “Even if you don’t know anything about it, this is just one of those concerts where the sound will be just really enjoyable for anyone.”

“The Quire of Voyces is an a cappella choral group that does all sacred music of the Renaissance and the 20th century,” Kreitzer said. “We have the best singers of the central coast since most of the singers have been singing either professionally or have had at least ten years of choral experience.”