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234th Season

Vladimir Minin

Artistic Director

The artistic director and the main conductor of the Moscow State Chamber Choir - National Artist of the USSR, the winner of the State premium, Professor Vladimir Minin is one of the brightest musicians of our country. He is invited by both Russian and foreign collectives for preparation of the programs and realisation of “the foreman of classes.”

Vladimir Minin was born on January 10, 1929 in Leningrad. He graduated from the Leningrad choral school and in 1945 has got in the Moscow Conservatoire, where his creative activity has began in 1949, when A.V.Sveshnikov has invited Vladimir as a choirmaster in the State Academic Russian choir.

In January 1951 Vladimir Minin was nominated the artistic director and the main conductor of the Ensemble of songs and dances of the Soviet army in Poland, and in 1954 has got in the post graduate program of the Moscow Conservatoire.

From 1958 to 1963 V.Minin was the director of the State capella of Moldova “Doyna” and from 1965 to 1967 he was the artistic director and the main conductor of the Leningrad academic Russian choral “Glinka capella”.

In 1972 under Vladimir Minin’s initiative, working in that time as the rector of State musical-pedagogical Gnesin‘s institute, from the students and high school teachers was created a chamber choir, transformed in 1973 into a professional collective - the Moscow State Chamber Choir.

This is when his rare artistic gift with the special brightness and completeness was revealed. For rather short period of time, the Moscow Chamber Choir became one of conducting art collectives of the country.

The power of the genuine art under a person is boundless. Really funny makes you to laugh, authentic grief - to cry, resolution - to act, the truth - to believe. The genuine art ennobles a man, and it is impossible to oppose to such strength. Everybody who used to visit concerts of E.Mravinskiy, S.Rikchter is familiar with a sensation (feeling) when incomprehensible becomes clear, the mysterious appears, and you begin to feel yourself as a sounding and significant part (fraction) of the lofty and wise world harmony, when spirit of goodness is set in the hall and there arises the most important that the art may give - the brotherhood effect.

Exactly such atmosphere reigns at the concerts of V.Minin’s Choir. It is this particular aura which is necessary for life of the Group and its’ Conductor. They create such aura by their creative work. And the good arises the good.

Vladimir Minin is really Russian creator. The main in his creative work is ethic principle. He is the prominent creator who wields with the traditional instrument of his profession perfectly but also possesses with lots of secrets of his craft. For that in home press he is called “magician”, “wizard”, “sorcerer”. Creator stunning with breadth of sound recording, who has already invented a lot of unprecedented things, he never the less is always in the process of permanent search.

Vladimir Minin whatever he executed - from Monterverdy to Gershvin and Ravel, from famous singings to Stravinskiy and Sviridov - he never regards as of paramount importance the incredible technical mastership of his Group although such mastership by itself would constituted name and fame of its’ leader.

Paraphrasing the expression of famous Russian scientist one may say that Minin works for art and creates for people. His delicate intuition, feeling of epoch, style, temperament, indefatigable imagination, knowledge, culture - everything is given up to search of truth and goodness, to cognition of harmony. Namely such search for Russian painters was and remains the principal vital task. And Vladimir Minin settles the matter without trying to adjust the correct answer.

He is not only the choir master but also the pedagogical innovator whose training system is grounded on paradoxical for the Choir foundation - entire individual freedom of singing voice. Undoubtedly there will be written theoretical research on this subject and practical results could be seen already.

Chamber Choir - is a Group of Soloists, at that some of them transform to bright individuals. There is no stiffness, artificiality in sound - making that is so peculiar to most academic choruses. There is artistry, lightness, simplicity and there seems absolute unavailability of obstacles in overcoming the difficulties both proposed by a composer and brought forward by the Maestro. Somewhere in perspective one may dream about Choral Theater, birth of new genres and forms of choral musicmaking.

Minin’s Choir - is lively and militant art, new and strong sucker of life-tree capable to hold out in any fights for the right to serve people. And it is a great occasion for everybody who is in a position to appreciate the excellence to know about availability of such strength in our musical art. And Minin may also appreciate the excellence. That is why he and like-minded persons are in the state of permanent work. Plans, search, and tireless toil - today, tomorrow, always and up to exhaustion.

“To summarize my biography I would like with the following: in defiance of tortures and troubles, thorns and obstacles on the selected way I am happy to realize my ambition and to unite like-minded persons considering MUSIC as an integral part of their life.”
“Sovetskaya Rossia”, September, 1982 Valeriy Gavrilin

Irina Zimina: What does it mean - to be a choral conductor? How can you determine this state of the soul?
Vladimir Minin: You know, to be a conductor, is the same as to be a gardener; to cut a twig in one place, to earth up in the other. This job is very fine and delicate. What did I succeed for these years of tireless work? Probably I achieved mutual understanding with my Group when you may talk to people on the same language. Although collision from time to time appear, of course. But you enjoy from time greatly when you can hear conjunction of voices under the top of a hall and you are aware that such sound magic appear thanks to your hands.

I.Z.: Are there professional secret in the birth of this ideal sound?
V.M.: Ideal sound as it is doesn’t exist. There is sound that should exist in every composition. Otherwise the execution cannot be convincing. One may sing a word but the execution will not touch your soul. You must find the intonation of the pronunciation of this word. Except musical intonation you must determine exclusively correct speech intonation. In this case this is a great luck and direct hit. At that such correct sound and exact intonation must be felt keenly by the all executors of the Group. The process of singing shouldn’t be executed vocal chords - it is the main thing. The executor’s soul also must take part in the process of music making, and the entire Group should realize every composition with its’ heart and soul.

I.Z.: You call the Group as Soloists Company. Does it mean that each member of the Group may act as a soloist?
V.M.: At least half staff of the Group may sing solo parts. That may be episodic parts but still this is solo. That is why the word “Chorister” doesn’t exist for me. I call my executors as “Choric actors”. They are really actors. In our Group executors don’t sing only music. Otherwise this is only a score which is learned by heart, solfeggio. Every competition is emotionally experienced by the choric actors but solo is executed by the actor whose singing is better. Sometimes it happens so that today one actor sings solo, and tomorrow this role is transferred to another.

I.Z.: And what is the destination of the Choir?
V.M.: It is very difficult to determine this destination nowdays as we live in stiff saturated colloidal solution. In general, the destination of choric music is realization of national idea, first of all. It’s brining up of morals and civic feelings.

From interview to magazine “Melodia”

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