“The Romanov Dynasty – from Triumph to Tragedy” was the title of a series of concerts given in the first half of 2013 by Russkaya Cappella under the direction of Stuart Campbell and Svetlana Zvereva.  The concerts took place in the year marking the 400th anniversary of the inception of the dynasty.  Russkaya Cappella performed works written by composers who worked at the Imperial Court Chapel Choir: Bortnyansky, Glinka, Lvov and Rimsky-Korsakov.  Former Russian national anthems were sung, and Kastalsky’s remarkable cantata “Three Hundred Years” was rescued from oblivion.  It was written in 1913 for the third centenary of the Romanov dynasty and performed during the imperial family’s visit to Moscow as part of the “Romanov celebrations”.

As a reminder of the tragic death of the household of the last Russian emperor Nicholas II, whose family members have been canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church, movements from Kastalsky’s Requiem were also sung.

A favourite piece of the Sovereign’s, Tchaikovsky’s “The Christ-child had a garden” was also performed.  The emperor associated ideas in this song with his son Aleksei.  At the Glasgow concert on 16 June the performers were joined in this composition by children from the Singing Studio founded in 2012 at the Russian Orthodox School in Glasgow.  The children sang marvellously and deservedly earned universal praise.

The concert was part of Glasgow’s annual West End Festival.  Hyndland Parish Church was well filled and the audience reacted with noisy ovations.

A journalist working for BBC Radio Scotland attended the concert and has prepared a short item about Russkaya Cappella.  You can hear it on Sunday 23 June between 7 and 9 in the morning.