Thursday 26 October 2017


Epiphoni Consort - Revolution
Revolution! uses the real-life involvement in the Russian Revolution of author/journalist Arthur Ransome (best known for Swallows and Amazons) and composer Sergei Rachmaninov as the starting point for a fictionalised account which is the framework for a programme of music by Rachmaninov, Golovanov, Sviridov, Scriabin and Prokofiev performed by the Epiphoni Consort, conductor Tim Reader, and pianist Martin James Bartlett (former BBC Young Musician). The narration will be spoken by Benedict Hastings, and was written by Rufus Stilgoe. The programme is performed on Saturday 28 October 2017 at the church of St James, Sussex Gardens,  W2 3UD

As a foreign correspondent Arthur Ransome covered the Russian Revolutions of 1917, and came to sympathise with the Bolshevik cause; he become close to a number of its leaders, including Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky and Karl Radek. He met the woman who would become his second wife, Evgenia Petrovna Shelepina, who at that time worked as Trotsky's personal secretary.

Sergei Rachmaninov was born into the Russian aristocracy and the family had an estate in Novgorod Oblast in north-western Russia. The Revolution of October 1917 marked the end of Russia as Rachmaninov knew it. A member of the Russian bourgeoisie, he did not support Bolshevism, in due course came the humiliation of selling the family estate, and Rachmaninov’s own estate, Ivanovka, was seized by the Leninist regime in 1917. He left Russia in December 1917, ostensibly for a concert tour in Scandinavia and never returned.

Further information from the Epiphoni Consort website.

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