The original recording of Moscow Nights by V K Troshin… most Russians will tell you that it’s the best one
G K Ots’ rendition of Moscow Nights
B T Shtokolov singing Выхожу один я на дорогу (Vykhozhu odin ya na dorogu: I Walk Alone Down the Road), one of the classic romansy
Тишина (Tishina: Silence)… another song by Troshin
Everybody’s heard of Подмосковные вечера (Podmoskovnye vechera: Moscow Nights, literally, Evening in the Moscow Suburbs)… but not so many people know of V K Troshin, the first singer of the song in 1955. That’s right… Moscow Nights isn’t a folk song, it’s a modern “composed” song (by the famous composer V P Solovyov-Sedoi). It’s one of the best-loved songs in the world… coming straight to you from the heart of the Evil Empire. Let’s be frank… life went on in the USSR… most people didn’t bother with politics, and if they “threw a pinch of incense on the altar”, the state left them alone. It wasn’t like what the Reagan Hard Right nutters said it was (nor was the USA like what Sov propaganda said it was… propaganda in the Cold War on both sides wasn’t overly convincing or particularly truthful).
Vladimir Konstantinovich “owns” this song… all Russians know that… now, YOU know that. His voice wasn’t as deep as B T Shtokolov‘s was, nor was it as powerful as G K Ots‘… but it had a soft lyricism not usually found in the bass/baritone range. By the way, he wasn’t a trained singer… he was an actor at the Moscow Art Theatre from 1947 to 1988. Perhaps, that’s why his voice doesn’t have that “studied” undertone that you find in most conservatoire-trained vocalists (indeed, it has more the aspect of speech, not song).