Voices from Russia

Saturday, 10 September 2016

10 September 2016. Some of My Favourite Things… P G Lisitian Sings “Ya Vas Lyublyu” from “Pikovaya Dama”

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An aria from La Traviata… Joe Green in Russian!

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Here’s a patriotic song in a more popular vein… Moya rodina (My Motherland)

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P G Lisitian (Peoples Artist of the USSR) came from a humble working-class family… in the money-grubbing West, he would’ve got nowhere. In the USSR, he found an outlet for his talent. That’s something that the righties never talk about… how the Sovs sincerely sought out talent of all sorts (artistic, scientific, and athletic) amongst all classes and how they gave people a chance to develop their skills. Lisitian was a leading soloist at the Bolshoi (officially, the State Academic Bolshoi Theatre of Russia (GABT Rossii)) from 1940 to 1966; he taught at conservatoire for many years afterward (he died in 2004, in his 93rd year). Ya vas lyublyu from Tchaikovsky’s Pikovaya Dama (The Queen of Spades) has to the be the most famous aria in Russian opera… need I mention that Pavel Gerasimovich was a mentor of D A Khvorostovsky? Many believe his interpretation to be the best yet… I agree.

BMD

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Festival of Slavic Culture Embraces New Format

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Choir in rehearsal for this event… even though the pro-zapadnik Portal-Credo.ru reposted it, it didn’t originate with them… they’re not original enough to create such, truth be told

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The Festival of Slavic Culture will occur on 24 May, featuring 200 events that will take place in 70 oblasts all over Russia. The Festival of Slavic Culture honours the brothers Ss Kirill and Mefody, the inventors of the Cyrillic alphabet and Christian missionaries. The Church ranks them as равноапостольный (ravnoapostolny: Equal-to-the-Apostles). As before, Moscow will be the focus of the celebrations.

Vladimir Legoida, head of the MP Information Department, said, “This year, the Festival will follow an informal format; it’ll be an event on an unprecedented scale, featuring many events in one day. From year to year, we’ve been doing our best to see to it that the festival strikes a personal note with everyone who happens to attend. Our purpose is to ensure that Kirill and Mefody are household names amongst ordinary people”.

Scholars believe that in the time of Kirill and Mefody, the 9th century AD, Slavs had no difficulty understanding each other. Experts state that Slavic people believed that they spoke the same language, as they shared the same system of sounds. The two brothers developed this system into an alphabet, to translate Greek religious texts into Slavonic. The Cyrillic alphabet became a foundation for creating alphabets for other Slavic languages.

Street signs in Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Serbian, and Macedonian at the Moscow festival will remind visitors of this fact. Many of the festival’s events have the purpose of popularising the Russian language. Moscow professors will give public lectures on Russian, whilst famous performers will read excerpts from Russian classic literature near the statues of Aleksandr Pushkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Nikolai Gogol, and Marina Tsvetaeva. Some 30 choirs, comprising at least 3,000 singers, will gather in Red Square for festival’s closing event… a gala concert entitled The Most Loved Songs. The choirs will perform church anthems, along with a large number of folk and pop songs, all to the accompaniment of a combined orchestra. Those willing to join the professionals will be able to follow the songs on large screens installed all over Moscow.

Sofia Apfelbaum of the Ministry of Culture (Minkultury), said, “Moscow has never seen such a large-scale cultural celebration before. We hope that this experiment will be successful. The songs are popular and known by many people. The gala’s repertoire was picked specifically for the purpose of bringing all people together so that the crowd in Red Square could sing along with the performers and so that everyone would know that Russians have a specific cultural standard”.

Fr Pavel Shcherbachyov of the MP Patriarchal Council for Culture, said, “A harmonious combination of the secular and religious adds a particular flavour to the festival. Even though spirituality in the religious sense of the word played no role in Russian society for a long time, these songs’ lyrics reflect the traditions of previous centuries. If we analysed the words of these songs, we’d discover that they reflect the traditions of the past, when there was an alloy of culture and religion”.

The song marathon in Moscow will end with the performance of Glory, Glory, Mother Russia! by Mikhail Glinka (the closing chorus of the opera Жизнь за царя (Zhizn za tsarya: A Life for the Tsar)), followed by a spectacular fireworks display.

23 May 2013

Yelena Andrusenko

Voice of Russia World Service

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_05_23/Slav-culture-festival-embraces-new-format/

Editor’s Note:

It was also Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev‘s name-day…

на многая лета!

BMD

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Vishenvskaya… A Name that’ll Always be Remembered

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Final Scene of Yevgeni Onegin, with Georg Ots

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This is Tchaikovsky‘s romans Колыбельная (Kolybelnaya: Cradle Song)

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Casta Diva from Bellini‘s Norma

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 On Friday, the celebrated Russian opera singer Galina Vishnevskaya, who died on 11 December at the age of 86, was buried in Moscow. The burial ceremony began at 13.00 MSK at Novodevichy Cemetery. Vishnevskaya’s grave is near that of her husband, the great cellist Mstislav Rostropovich. By Orthodox tradition, before the funeral, the farewell ceremony was in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. Before she died, the singer wanted to donate to the cathedral a treasured icon of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, but she didn’t do it. On the day of the farewell ceremony, her daughters Olga and Yelena did it for her.

Well-known opera singer Lyubov Kazkarnovskaya said, “The legendary couple of Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich will be remembered for generations as a symbol of devotion to Art. A fabulous generation, which knew how to serve Music and Theatre, and which knew the price of every single note, is leaving. She lived at the limit of love for her art”. Rostropovich and Vishnevskaya set the bar high, not only in their art, but also in their social life. In the 1970s, without hesitation, although they understood that they’d pay a price for it, they supported writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, when the authorities were harassing him. Solzhenitsyn’s widow Natalya said, “I highly value the close friendship between our families and I’ll always be grateful to Mstislav Rostropovich and Galina Vishnevskaya, as they helped Aleksandr in the most difficult period of his life”.

In their irksome exile, Vishneskaya wrote a book entitled Galina. She said, “I found salvation in it. I needed to tell people what happened to us and why”. The singer turned out to be an excellent storyteller. In later life, she also became known as a brilliant dramatic actress; she played the main role in the film Aleksandra by Aleksandr Sokurov. She played a common middle-aged Russian woman, who came to visit her grandson, who was an officer who serving in Chechnya. The film’s producer, Andrei Sigle, recalled, “She didn’t hesitate to go on location shooting, even though it was still a rather dangerous time there. It was also very hot, 56 degrees (133 degrees Fahrenheit), and it was very windy. However, she was very strong and set an example for us”.

The renowned composer Rodion Shchedrin came to Moscow to celebrate his birthday, but unfortunately faced this great loss, saying, “To me, Galina Pavlovna’s passing is a personal loss as we were very close friends throughout our lives. It’s a very bitter loss. Like the poet Voznesensky said, ‘We’re leaving, and this edict is everlasting’”. The Centre of Opera Signing, established by Vishnevskaya in Moscow ten years ago, has already brought up many talented singers. One of them was Badri Maisuradze, soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre, who said, “The generations of singers who were guided by her and Mstislav Rostropovich will never forget them. They’ll always be remembered”.

14 December 2012

Voice of Russia World Service

 http://english.ruvr.ru/2012_12_14/98036486/

Sunday, 1 January 2012

1 January 2012. A Multimedia Presentation. The People Who REALLY Make the “Best of the Bolshoi”…


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The Bolshoi Ballet in the Adagio from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at the Gala Reopening of the Bolshoi in October 2011

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The Bolshoi Opera in a Soviet-era film Kompozitor Glinka (The Composer Glinka, 1952) (fragment of Glinka’s A Life for the Tsar)

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The Bolshoi Ballet in the Waltz from Prokofiev‘s Cinderella at the Gala Reopening of the Bolshoi in October 2011

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The Coronation Scene from Mussorgsky‘s Boris Gudunov, performed by the Bolshoi Opera under the baton of Nikolai Golovanov, with the role of Boris sung by the legendary basso Aleksandr Pirogov (a performance from 1947)

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Yekaterina Maksimova dancing Gounod’s Walpurgis Night with the Bolshoi Ballet in 1974

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The artists and artisans of the Bolshoi have an unbroken and untrammelled history… from Imperial Russia to the Soviet Union to the present transitional state… and they’ll continue under whatever replaces that. Without the hard, devoted, diligent, and skilled work of he Bolshoi’s dedicated staff, the magic and beauty of the Bolshoi Ballet and Opera wouldn’t exist. They epitomise the Dignity of Labour… nothing more need be said…

BMD

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