Voices from Russia

Thursday, 23 November 2017

23 November 2017. A Light Goes Out in Our Musical Firmament… D A Khvorostovsky Passes at 55 From Brain Cancer



Last year, Dmitri Aleksandrovich gave a moving performance of Журавли (Zhuravli: The White Cranes)… I find this the most appropriate piece to mark his passing. There’s also the gutsy original rendition by the late great M N Bernes (People’s Artist of the RSFSR).  Mark Naumovich’s version is much more stark and raw… listen to him… it’s à propos for such a day (he also died relatively young of cancer, at age 57). This was the last recording that Bernes made… many thought it his musing on his approaching death. That may be the same with the above performance, as it occurred one year after the diagnosis of a brain tumour.

D A Khvorostovsky was a People’s Artist of Russia. I D Kobzon (People’s Artist of the USSR) reported that his funeral will be 27 November at the Chaikovsky Zal of the Moscow Conservatoire. Dmitri Aleksandrovich wasn’t a believer… his ashes will lie in Novodevichy and in his Siberian home. However, we stand in respect before the mystery of death and wish the best for his family and friends, and express sincere and honest condolences at his passing (as did President Putin). Secular people simply aren’t religious believers (for a multitude of reasons, many grounded in actuality); we should respect them and their beliefs, without reserve. I bow before all of Dmitri Aleksandrovich’s loved ones and express my solidarity with their pain and my community with their grief.


A light went out in our musical firmament… the whole world mourns…



Saturday, 10 September 2016

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




An aria from La Traviata… Joe Green in Russian!


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


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.


Wednesday, 27 January 2016

27 January 2016. Some of My Favourite Things… Dmitri Khovorostovsky… One of the Sexiest Men Alive

dmitri khvorostovsky



D A Khvorostovsky has to be one of the sexiest men alive today. Here, he sings one of the old standards (with English subs) with A Yu Netrebko at an outdoor concert in the Kremlin.


Sunday, 3 February 2013

3 February 2013. RIA-Novosti Presents… Russia Celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Victory at Stalingrad

00aa Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

On Friday, the site of the Родина-мать зовёт (Rodina Mat Zovyot: The Mother-Motherland Calls)  monument on Mamayev Kurgan was prepared for the celebration.


00a Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

On Saturday, the Hero City of Volgograd celebrated the 70th anniversary of the defeat of German forces at Stalingrad. The Battle of Stalingrad took place from 17 July 1942 to 2 February 1943. The laying of wreaths and flowers at the Eternal Flame in the Alley of Heroes opened the festivities. Then, on the Square of Fallen Fighters, the local garrison paraded past in a solemn and formal review.


00b Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

The defence of Stalingrad was the largest land battle of World War II. At one stage, both sides committed more than 2 million troops, about 30,000 guns, and more than 2,000 planes and tanks. This gigantic confrontation ended with the crushing defeat of the Nazi forces. The Battle of Stalingrad was the turning point of the war; it marked the beginning of the Red Army counterattack.


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Festivities took place in the Hero City of Volgograd on 1 and 2 February. Volgograd Oblast authorities sent out invitations to the celebration of the anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad to over 11,000 veterans of this battle.


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In Volgograd, thousands of Russian and foreign guests gathered… veterans, delegations from sister cities, CIS countries, and other members of the World War II anti-fascist coalition.


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On the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad, discussions buzzed over the possibility of returning the “Soviet” name to the city of Volgograd. The deputies of the Volgograd City Council decided, during the celebrations devoted to the heroic defence of the city, to use the name “Hero City of Stalingrad”. Therefore, on 2 February 2013, Volgograd was called the Hero City of Stalingrad.


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President Vladimir Putin visited the main memorial of the battle on Mamayev Kurgan and laid a wreath there.


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Deputy PM Dmitri Rogozin supported returning Volgograd’s name to Stalingrad.


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In the image above, we see Dmitri Rogozin in the Square of Fallen Fighters “working the crowd” during the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad.


00h Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

The troops of the Volgograd garrison paraded and held a review after the laying wreaths and flowers at the Eternal Flame in the Square of Fallen Fighters.


00i Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

The parade opened with the trooping of a copy of the official symbol of the Great Victory in the Great Patriotic War… the Victory Banner. Then, a unit brought forth copies of the banners of the four fronts involved in the Battle of Stalingrad, followed by an honour guard drawn from all the branches of the Armed Forces.


00j Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

A T-34 tank from the VOV era led the parade of the Volgograd garrison. More than a dozen examples of modern military hardware and weapons were shown on the Square of Fallen Fighters. People were able to see the latest army equipment such as the 9A52-4 Tornado-G MLRS, 2S34 Khost 12cm SP gun, 2S19 Msta-S 15.2 cm SP howitzer, 9K317 Buk-M2 SP SAM system, GAZ-2330 Tigr all-terrain multi-purpose vehicle, 2K22 Tunguska SP anti-aircraft gun-missile system, and the T-90 MBT.


00k Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

This tank took part in a parade on Victory Day 2012 in Volgograd, then, it was on exhibition at the Stalingrad Battle Historical Museum-Memorial Panorama on Mamayev Kurgan. Next to the museum is a memorial cross with the inscription, “On 14 October, in the year 2010 since the birth of Christ, this cross was set as a sign with the blessing of Metropolitan German Timofeyev of Volgograd and Kamyshin“… some people wanted a church here, but it would’ve been a tight squeeze on the available property, so, the Kremlin vetoed it.


00ka Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

Later, the venue of the celebrations moved to the highest point of the frontline at Stalingrad, Mamayev Kurgan.


00l Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

There was a formal dedication of a memorial stele with the names of 17,000 defenders of Stalingrad unearthed by search organisations in the last decade from hastily-dug battlefield graves.


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The names of these 17,000 defenders will be on 1,500 memorial plaques surrounding the memorial stele on Mamayev Kurgan.


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At a concert in Volgograd Sports Palace, guests saw a living panorama of the Battle of Stalingrad. This presentation had a semicircular widescreen display, multi-level catwalks, and more than 2,000 participants, with songs of the VOV era performed by People’s Artist of Russia Dmitri Khvorostovsky.


00o Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

More than 200 veterans of the Battle of Stalingrad attended the celebratory concert in honour of the 70th anniversary of the battle’s end, with 5,000 attendees in total at the gala concert.


00oa Stalingrad Anniversary. 2013. 03.02.13

The festivities concluded with a celebratory artillery salute and fireworks.


2 February 2013




Editor’s Note:

There were NO images of Deputy PM Rogozin on the spread on the English side of RIA… this smells to me like at least one of the editors on the English side is a pro-Western mole, best dismissed as quickly as possible. Truly, we don’t need such self-serving Quislings amongst us. After all, Dmitri Olegovich is a patriotic nationalist, thus, he’s anti-Western to the bone… he’s especially anti-NATO and anti-American aggression. His participation in this event signals a ratcheting-up in tensions between Russia and the USA. Always watch out for the “Lenin’s Tomb” moments… they can tell you more than anything else does.

Sadly, we have people here in the Russian Orthodox diaspora who still glorify the KONR and Vlasovtsy traitors (they went from serving the godless Fascist killing machine to serving the godless American intelligence apparat). They haven’t changed their spots because of the Reconciliation… but as a friend of mine at the Centre said, “We all know about Potapov and his ilk… trust me, the SVR and FSB know about them too. I lived in the USA for some years in the nineties, and I heard and saw what these gentlemen said and did. They have no repentance for anything that they did against the Rodina”. I can testify that this observation isn’t only correct; it’s understated. I saw Jordanville’s loud espousal of Vitaly Ustinov’s stab-in-the-back to the Mother Church (you should’ve heard their loud praises of Agafangel Pashkovsky) and Victor Potapov’s unfounded gratuitous attacks on Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger (especially, his groundless smears during Aleksei’s visit to Georgetown… he owes the Church a formal and public apology for that). They’re not joining all of Russia in celebrating this victory… they cast (and still cast) mud at the victors and vilify their names. Their families supported the Fascist occupiers (and helped the Nazis round up and kill Jews)… they try to tell all and sundry that such collaboration and treason was honourable and just.

I stand four-square for the celebration of the victory at Stalingrad. That’s where all decent members of the Russian Orthodox diaspora should stand. That’s all that needs be said on the matter, isn’t it? After all, a saint, St Seraphim Vyritsky, prayed every day for the victory of the Red Army over the Fascists… no saint prayed for the victory of the collaborationist traitors. That should tell us what to do whenever a bloviating sort like Potapov opens his mouth… we shouldn’t attack him in the same manner as he lies about the Soviet past, but we should understand that his position isn’t humanly-decent, let alone god-blessed. Say a prayer for the brave fighters of the RKKA and RKKF… they helped save you from the Nazi night… NEVER forget that. Also never forget that there are those amongst us in the diaspora who aided that evil (and their families have never repented of it)… NEVER forget that also.


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