Voices from Russia

Monday, 22 January 2018

Last Respects to Late Russian and Soviet Composer V Ya Shainsky Today

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Here’s Krokodil Gena’s famous birthday song

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Here’s another of Shainsky’s sweet songs…

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Today, friends and relatives will pay last respects to the late Russian and Soviet composer V Ya Shainsky before his burial later today at Troyekurovskoye Cemetery in western Moscow. Widely known in the world of animation as the composer of the soundtrack for the famous Soviet cartoon series about Cheburashka and Krokodil Gena, Shainsky died at the age of 92 in San Diego CA USA on 25 December 2017. The Ministry of Culture quoted Deputy Minister A V Zhuravsky:

Due to the lengthy holidays, his relatives in the USA were unable to promptly obtain documents verifying his death. Moreover, relevant documents were also required to obtain permission for taking the body from the USA, and that required time.

Shainsky excelled in writing songs and music for children, marked by unpretentious but catchy tunes that very often enticed a child to sing along. He scored stunning success in composing songs for movies, and the multifilms about Cheburashka and Krokodil Gena, which now have versions in languages as different as Hebrew and Japanese, offer a shining example of it. Kid’s music wasn’t the only popular part of his output. Some of his songs for grownup audiences, like A Soldier’s Walking through the Town, surprisingly spilt over Russia’s borders. Shainsky lived in San Diego since 2007.

22 January 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/986182

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Thursday, 23 November 2017

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

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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.

ВЕЧНАЯ ЕМУ ПАМЯТЬ!

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

BMD

Sunday, 27 August 2017

27 August 2017. Bright Moments in the Russian Diaspora… Sergei Zharov… He Kept the Flame Alive in a Dark Time

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The Don Cossack Chorus needs no introduction from me. It helped to keep the flame of Russian culture alive here in the diaspora. We preserved our culture here due to the presence of such people as S A Zharov and Metropolitans Leonty Turkevich and Anastasy Gribanovsky. There are those who’ve succumbed to the siren-song of the West… they sold out for transitory material gain… however, many of us haven’t, and the exemplary example of our forebears strengthened our resolve to keep to the proven path of our ancestors.

Вечная память to all of our fathers and mothers… we’d be nothing without them…

BMD

Saturday, 12 August 2017

12 August 2017. Some of My Favourite Things… Wagner from Moscow… REAL Brass at 2:03… and “Rienzi”

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Culture is alive and well in the Rodina. Tannhäuser is, perhaps, my most fave piece by Wagner… I also have a soft spot for Rienzi, der Letzte der Tribunen.  The conductor for Tannhäuser is the German-based (but Russian-born) D M Yurovsky. A student orchestra in Weimar plays the Rienzi overture.

BMD

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