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”




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.



Saturday, 15 December 2012

Vishenvskaya… A Name that’ll Always be Remembered



Final Scene of Yevgeni Onegin, with Georg Ots


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


Casta Diva from Bellini‘s Norma


 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


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

23 May 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. The Battle of the Browsers

The Battle of the Browsers

Sergei Yolkin



Last week, for the first time, Google Chrome surged ahead of its main competitor, Microsoft Internet Explorer, becoming the most-used web browser in the world market, according to StatCounter.

22 May 2012

Sergei Yolkin



Editor’s Note:

Nicky and I NEVER use IE. NEVER. I prefer Chrome, whilst Nicky likes his Mozilla platform. For some uses, I’ll go to Opera. However, I NEVER use IE or Safari (I’m NOT part of the Apple Corps). Microsoft’s platforms need some working on… I dumped Microsoft Security for AVG freeware, and my computer’s been running better as a result. Redmond had best get on the ball… and it’s NOT all due to Apple (they’re overpriced and snotty… I find that I’m NOT alone in feeling that way about the Cupertino Commandoes).

Is the future in the hands of the corporate mega-players? We’ll have to wait and see…


Friday, 9 December 2011

9 December 2011. Video. Take a Break from your Christmas Preparations and SMILE… Traviata as You’ve NEVER Seen It Before…

Filed under: art music,music,performing arts,video — 01varvara @ 00.00
Tags: , , ,



Sit down, pour yourself a nice adult beverage, and forget about shopping, cookies, or the kids for a moment. Here’s the ticket… a cute little animation about cake decorations and how they stage a “revolution”… it’s sure to make you smile. You’ve NEVER quite seen Traviata done like this! Oh, yes… you have 15 days to get ready for Western Christmas… Orthodox people are luckier, we have an additional 13 days. You WILL survive it… you got through last year, didn’t you? Take a few moments and SMILE… then, it’ll be time to pick up one’s “woman’s burden” yet again…


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