Joe´s Music Rack
Part of
YOUR KEY TO COLLECTIBLES©

Songs of Russia Old and New

Theodore Bikel

Theodore Bikel - Songs of Russia Old and New Theodore Bikel - Songs of Russia Old and New
33MBikel T1

Elektra Records...EKL-185...(1960)...33 1/3 LP...Stereo

Side 1
Songs Of Old Russia
1) Pomnyu Ya (I Remember) - Not Given...NTG
2) Yamshchik Gani-Ka K Yard (Coachman, Away to the Fair) - Not Given...NTG
3) Noch Tikha (Quiet Night) - Not Given...NTG
4) Polso Bylo Lyublyatse (I Never Meant To Love) - Not Given...NTG
5) Gari Gari Maya Zvyezda (Twinkle, Twinkle, My Star) - Not Given...NTG
6) Chupchik (Curly Forelock) - Not Given...NTG
7) Vyechenry Zvon (Evening Bells) - Not Given...NTG

Side 2
Songs Of New Russia
1) At Volgi Da Dona (From: the Volga to the Don) - Not Given...NTG
2) Talyanoghka (The Concertina) - Not Given...NTG
3) Padmaskovniye Vyechera (Moscow Evenings) - Not Given...NTG
4) Padrushka Milaya (My Old Pat) - Not Given...NTG
5) Katiusha - Not Given...NTG
6) Pravazhanye (Parting) - Not Given...NTG
7) Tyomnaya Noch (Dark Night) - Not Given...NTG

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ON THE BACK OF THE JACKET

Theodore Bikel
Songs of Russia Old and New

Songs of New Russia arranged & conducted by
FRED HELLERMAN

Each side of this album presents — musically — a different face of Russia: The Old and the New; that is to say, Russia before the revolution and after.
By and large, we in the Western Hemisphere are better acquainted with the music of Old Russia. Despite the fact that the Soviets are always eager to disseminate their cultural output, even to the extent of subsidizing its distribution in the West, there has been a remarkable dearth of available recordings of Russian folk or contemporary popular music, until quite recently. On the other hand, the Russian emigre circles in Paris, London or New York have been keeping alive the performers of Old Russian music, so that Gypsy tunes, ballads, "romanzas," Cossack melodies, etc. have come to be accepted as part of the international "cafe society" and night club repertoire.
It is a pity, of course, that not enough attention is ever paid to the lyrics, for they can be quite exquisite; at times they indicate in one stroke of the brush the picture a Dostoievsky novel might painstakingly build for our imagination through many pages. For the "Russian soul" is not an empty phrase; it exists in all its splendour and misery, in its grandeur and humiliation, in its joyful pain and its doleful gaiety.
Unlike my previous Russian album, which was almost entirely Gypsy, the first side of this album contains a varied collection of songs, all old to be sure, but different from each other in character and background. The first, Pomnyu ya, is a peasant song, or rather two such songs strung together. Yamshchik gani-ka k yarn is a Gypsy song, as is Polso bylo lyublyatse, the latter partly in Gypsy dialect. Noch Tikha and Gari Gari Maya Zvyezda are the "romanza" type of ballad that has always been a typical form of Slavic lyricism. Chupchik is a whimsical, sad-happy story of a fellow´s misfortune; it is perhaps the newest century. Finally, Vyecherny zvon is the epitome of nostalgia; a choir piece really, with a solo part—I am grateful to Messrs. Belostozky, Lashevich, Bajanoff and Ledkovsky from the Russian Orthodox Church in Manhattan for their assistance.
Regarding the second part of the album, the songs of New Russia, a curious fact emerges. One has often wondered to what extent a people´s music is influenced by changes of regime and in what manner, if at all, material or ideological factors are apt to play their role in shaping the folklore and music of a nation. It is undeniable that changes have indeed taken place, as evidenced not only by the lyrics—which one expected to be in a different tenor—but also by the pace of the music, its attack and sometimes its newly-found polish. Withal, there is one thing that seems to undergo no change, for it is never fashioned by surroundings or living conditions; these, being outside its gravitational centre, barely touch it. Russkaya dusha, the Russian soul, nurtured as it is from within, preserves its characteristics through all changes; and since it exerts its greatest influence in the realm of poetry and music, we seem to find again in the new song what we thought had perished with the old. No matter how many tractors cut furrows or how large the power stations loom or how high the Sputniks soar, today´s Soviet citizen may speak with proud arrogance, but he still sings with the tender nostalgia of yesterday. I expect that is the reason for my being entranced by this music. While I have grave misgivings about Communism as it is preached, and am even more bitterly opposed to it as it is practised, the Slavophile in me is nonetheless charmed by the wealth of music which emanates from behind the Iron Curtain. Should you doubt the power of the Russian soul, then take a closer look at the song of the old droshke driver (Padmshka milaya); the new Subway with its glittering bannisters has driven all his customers away—and*'! bet you that even the most hard-boiled dialectical materialist will not say, "Hurrah for the Subway!" but will shed a tear for the cabbie.

Theodore Bikel



Musicians featured on this recording are:
HAROLD KOHON / GIOVANNI VICARI / LEONID I. KALBOUSS / MARTIN GRUPP
RAY SCHWEITZER / BERNARD ZASLAV / TED TYLE / JOHN R. BARROWS / MIRKO
MARKOE / SASHA POLINOFF / ALEXIS HRAMOFF / GEORGE GREENBERG / SERGIO
KROTKOFF

production supervisor - JAC HOLZMAN mixing & editing - MARK ABRAMSON
COMPLETE TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS ENCLOSED
This fine ELEKTRA recording will never become obsolete. Should you purchase a stereo phonic phonograph in the future it will play superbly on your new equipment and will continue to give many hours of musical enjoyment.


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Theodore Bikel - Songs of Russia Old and New Section
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Joe´s Music Rack
part of
YOUR KEY TO COLLECTIBLES© 1997

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