Soviet Art

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Category Archive: Music

Soviet female vocal ensemble Fyodorov Sisters

The Soviet Union, 1953 magazine. Photo B. Utkin. The Soviet female vocal ensemble Fyodorov Sisters on the stage

The Soviet Union, 1953 magazine. Photo B. Utkin. The Soviet female vocal ensemble Fyodorov Sisters on the stage

Soviet female vocal ensemble Fyodorov Sisters
In March 1953, along with a report on the death of Stalin, the magazine “The Soviet Union” published this photo and an enthusiastic article about the Fedorov sisters. The natives of the village of Stary Borok of the Pskov region, Sisters Fyodorovs – Soviet female vocal ensemble, performers of Russian folk songs, who created their band in the mid-1940s. In particular, the sisters Ekaterina (born in 1924), Nina (born 1926), Ninel (born 1928), and Anastasia (born 1931) Ivanovna Fedorova. After three years of concert performances, since 1948 the band has become a professional ensemble. In addition, the youngest of the sisters – Galina Ivanovna Fedorova joined the quartet in 1955.
However, because of Ninel Fedorova, who emigrated to Switzerland in 1972, the ensemble’s performances ceased. Emigration caused the ban on broadcasting the ensemble’s records on radio and television. Radio funds of the country received an unspoken instruction about the destruction of all phonograms of the Fedorov sisters. In addition, at the same time, a rumor was launched about the death of the entire ensemble in the plane crash. The fans soon forgot the names of the sisters and their further performances were possible only in rural clubs of the Leningrad region.
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I am in the spring forest – the Soviet anthem of refugees

I am in the spring forest - the Soviet anthem of refugees

Left – Evgeny Danilovich Agranovich (October 13, 1918 – January 29, 2010) Soviet poet and bard, right – Soviet actor Mikhail Nozhkin. I am in the spring forest – the Soviet anthem of refugees

I am in the spring forest – the Soviet anthem of refugees

With the song performed by Mikhail Nozhkin immediately fell in love all the Soviet people. Simple in execution, emotional, tragic and in the spirit of the time it sounded everywhere. Besides, the emigrant theme in Russia is steadily relevant and popular. Only the nuances change. As they say, history teaches people little. In the 21st century, wars on the planet are inflaming with renewed vigor. And now “I am in the spring forest” can sing refugees from different countries as a kind of anthem.
“I am in the spring forest” – sung on behalf of a man forced to leave his homeland and hesitant to go back. In the Soviet Union, there was the notion of “Soviet displaced persons,” that is, Soviet citizens who were in the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) outside the USSR. Basically, these were people whom the fascists forced to work in Europe. Among them were prisoners of war and accomplices of the Germans who retired with whole families from the USSR.
In 1944-1952 there was a repatriation, that is, the return of displaced persons to their homeland. Theoretically, civilians and prisoners of war were to restore citizenship without any persecution. But in practice, many fell into camps, fines, experienced various infringements of rights and freedoms in civil life. Therefore, it was not a simple and pleasant affair for every displaced Soviet citizen to return home. These sad moments of our history are reflected in the song “I’m in the spring forest”.
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Soviet opera singer Zara Dolukhanova 1918-2007

Soviet opera singer Zara Dolukhanova (15 March 1918, Moscow, Russia – 4 December 2007 Moscow, Russia)

Soviet opera singer Zara Dolukhanova (15 March 1918, Moscow, Russia – 4 December 2007 Moscow, Russia)

Soviet opera singer Zara Dolukhanova

Active during the 1940s through the 1960s Zara Aleksandrovna Dolukhanova (15 March 1918, Moscow, Russia – 4 December 2007 Moscow, Russia) was fairly recognized as one of the leading representatives of the Russian Soviet school of chamber music. And this, of course, is fair. In her art, many of the characteristic features of the Russian vocal school, which originated, as we know, from Glinka, have concentrated. It is no coincidence that his romances invariably enter the concert programs of the singer. As an independent creative direction, the Russian school of chamber singing finally emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, when the performers presented a detailed panorama of the Russian romance, beginning with Glinka and ending with Rachmaninoff. With honed, filigree skill, the singer transmits the unique originality of Baroque music, the works of ancient Italian masters, Viennese classics, romantic composers, French impressionists, Soviet and foreign composers.
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Soviet female singer Klavdiya Shulzhenko 1906-1984

Soviet female singer Klavdiya Shulzhenko (March 24, 1906 – June 17, 1984)

1930s. Soviet female singer Klavdiya Shulzhenko (March 24, 1906 – June 17, 1984)

Soviet female singer Klavdiya Shulzhenko (March 24, 1906 – June 17, 1984) – People’s Artist of the USSR (1971), laureate of the Order of Lenin (1976), Chevalier of the Order of the Red Star (1945), Awarded with the Medal “For the Defense of Leningrad”.
Born on March 24, 1906 in Kharkov, Klavdiya Shulzhenko dreamed of becoming an actress in a drama theater since childhood. This dream originated from her father, from whom she first heard Ukrainian folk songs. He was seriously interested in music: playing a wind instrument, and sometimes singing solos in concerts. His speeches, his beautiful chest baritone, led the daughter into indescribable delight …
In her youth, Klavdiya Shulzhenko took part in amateur art activities. These performances went on the stage, made in the middle of the yard, and aroused great interest among the residents of the neighboring houses. They came to the show with their chairs, stools and benches. In each performance there were songs and dances, and Klavdiya always sang either during the play or in the concert. At that time, Shulzhenko planned to become a dramatic actress, and was not going to be a singer.
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Soviet singer Muslim Magomayev

Soviet singer Muslim Magomayev and Tamara Sinyavskaya

Soviet singer Muslim Magomayev and Tamara Sinyavskaya

Soviet singer Muslim Magomayev

This is a scanned image of an authentic autographed photo of Muslim Magomayev and Tamara Sinyavskaya, from home archive of my parents. Muslim Magomayev was the idol of the whole generation of 1960-1980-ies, and was loved no less than Gagarin. First prize of the Bulgarian festival in Sopot, “gold plate” in Cannes, the Red Banner of Labor in his 29, and the title of People’s Artist of the USSR – in 31. Infinite love of the Soviet Union – from Kaliningrad to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, and from workers to the General Secretary of CPSU. Indeed, the whole country was in love with him, and at first sight. Nineteen year-old tall, slender, long-legged with a lively, bright, passionate, southern eyes, Muslim instantly fascinated, as soon as he stepped on the stage. And when he started to sing – he won the hearts of millions.
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Soviet rock opera Juno and Avos

Soviet rock opera Juno and Avos. Nikolai Karachentsov (Nikolai Rezanov) and Elena Shanina (Conchita)

Nikolai Karachentsov (Nikolai Rezanov) and Elena Shanina (Conchita). Soviet rock opera Juno and Avos, Moscow State Theatre named after Lenin’s Komsomol, 1981

The best films have been filmed in the Soviet Union, and it is a fact. For more than 3 decades of post Soviet Russia, no one has been able to create, for example a comedy, better than Leonid Gaidai. Made in USSR masterpieces of cinema and theater have become an unattainable standard. Among such masterpieces was the Soviet rock opera Juno and Avos by composer Alexei Rybnikov on poems of Andrei Voznesensky. Director – Mark Zakharov, dances staged by Vladimir Vasiliev, artist Oleg Sheyntsis. The premiere took place on July 9, 1981 at the Moscow State Theatre named after Lenin’s Komsomol (Lenkom Theatre). In the summer of 2010 was the two thousandth performance of “Juno and Avos” presented by Theatre “Rock Opera” in St. Petersburg. For more than thirty years the performance has had a resounding success with the audience.
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Orange sky of Soviet children

Soviet Georgian singer Irma Sokhadze

Orange sky of Soviet children. Georgian singer Irma Sokhadze

Orange sky of Soviet children. In the 60s of the last century the song “Orange Song” was very popular in then the USSR. This song was first sung by a 7 year-old Georgian singer Irma Sokhadze during her first tour in Moscow. She sang the “Orange Song” in the garden of “Hermitage” in summer of 1965. In a very short time the song became insanely popular. It was sung by everybody. Yet the voice of 7 year-old Irma could not be confused with someone. It was recognized at once – an amazing lyricism and striking for the child professional tone. The song was specially written for Irma by poets Grigory Gorin and Arkady Arkanov in collaboration with composer Konstantin Pevzner.
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