The album is called Russian Soul by cellist Eckart Runge and pianist Jacque Ammon! Their playing in the Rachmaninov works is deeply romantic and sensual, with an impressive balance between piano and cello in the sonata. Kapustin’s works are played with playfulness, rhythmic fluidity, and completely natural melodic gestures. Combined with Genuin’s appealing sound quality, this album is definitely worth checking out…
A group of crooning village pensioners has got Russians singing along and is set to have a shot at greater stardom at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
“Any granny has to be able to sing, dance, smile and have fun,” Galina Koneva, a singer from Buranovskie Babushki, told RT. “We’re no stars, we’re just ordinary grannies.”
“Buranovskie Babushki”, or “Buranovo Grannies”, have put their village in the Central Russian Republic of Udmurtia on the map, winning hearts with tunes in their native Udmurt language and English.
The newly-minted celebrities, whose combined age is over 600 years old, sport traditional costumes and birch bark shoes. That is exactly what their fans like, claiming this unmistakably ethnic feel represents the real Russia. Indeed, in this country, folk songs and dances, with their colourful costumes, fiery moves and heartfelt lyrics, have never fallen out of fashion.
“These songs come from our ancestors. They’ve always been a huge part of village life, of our roots,” Zhanna Rusakova, artistic director of Slavyane Folk Band, told RT. “That’s how people expressed themselves. It’s all about our traditions that represent something for every generation. Russia is not Russia without its folk songs.”
In Soviet times, folk tunes were even specially promoted as “the people’s music” and received important state support, with the aim of rivaling Western pop culture.
Today, scores of performers have made folk songs and dances their speciality, like the Moscow-based band “Slavyane”, or the “Slavic Singers”. Another award-winning song-and-dance company revives and promotes the traditional culture of the Cossacks of southern European Russia.
“The Cossacks have songs for both wartime and peace, songs about battles and about festivities,” Andrey Tolstyakov, artistic director of the “Volnaya Stanitsa Cossack Ensemble”, told RT. “It’s important to get the details right. We’ve got the uniforms that were standard in 1914 – the blouses, the boots and special hats called papakha. A Cossack always kept all his documents in it, so if he ever lost it, it was only together with his head.”
After a string of young Russian pop stars, it is now time for more mature folk to aim for Eurovision glory. The singing grannies from Buranovo get their shot at the big time in late May in Azerbaijan.
This is for those people who think that Siberia is not modernized at all. So after you see this video you will realize that Siberia has hyways and bridges to transverse Russia in style…
Well at least Sveta and I think that they are good roads and would travel them with joy…
I believe this is an old railway bridge that was turned into a bridge for cars. The new railway bridge is to the right as you see in the video. Also when you get to the end of the bridge you will see old railroad tracks…
Russia’s top violin-makers have given RT an insight into a beautiful but dying craft, recalling its history and pondering its future.
As the saying goes, many a good tune is played on an old fiddle. This is only possible thanks to a few talented individuals whose job it is to painstakingly restore classic violins.
Amiran Oganezov is one such individual. For the past 20 years, he has been restoring old violins and making new ones. It takes the master about four weeks to turn a piece of maple into a musical instrument. No machinery is used – everything is made by hand, from classic designs to something a little more experimental.
Oganezov’s works are sold widely in Russia and Europe. Yet the musician has no formal education in violin making, because Russia cannot boast a single official violin-making school.
“There are about 10 professional violin makers in Moscow,” Oganezov says. “Compare this to Europe – there’s an Italian town called Cremona, famous for its violin-making tradition. Some 70,000 people live there and 500 of them are violin makers. In Russia the craft is disappearing and I just hope it won’t die out completely.”
Although Russian violinists regularly snap up top prizes at international competitions, the world has hardly heard of Russian violin makers. The country, however, does have a long violin-making tradition.
It can be traced back to Moscow’s Glinka Museum of Musical Culture, named after the 19th-century composer Mikhail Glinka. The art of violin making has not changed much in almost 500 years, and a modern-day craftsman has to be a jack of all trades.
The craft entails much more than the mere construction of a violin. The violin maker has to be a carpenter, a varnish maker, an acoustician, and has to play the instrument well enough to be able to hear and make the subtle tonal adjustments.
Before turning to violin making, Amiran started out as a musician, as did his friend and colleague Mikhail Azoyan, whose workshop is next door. The violins he makes are snapped up at prices of up to $8,000, but his true love is making bows. He has a few tricks of the trade of his own.
“You’ve got to have the knowledge of how to turn a chunk of wood into something that will produce a sound,” violin and bow maker Mikhail Azoyan told RT. “Different types of wood are worked with differently. But intuition plays a big part too. Sometimes I take one look at a piece of wood and I feel what kind of sound I can get from it.”
It is really all about the sound, says violin sensation Gayk Kazazyan, winner of a number of competitions in Russia and abroad.
“I had the honor of playing a Stradivarius violin at New York’s Carnegie Hall – a very special experience,” Kazazyan told RT. “The older the violin, the richer its tone. And the better the instrument, the longer it takes to get the feel of it. A relationship between a musician and their instrument is like a very close friendship, or even a romance.”
He agrees that Russia’s home-grown musicians prefer instruments made abroad. Violin makers like Amiran and Mikhail blame the lack of state funding and support for the trade. However, as long as their work remains in demand, they hope the profession will live on, and the country’s violin makers will eventually stop playing second fiddle on the world stage.
In this short video you hear the wonderful sound of a Russian Orthodox Choir, with a Deep Basso Profundo. In the deep sounds of the male voices I feel the Depths of Russia, it’s Beauty and Strength, it’s Soul…
Just allow yourself to listen and accept the power of the Deep basso
vocals. It describes Russia by sound not words. (Deep Basso Profundo is the deepest basso of a male voice that is possible.) Russia is best described by paintings, music, films and other forms of art. Because it comes from the soul…
Sveta and I went to a huge Mega Mall here in Moscow and we crossed over a gigantic walkway that led us to a new section of this mall. As we entered the new mall area our eyes were greeted with a wonderful sight.