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Songs of Russian emigration, or, Russian song in exile

Already in 1919, the exodus of Russians from Russia began. The country has left several million people. The centers of Russian scattering around the world were Istanbul, and Prague, and Berlin, and Paris, and even Harbin. The first wave of emigration was extremely talented. Still – after all, in fact, almost the entire “silver age” emigrated. It is blasphemous to draw parallels between the fate of those who remained and those who left – who, they say, was harder? Emigration is always a misfortune. The poet and critic G. Adamovich, reflecting on the psychology of emigration, came to the conclusion that the exile does not feel the people behind him, he is doomed to fill the resulting void with himself, alone. It is gratifying that many had the spiritual potential and the “gold mines of nostalgia”. Figures of the first wave perceived themselves as “foreign Russia”, felt a blood connection with their homeland. They were able to give even more than they expected. “WE WAS LEAVING FROM CRIMEA …” Singers, musicians and composers also appeared in a foreign land: F. Chaliapin, S. Prokofiev, S. Rachmaninov, A. Vertinsky, P. Leshchenko. Thoughts and souls, of course, they remained there, in Russia, captured by the Bolsheviks and the communist utopia. There are a large number of fakes under the so-called “White Guard” song. Some are more talented, others less. But there are only a few real poems that have become songs, reflecting the Russian exodus from Russia. The author of one of these poems is the Cossack poet Nikolai Turoverov. The song itself was born much later, already in the post-Soviet era. The Lyube group performs it under the name My Horse. Pay attention to the shots from the film “Two Comrades Served”, which serve as a kind of illustration for the song:

“WE ARE FOREIGNERS FOR THEM ALWAYS!” The popularity of Alexander Vertinsky was huge in exile. The lack of voice was compensated by a peculiar manner of performance, a flight of hands, and grass-roots. To the verses of the poetess Raisa Bloch who died in the Nazi concentration camp, Vertinsky wrote the song “Foreign cities rustle here.” This is the real and genuine Russian song in exile. It is as if thoroughly saturated with terrible nostalgia for Russia, which is why it was perceived acutely. Yes, and the Vertinsky genre chose a rather peculiar one – this is a romance in the rhythm of the tango: Perhaps Vertinsky remained the best performer of the song, except for a very worthy modern interpretation of the actor A. Domogarov.

“ONLY LIGHT DOES NOT UNDERSTAND SADNESS …” Another song, known for the performance of Alla Bayanova, Pyotr Leshchenko, Kira Smirnova, “I miss my Homeland.” Poems were written at the very end of World War II. Their author is Georgy Khrapak, the future Honored Artist of the RSFSR. It is ironic that the lines he created were so strikingly consonant with emigrant nostalgia. In Romania, Khrapak met Petr Leshchenko, presented him with his own text, composer Georges Ipsilanti picked up a melody, and the song “shot”. The years of the Stalinist Gulag and the late rehabilitation awaited Khrapak himself. Unfortunately, the song was not preserved by Petr Leshchenko. Today the “silver voice of Russia” doesn’t forget to forget the song – Oleg Pogudin:

EVERYBODY IS CRISED AND FLYED … The no less paradoxical story happened with the poem “Cranes” by one of the creators of the image of Kozma Prutkov, poet Alexei Zhemchuzhnikov. It dates back to 1871. In a revised version, poetry became a song in the mid-1930s. The soloist of the so-called “Jazz tobacco” Nikolai Markov performed this song repeatedly, and in the Soviet Union it was snapped up thanks to the flexible records “on the bones”. Popular rumor stubbornly attributed the song to the same Petr Leshchenko. There are “camp” and “yard” alterations of the text. The program “Ships entered our harbor” largely gave the song a second life.

“THE HEART HAS NOT DIED, AND THE MEMORY IS ALIVE …” Few people will say the name of Yuri Borisov. Meanwhile, one of the most piercing stylizations for emigrant lyrics, for songs of Russian foreign countries belongs to him. The song “Everything is now against us”, like many works of this thematic series, is written as if from a “common” name – there is no narrow-minded “I”, only “we”. The song is known in the performance of the “bright lad” Maxim Troshin: A poem of the quite prosperous Soviet poet Robert Rozhdestvensky “Cemetery of Saint Genevieve de Bois” can be considered a kind of monument to Russian emigration.

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