Russian Settings of Robert Burns

Catalogue No: TOCC0039
EAN/UPC: 5060113440396
Release Date: 2009-01-12
Composer: Dmitry Shostakovich, Georgy Sviridov
Artists: Alexander Blok, Vassily Savenko

Robert Burns enjoyed a particular following in both Imperial and Soviet Russia as an idealised 'people’s poet’. In the mid-twentieth century Samuel Marshak’s best-selling translations of Burns came to rival Pushkin in popularity and provided a fresh stimulus to Soviet composers – some of whom may have seen Burns’ radical views as a useful cloak for their own non-conformist views.

Vassily Savenko, bass-baritone
Alexander Blok, piano

Listen To This Recording:

    Songs to Verses by Robert Burns (1955)

  1. No. 1: ‘Davno li tsvel zeleniy dol’ (‘The burgeoning dale was lately green’: ‘The Winter of Life’)
  2. No. 2: ‘Vozvrashcheniye soldata’ (‘The Return of the Soldier’: ‘The Sodger’s Return’)
  3. No. 3: ‘John Anderson’ (‘John Anderson, my Jo’)
  4. No. 4: ‘Robin’ (‘Rantin’, Rovin’ Robin’)
  5. No. 5: ‘Gorsky paren’ (‘Highland Laddie’)
  6. No. 6: ‘Findlay’ (‘Wha Is That At My Bower-Door?’)
  7. No. 7: ‘Vsiu zemliu tmoy zavoloklo’ (‘There Is Darkness Over All the Land’: ‘Guidwife, Count the Lawin’)
  8. No. 8: ‘Proshchay’ (‘Farewell’: ‘A Red, Red Rose’)
  9. No. 9: ‘Chestnaya bednost’ (‘Honest Poverty’: ‘A Man’s A Man For A’ That’)
  10. Two Songs to Verses by Robert Burns (1951)

  11. No. 1: Malen’kaya ballada (‘A Little Ballad’: ‘There Was a Bonnie Lass’)
  12. No. 2: ‘Jenny’ (‘Comin thro’ the Rye’)
  13. Three Songs from Six Romances for Bass, Op. 62 (1942)

  14. No. 2: ‘V polyakh, pod snegom i dozhdyom’ (‘In Snow-girt Fields’: ‘O, Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast’)
  15. No. 3: ‘McPherson pered kazn’yu’ (‘McPherson before his Execution’: ‘McPherson’s Farewell’)
  16. No. 4: ‘Jenny’ (‘Comin thro’ the Rye’)
  17. Song-Cycle to Verses by Robert Burns, Op. 51 (1956)

  18. No. 1: ‘Lyubov’ (‘Love’: ‘A Red, Red Rose’)
  19. No. 2: ‘John Anderson’ (‘John Anderson, my Jo’)
  20. No. 3: ‘Shelagh O’Neil’
  21. No. 4: ‘Gde-to v peshchere’ (‘Somewhere in a cave’: ‘Had I a Cave’)
  22. No. 5: ‘Iz vsekh vetrov’ (‘Of all winds’: ‘Of A’ the Airts’)
  23. Three Songs from Five Songs to Verses by Robert Burns (1944)

  24. No. 1: ‘Zastol’naya’ (‘A Toast’: ‘Auld Lang Syne’)
  25. No. 2: ‘Luchshy paren’ (‘The Bonniest Lad’: ‘Highland Laddie’)
  26. No. 5: ‘V polyakh, pod snegom i dozhdyom’ (‘In Snow-girt Fields’: ‘O, Wert Thou In The Cauld Blast’)

1 review for Russian Settings of Robert Burns

  1. :

    ‘Vassily Savenko would appear to be the ideal singer for this repertoire. […] He combines the words and music with complete identification. […] [his voice]is married to an intelligence and musical sensitivity that we do not encounter. […] Alexander Blok’s keyboard partnership is more than mere accompanying – he provides plenty of color and shape to the songs. The sound is well balanced, and neither too close nor too distant. In addition to the excellent notes explaining Burns’s place in Russian culture that I referred to earlier, there is an equally informative essay on Burns and these composers by Stuart Campbell. A final touch worthy of praise: Toccata provides the Cyrillic original, the original Burns’s poems, and then a modern English translation of the Russian translation of those poems. Recommended for anyone with an interest in off-the-beaten-path vocal repertoire.’

    —Henry Fogel, Fanfare Magazine May/June 2013

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