COMPOSERS: Russian Folk music
WORKS: Anthology of Folk Music
PERFORMER: Various musicians
CATALOGUE NO: MEL CD 30 01640
Unfortunately, like the Chechen disc, Russian Music and Azerbaijan Music come without any musicological information, which undermines their usefulness for the ethnomusicologists they are aimed at. All we get are the performers’ names and regions: we have to deduce everything else from the music. With Russian Music his is sometimes quite easy.
Lullabies and call-and-response work-songs are legion, and sometimes recall Georgian equivalents. And like the Georgians, Russian peasants knew how to turn a weeping lament into art. Orthodox liturgical harmonies give sweet-sad colouring to the hymns to nature, and the polyphony is often complex. Some of the songs are miniature dramas; some evoke extraordinary atmospheres through exotic vocal techniques. Michael Church