Russian music
Apr 7, 2002 at 6:13 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11

DanG

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Hey everyone,

I've got a CD one of my dad's old friends from Russia gave me when we visited last summer which has a bunch of music by Russian singers/songwriters... except it's sung in chorus. Does anyone (I'm thinking Stu and Wes... are there others?) know where I can get listenable CDs of the singers actually playing and singing their own music? My favorite is probably Bulat Okhudzhava, but I like Vladimir Visotsky and Klyachkin as well as others. Any help? I guess this could also be viewed as a wanted-to-buy thread in a sense, but if there's a place I can buy new CDs online, that would be great.

Thanks!
 
Apr 9, 2002 at 2:25 AM Post #2 of 11

nec

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I've been using www.st-p.com for several years.
There's also www.ozon.ru but they're based in Russia so shipping and anxiety level can be high.
I'm not sure if English interface is good on these sites - never tried (Russian is my native language). If you have trouble searching on these sites - let me know - I'll try to help.

As for the titles you can also try (if you haven't already) Galich and Vizbor.
 
Apr 9, 2002 at 2:34 AM Post #3 of 11

DanG

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Thanks, nec!

I was born in the United States but have been speaking Russian at least as long as I have been speaking English and have little trouble reading... the problem is typing (I have an English keyboard, of course). Is it possible to use English letters or should I download a Russian keyboard typeset?

Anyway, I guess I should just search the site first myself without trying anything else.
wink.gif
I use kulichki.ru to look for Russian guitar tabs and I just browse/search by clicking and leaving the search engine alone.

Thanks again!
 
Apr 9, 2002 at 2:45 AM Post #4 of 11

nec

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Quote:

Originally posted by DanG
Is it possible to use English letters or should I download a Russian keyboard typeset?


Some sites have support for english-only keyboard. I see that st-p.com has "russian keyboard" link. Some web sites have "translit" encoding (when you type in latin alphabet but your input is interpreted as a similarly sounding russian letters). BTW you don't have to *download* russian typeset - it's in the usual distribution of Windows (starting at least with NT4.0/Win98) so you can easily install it if you need it.
 
Apr 9, 2002 at 2:54 AM Post #5 of 11

DanG

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st-p.com seems very easy to use and I have no problems -- they even have a Russian keyboard function which is very useful for searching.

Right now I'm looking mainly for stuff by those three musicians as I know their music best so far... perhaps if I get to go to Moscow again this summer (a definite possibility) I might be able to pick up other CDs at such a low price that even if I don't like them it doesn't much matter.

Then again, last time I was there, it seemed everything being sold was a cheap CD-R copy...

So I think I'll just go with just a few CDs at first to see how it goes and maybe get more later.

Among Klyachkin, Okudzhava, and Visotsky, which CDs would you recommend? There are a few songs I'm particularly looking for, and I'm really only worried about sound quality. Is this sound particularly scratchy/hissy on these CDs or is it quite clean overall? Does it sound very compressed?

Thanks
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Apr 9, 2002 at 3:22 AM Post #6 of 11

nec

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Quote:

Originally posted by DanG
Among Klyachkin, Okudzhava, and Visotsky, which CDs would you recommend?


I'm afraid I can't recommend particular CDs - I don't have that many CDs of this kind of music. I'm not an expert on Klyachkin. Okudzhava - I like everything by him so I would buy anything
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And I also think his songs are quite in line with each other...
Visotsky - he had several "cycles" (although they were not written as cycles): songs about WWII, jail songs, etc. - so it depends on what you like by him.
Quote:

There are a few songs I'm particularly looking for, and I'm really only worried about sound quality. Is this sound particularly scratchy/hissy on these CDs or is it quite clean overall? Does it sound very compressed?


In general the quality of this type of CDs is inconsistent. So maybe somebody will give you a specific CD recommendations. I think you may have good luck with Okudzhava - he had several LPs issued by Melodiya (THE studio) in the old days - so there are good sources. With many others all that is left is half-destroyed 8-track and cassete tapes.
But then again these songs were originally played in small rooms with non-existent acoustics, this music was recorded on crappy cassette tapes... Bad sound is right for this music - this is how it was heard by people back then
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Only limited material was issued on LPs in the soviet time (Okudzhava, Visotsky and some others).
 
Apr 9, 2002 at 4:24 AM Post #7 of 11

DanG

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There's so much Visotsky there I could never choose what I want!

I liked the song "Nye glyedee nazad" by Klyachkin which is the only one of his that I know... perhaps then I should wait to see if I like his other stuff.

I like Okudzhava's more lyrical style -- my dad taught me to play guitar with the song "Starinnaya soldatskaya pesnya" and he used to play a lot of those songs by the fireside whenever we went camping when I was a little kid. Ah, memories.
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Anyway, perhaps I should just get a few of the Okudzhava CDs. Or maybe I can just stick with these wonderful Beethoven string quartets I'm listening to right now.
wink.gif
I guess I should just wait and see. Stuart and/or wes, care to chime in?
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Apr 9, 2002 at 8:22 AM Post #8 of 11

Wes

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Dan G,

The problem for me in advising you is that I'm such a snob. (Well, at least I recognize myself for what I am.)

I really don't object to much that is music, but only classical and ethnic (and lately some jazz) makes me really listen seriously. I've never really pursued the kind of music you are after although, of course, I'm aware of it because exposure to it is pretty much continuous. One of the Russian cultural differences is that Russians tend to keep loving the same music and performers for decades. It's only here that I've been able to hear Louis Armstrong singing on regular radio stations, although this is now becoming rare as the stations are becoming more commercially savvy. They are now tending to ape the American broadcast choices as far as possible.

There are now decent stores with a broad selection of non-bootleg material here. And, in addition to that good news, the prices are closer to American retail than to European. So, you should definitely plan to make some purchases if you visit. If that happens, let me know so that we can meet. This town is changing fast, and there may be a lot of little surprises for you.

In the end, if you aren't going to visit, you could send me your wish list. I'll see what prices I can find, let you know, purchase what you would like, and get it to you via... Ah, that's the hard part! We'd have to depend on the regular post office (very chancy), UPS or the like ($90 for the first pound), or best--but requiring immense patience--wait for my next visit to the US (as mucha as another year) so that I can send them via USPS. I'd like to help, but I can't give sound advice on choices.
 
Apr 9, 2002 at 9:39 PM Post #9 of 11

DanG

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Thanks for the reply, Wes!

I guess I'll have to find out what's going on... my father will almost certainly be going to Russia and I'm trying to convince him to let me tag along, so if I don't get to go he could still pick up some stuff for me.

Regarding musical tastes, I also listen almost exclusively to classical nowadays with a little bit of jazz thrown in. Perhaps, then, our tastes are not so far apart.

I'll definitely let you know if I do, in fact, visit -- it would be great to meet up! What part of the city do you live in? Last summer I stayed at the Lithuanian Embassy near New Arbat (I'm not Lithuanian but a family friend has connections to the embassy) and don't know where we'd be staying this time. I have family all over the city -- as far as I can remember, one cousin is near the "Stadion" stop on the Moscow train line (just outside the Kaltso, I think) but I can't for the life of me remember the others.

Okay, enough ranting and more working. If you're a cigar smoker I'll try to bring over some choice sticks.
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Dan
 
Apr 10, 2002 at 4:02 AM Post #10 of 11

Dusty Chalk

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I just wanted you guys to know that I am reading this thread. Sorry I don't have anything to contribute (got a couple of Russian CD's from my sister after her trip there -- Lyoobe? -- but don't know where to get any more).
 
Apr 10, 2002 at 11:37 AM Post #11 of 11

Wes

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DanG,

I'm at metro Sepukhovskaya, which is south central quite close to Oktyabrskaya Ploshad and just off the subway's circle line. It would be fun and easy to meet. If 20% of Russia worked as well as the subway, there would be no more changes needed here!

Thanks for the offer of a smoke, but I'm not a smoker--quite smoke-tolerant, however. The store to start with is Soyuz, a chain with branches on Old Arbat and elsewhere. They have a nice new one near me, and also one in GUM. Both of these are less cramped than the one on the Arbat.
 

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