Tribute: The Unforgettable Music of the Aleksandrov Red Army Choir – RIP

IN MEMORIAM

I was offline for a few days. When I came back, one of the first news I heard was about the terrible and senseless Tu-154 tragedy over Black Sea on December 25, 2016. This catastrophe took the lives of 92 people on board, including 64 leading members of the Aleksandrov Red Army Choir (referred to in Russia as the Aleksandrov Ensemble). The Ensemble includes the celebrated male choir, orchestra and ballet troupe. This means that 1/3 of the entire Aleksandrov Ensemble has perished, with many big names among them. The current choir conductor, Valery Halilov, was among the passengers. A two-star general of the Russian army, Halilov became the Aleksandrov Ensemble conductor in 2016. He was also charged with directing the live singing and music during Victory Day Red Square Parades. Halilov was the artistic director of the annual Spasskaya Tower International Military Music Festival on Red Square.

To understand the magnitude of the loss, all needs to be said is that the Red Army Choir was the elite of Russian and world music. For 85 years, since its founding, the Red Army Choir mesmerized audiences in 70+ countries with its talent and mastery.

This unique music collective is considered a national treasure of Russia. Especially well-cherished by older generations, it is also the Russian Army’s trademark and single most internationally recognized military band of all times. The biggest international music names sang together with the Red Army Choir.

The Choir’s repertoire is very extensive. Most compositions are military, patriotic and Russian traditional songs, sung with filigree and precision. But the Choir equally shines with its international repertoire. The voices are academic and classically trained.

During the height of the Cold War the members of the Aleksandrov Red Army Choir served as Russian ambassadors of peace in military uniforms. Through their mesmerizing voices and masterful singing they melted hearts and destroyed walls. As such, in some countries the Red Army Choir was – and continues being – revered, and in others feared.

I am preparing a piece in which I’ll discuss what I believe happened on December 25, 2016, and how it’s all connected to other recent events.

TILL THEN…

Today I want to celebrate the amazing art and global contribution of the Red Army Choir.

KALINKA (one of the Red Army Choir hits). (MULTI-SUBTITLES): Russian, Serbian, Chinese, Croatian, Greek, Arabic, English, Czech, French, Hebrew, Dutch, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Hungarian, German, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese, Interlingue (Transliteration) and Macedonian. Click on Settings – subtitles language.

Another trademark song: Смуглянка (Smuglyanka) – Red Army Choir (2016). (MULTI-SUBTITLES): Русский, Српски (ћирилица и латиница), tiếng Việt, Català, Еspañol, Português, English. Click on Settings – subtitles language. Traditional concert at the Hall P. I. Tchaikovsky, February 23, 2016. Soloists: Viktor Sanin and Yevgeniy Bulochnikov (Виктор Санин и Евгений Булочников)

Live Aleksandrov Red Army Choir at Eurovision Song Contest 2009, Moscow [HQ]. “Kalinka” “Katyusha” “Dark Eyes” by Aleksandrov Red Army Choir and Dance Ensemble, with Military Music School drummers, tATu, and Gypsy Theatre ‘Roman.’

Live Red Army Choir – Moscow Nights (MULTI-SUBTITLES): Russian, Serbian, Chinese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, German and English. Concert in Paris, December 2003.

Aleksandrov Ensemble (Red Army Choir) – Whole Concert, 2014

Nabucco – Va, Pensiero – Russian Red Army Choir in Vatican (MULTI-SUBTITLES)

Live Red Army Choir – Katyusha (Катюша). Paris, December 2003. MULTI-SUBTITLES: Serbian, Russian, Czech, English, French, Greek, Dutch, Italian, Catalan, Hungarian, German, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

Live in Paris: another Red Army Choir trademark – A Partisan’s Song (MULTI-SUBTITLES)

The Dance troupe of the Aleksandrov Ensemble: Russian dance

R.I.P. all those who perished in the Tu-154 catastrophe. R.I.P. Aleksandrov Red Army Choir conductor and artistic director, Valery Halilov (Khalilov). On this video from May 9, 2015 Victory Day parade he conducts the amazing closing song – Russian soldiers sing on Red Square. See Gen. Halilov at 1:25 and 2:05:

I have more of the Red Army Choir songs here: Legendary Soviet Music Hits

Also see this FT post for another song from the Red Army Choir: Show Must Go On! Russian Army Choir Performs Queen with a hint for the Anniversary of the Soyuz19-Apollo Space Handshake

Please visit this post’s comments to see more videos from FT contributor Nemo1024, plus poetry and other touching comments!

About Lada Ray

Lada Ray is a linguist & former financial consultant with Smith Barney. Born in Russia, Lada lived and traveled to nearly 30 countries on most continents. She is the internationally certified Feng Shui Master and author of 3 novels + multiple novelettes; most notably, top-rated metaphysical thriller THE EARTH SHIFTER & bestselling thriller GOLD TRAIN (Accidental Spy Russia Adventure). Lada has extensively written re. Russia, world cultures, geopolitics, empire collapse, feng shui and consciousness. She is known for her accurate predictions. Lada's Blogs: FuturisTrendcast - geopolitics and predictions. Lada Ray Blog - books, writing, world cultures. We are presently working on expanding Lada Ray Youtube channel to include Lada's original geopolitical analysis and far-reaching global predictions, as well as her mystical futurism. The world is going through a massive tectonic shift of consciousness on all levels and in all aspects of life. Make sure you are prepared! Subscribe!

Posted on December 26, 2016, in Russia and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Thanks so much for sharing a blessing. Confess I was plunged into disgust as well as dismay but these glorious voices would turn anyone around to compassion and hope. Leveling out with “resolve”…the world will hear them again, just not in this dimension. (p.s. everybody go back also to the flash mobs plus Lada notes of 11/29 for more power to the people resolve)

    Liked by 5 people

    • Oh yes, Clare. I like your idea very much! Resolve is is an excellent response. Your post brought to mind a famous poem:

      Invictus

      Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
      I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

      In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
      Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

      Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
      And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

      It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
      I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

      Power to the People. God bless our unconquerable souls!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Lada, my heart is broken. I also was away for a while and came back to the news of this shocking and senseless loss. I join many others in Russia and around the world with hearts heavy in mourning the grievous loss of these extraordinarily talented brothers and sisters who lifted up and brought such joy and inspiration to so many lives. Once again, in such a short time, I offer condolences to the Russian people and to the friends and families of those who were lost. And to the members of the choir who have left us I say with love, Spacibo! You will be remembered here with great affection. May you journey well and gently, to your great reward. Heaven is getting a new choir of angels, and aren’t they lucky. 😉 Carry on!

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Thank you, Lada. Looking forward to your follow-up.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Teresa D. Preston

    The world weeps with Russia for the brutal loss of such a treasure. Thank you for taking time to share how deep that loss really goes. You have broadened the understanding of the need to demand and find Peace on Earth.

    Liked by 6 people

  5. I want to add two videos, both untranslated. The first is a music video, titled “When Soldiers Sing”. It is almost an hour-long collection of the Ensemble performances:

    If one goes to 34:00, what can watch the Zaporozhje Cossack dance. The opening tableau is sculpted from the Ilya Repin’s painting “Zaporozhje Cossacs write a letter to the Turkish Sultan”, declining the Sultan’s offer to serve him in no uncertain term:
    http://ilya-repin.ru/master/repin2.php

    Liked by 5 people

  6. The second video is the 2009 documentary, telling the history of the Ensemble. The film is titled “The Singing Weapon”, quoting how Winston Churchill referred to the Ensemble, after watching its performance in Crimea in 1945 during the Yalta conference:

    I intend to translate this documentary.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. It is just heartbreaking to see so much evil in this world and it is just a minority of people that is doing that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh….how terrible….we woke up to this news on Christmas Day and although I was not familiar with The Alexandrov Ensemble, I am so sorry for the loss of these great artists….it has been on my mind since….

    My sincere condolences to the families and friends who lost their loved ones in this tragic event….for them Christmas will never be the same again….

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I hope it is not what I think it is……not an accident but an attack…….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The latest update: The Defense Ministry CRI Lyubertsy was opened with a basic black box of the crashed Tu-154

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Dear readers, mourning this tragic loss and wishing to learn more about the Aleksandrov Ensemble. I have finished translating the 2008 documentary (this must have been the fastest translation that I’ve ever done), and uploaded it with subtitles and at a higher resolution than the initial link that I posted above. The film has many revelations and in retrospect makes it clear, why the ensemble was chosen as a target. I have also included the complete transcript of the translation, but as the documentary includes many fragments of the songs, it should really be watched and listened to.

    http://stanislavs.org/the-singing-weapon-aleksandrov-ensemble-documentary-with-engsubs/

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Lada, will you please translate into English the comments being made as the black box is opened?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I watched today’s press-conference. Some information was revealed there, but the investigation is ongoing – they need 10 more days to decode data (both recorders are found). And about 30 days to analyse the data and give a conclusive report.

    The recording of the press-conference (with English dub) can be watched here (starts 14 minutes into the video):

    Liked by 1 person

  14. God Bless America sung by the Russian Red Army Choir, FIMMQ 2011

    Gregory Osipov and others were among the perished passengers.

    Reading comments to the video, I have great hope for our common future.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Really beautiful music, thanks for sharing these precious gifts for the new year!

    Like

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