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Most Beautiful Folk Songs of Russia

The Red Army Choir

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Album Review

These may indeed be the most beautiful folk songs of Russia, but anyone expecting gentle, quiet renditions would do well to look at the artist. Yes, it's the Red Army Choir, and while they're glorious in full voice, gentle and quiet isn't really in their repertoire. Listeners with even a fragment of knowledge of Russian music will know pieces like "Kalinka" and "Hey, Ukhem!," even if they think they don't. When it's the choir with orchestra, Most Beautiful Folk Songs of Russia is definitely over the top (as it is on a couple of pieces), although there is one instrumental, "Russian Mosaic," featuring the gusli. That said, there are some moments of real beauty here, with some wonderful soloists fronting the massed voices. In essence, it's pretty much what you'd expect from the Red Army Choir singing Russian folk songs.

Biography

Genre: World

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The most prestigious vocal group in Russia, the Red Army Choir was renamed in 1978 after Boris Alexandrov, the troupe's director from 1946 until 1986. A large group featuring a male choir, mixed dance group, and orchestra, the Red Army Choir attracted international attention when it took first place at the Paris Universal Exhibition in 1937. Much of the group's repertoire, including such tunes as "We Are the Red Cavalry" and "Song of the Volga Boatmen," has passed into Russian folklore. In a review...
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