Tuesday, July 7, 2009

After Hours

Boris Khristov (NOT Christoff or Hristof). Song of the Volga Boatmen

Hey, it's a Bulgarian guy singing a Russian song in front of a curtain! I'm neither Bulgarian nor Russian (and not overly fond of curtains), but there's something to this performance that really socks me in my Slavic chops. Sure, Boris' tux doesn't fit so well. Maybe his arms are short and his gestures fairly stiff and weird. And certainly more than half of the words in this tune have no meaning - they're only the musical equivalent of grunting. But despite all that, this is one of the most genuine performances I've ever seen. My favorite part is the hectoring at 1:55. Oh, that hectoring! There's just something about this that makes me want to run off and become a Cossack. It is so simple and moving. Volga, mat' reka, indeed.

If you want production values, watch the Red Army Choir.

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