Showing posts from February, 2012

Architecture And Interior Photography Of Siberian Cities

Architecture And Interior Photography Of Siberian Cities: Check out this collection of photographs picturing architecture and interior design of the buildings of Novosibirsk and other cities of Siberia. A cottage in the Novosibirsk Region. A sports center in the Novosibirsk Region. A bowling club in Krasnoyarsk. An … Read more...

Travelling Throughout Leningrad In The 1960s

Travelling Throughout Leningrad In The 1960s: These are photographs of Leningrad taken back in the 60s by a group of tourists. The first photograph was taken at the border between Finland and the USSR. Between Vyborg and Leningrad. Leningrad. By their hotel. In the cafeteria. On … Read more...

Innokenty Annensky: Bow and Strings

What heavy, dark delirium! What dim and moonlit heights! To touch the violin for years And not to know the strings by light! Who needs us now? And who lit up Two hollow, melancholy faces... And suddenly the bow felt Someone take them up, unite them. "How long it's been! Amidst this gloom Just tell me this: are you still the same?" The strings caressed the bow, Rang out, caressed it slightly trembling. "Is it not true, that we will never more Be parted. It's enough..." Yes, replied the violin, But pain was throbbing in her heart. The bow discerned it and grew mute, The echo still continued in the violin... What was a torture to them both The people heard as music. But the violinist didn't snuff The candles out 'til dawn...The strings sang on... The sun found them worn out On the black velvet of their bed....

Elena Obraztsova - Carmen - Habanera


Heroic Sevastopol By Vladislav Mikosha

Heroic Sevastopol By Vladislav Mikosha: “Heroic Sevastopol” is 42 photographs picturing those stern and valorous years of World War II, episodes of wartime life, people who courageously protected their Motherland and for whom the word “feat” has become a synonym to the word “peace”. And … Read more...

Yurgis Baltrushaitis: The Pendulum

WHEN the dumb darkness most heavily clings,Rhythmic and ruthless my pendulum swings.Rustily creaking or whining dismay,Urging each tarrying moment away.Longing, it seems, for the days that are fled,Down ancient stairways resounds someone’s tread.Heavy the footfall on flagstones unlit,—Lower and lower and down to the pit.Praying, it seems, for a long-vanished shore,Dumbly the Helmsman with slow stubborn oarBrokenly rows me, morosely alone,Into my harbor, afar and unknown.Evil the Ferryman, darkly he pounds;Farther and farther, more muffled resounds,Hostile and hopeless, the long downward climb:Cold, ineluctable footsteps of Time.


Maya Plisetskaya, age 61, dances Dying Swan


Russian ballet icon awarded Legion of Honour

Russia’s ballet star Maya Plisetskaya has been decorated with the French National Order of the Legion of Honour. As he spoke at an award ceremony in Moscow, French Ambassador to Russia Jean de Gliniasty said that for him Maya Plisetskaya had come to personify grace, beauty, talent and courage which are inherent in the Russian soul. Plisetskaya also received the Order of Arts. Addressing the participants in the ceremony, the Russian prima ballerina said that she had numerous ties with France having worked with a number of prominent French choreographers, such as Roland Petit and Maurice Bejart, who had written four ballets for her. “All my costumes and dresses come from Pierre Cardin,” Plisetskaya said. The Order of the Legion of Honour is the highest national award in France. About 150 Russians have become holders of the Order for today. ...

Winter Sights Of Kazan

Winter Sights Of Kazan: Welcome to Kazan, a city in Tatarstan Republic. Kazan is the capital of Tatarstan inhabited by 1.2 million people. The city is located on the left bank of the Volga river. It celebrated its thousand anniversary in 2005 and is … Read more...

Pancake orgy hits Russia

Pancake orgy hits Russia:

Pancakes stuffed with… brains. Russian chefs have been racking their own brains, trying to seduce food lovers with truly original recipes to celebrate Maslenitsa, one of the country’s most popular and gourmet festivals.

Real life: how the Caucasus is feeding itself

Stop feeding the Caucasus ↑ ’ is a cry frequently heard from Russian nationalists, of both the radical and moderate-democratic persuasions. Aleksey Navalny is the most typical example. The suggestion is that Chechnya and the other republics of the northern Caucasus receive too much in the way of subsidies, both direct and indirect, and that there is no check on how the money is spent. As a result, people in other parts of Russia are convinced that the Caucasus is drowning in cash. But is this true? How rich are the inhabitants of the northern Caucasus, and what do they eat on a day to day basis? Let’s take as an example a village in the Karachay-Cherkessiya Republic, in the west of the region. A pension for a ghost If five hundred people gather on the street in a Russian town or village, it won’t be long before a police patrol car or an anti-riot squad appears. In a Caucasus mountain village a crowd like this arouses not the slightest interest, let alone alarm, in the local guardian…

The Winter of Moscow 1959 In Photos Of Carl Mydans

The Winter of Moscow 1959 In Photos Of Carl Mydans: The photos of Moscow and its inhabitants were taken by Carl Mydans, an American photographer who worked for Life magazine. Location: Moscow via humus

Leon Trotsky by Joshua Rubenstein - review

"An interpretation for the 21st century," says the blurb. My first reaction was to wonder whether the 21st century needs a new interpretation of Trotsky, or even whether Trotsky needs a new biography. We already have the three-volume classic by Isaac Deutscher, a Russian (former Soviet) perspective from Dmitri Volkogonov, and, just a couple of years ago, a book on his murder by Bertrand Patenaude and Robert Service's biography, a bit mean-spirited, perhaps, but well-researched and twice as large as this new one by Rubenstein.

With the Soviet Union gone and the cold war ended, the old question of whether Trotsky would have done a better job than Stalin, had he won the leadership battle of the 1920s, loses some of its edge; in any case, the evidence that Trotsky, too, could practise extreme violence seems overwhelming. On the international scene, Islamic terrorism has replaced the menace of world communism that so preoccupied the western world, especially the United States…

The Day When Odessa Bay Got Frozen

The Day When Odessa Bay Got Frozen: Odessa is a city in the southern part of Ukraine that has warm winters and sea that is never covered with ice. It used to be like this always. But everything changes. This winter surprised local citizens a lot. Location: … Read more...

Russian Families End of 19 Century


Maria Yudina plays Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition


Dmitrii Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (On his 60th birthday), by Maria Yudina

The significance, importance and scale of Dmitrii Dmitriyevich Shostakovich as a creative artist knows no borders, but nevertheless he is first and foremost a deeply Russian man and composer. It is quite possible, that this realization that he has numerous attributes that lie at the very core of the Russian culture and tradition, and connect him to Andrei Rublev, Pushkin, Dostoyevsky and Lenin [this article was published in 1966 in "Moskovskii Komsomolets", a popular Youth Party newspaper, which is probably the reason for the last name on this list], gives us a key to understanding his art and life. However, there are other unsubtractable connections. Compositions of Dmitrii Dmitriyevich Shostakovich rise above us as dazzling mountain peaks, reminding us of Shakespeare's art. Fortunately, Dmitrii Dmitriyevich is now at the height of his genius and enormous creative powers; and we, his grateful contemporaries, congratulate him on his birthday, and his recovery from rec…

Nikolai Lugansky

Nikolai Lugansky Performs Extracts from Rachmaninov's 3rd Piano Concerto

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto n.3 - Nikolai Lugansky - 1st mvt.

Nikolai Lugansky was born in Moscow in 1972 into a family of scientists. He began studying the piano at the age of five, and shortly afterwards was enrolled in the class of Tatiana Kestner at the Moscow Central Music School. During his fifth year at the school, Lugansky became a pupil of Tatiana Nikolaeva, with whom he was to work closely for nine years. In her last interview, Nikolaeva declared that Lugansky would be “The Next One” in a line of great Russian pianists. Lugansky completed his studies at the Moscow Conservatory with another renowned pianist and teacher, Sergei Dorensky. In 1988, Lugansky won first prize at the All-Union Competition for Young Musicians in Tbilisi and second prize at the International Bach Competition in Leipzig. He went on to win prizes at the 1990 Rachmaninov Competition in Moscow, the 1992 International Summer Academ…

Another postcard from the edge: life on the Kuril Islands

Road-building A historic event took place recently on Kunashir, one of the four inhabited islands in the Kuril archipelago. Almost five kilometres of road were asphalted for the first time ever. Not long ago, something like this would have been beyond the islanders’ wildest dreams, but now the residents are promised that the road-building programme on Kunashir will only grow and grow. Despite the breathtaking views and fresh air, the lack of
basic conveniences mean that few are prepared to settle
on the Kuril islands  This morsel of good news is an excellent illustration of the current state of affairs in the Kuril Islands. On the one hand, people can see that the quality of life is improving in this far-flung territory. On the other hand, what kind of changes are we talking about? Roads. Certainly not the nanotechnology so feted by our government. But my how have the locals already managed to sample the delights of the roads! Now no longer do passing cars kick up clouds of dust on to n…

Russian Village Of The Early 1980s

Russian Village Of The Early 1980s: Look at this amazing collection of photographs by Alexander Kalion which will give you an idea of the reality and hard life people of the Russian village of the early 1980s lived.

Varlam Shalamov: Resurrection of the Larch

We are superstitious. We demand miracles. We invent symbols for ourselves and live by these symbols.

A man in the Far North seeks an outlet for his sensitivity — still not destroyed, still not poisoned even by decades of life in Kolyma. A man sends a parcel by airmail: not books, not photographs, not verse, but a larch twig, a dead twig of living nature.

This strange gift, dried out, blown by the currents of aeroplanes, crushed and broken on the mail train, a light brown, coarse, bony northern twig of a northern tree, is placed in water.

It is placed in a jam jar filled with evil chlorinated, antiseptic Moscow tap water, water that itself, perhaps, is also glad to dry out everything living — deadly Moscow tap water.

Larches are more serious than flowers. In this room there are many flowers, bright flowers. Here bouquets of cherry, bouquets of lilac are placed in hot water, the stems split and dipped in boiling water.

The larch stands in cold water, water that has scarcely been warmed at al…

Tchaikovsky: Symphony n.1 "Winter Daydreams" - Christoph Poppen - 1st mvt.


From Good Wishes (Dobro vam) by Vasily Grossman

The inner yard! What constitutes the soul, the inner kernel of Yerevan is not its churches or government buildings, not its train stations, not its theatre or concert hall, not its three-storey palace of a department store. No, what constitutes the soul of Yerevan is its inner courtyards. […] This is the city as a living organism, with the outer skin stripped away. This is where all of Eastern life can be seen: the tenderness of the heart, the peristalsis of the gut, the firing of synapses, the power of both blood kinship and the ties that link all who were born in the same town or village. Old men pray their rosaries and exchange leisurely smiles; children get up to no good; smoke rises from braziers; quince and peach preserves simmer in copper pans; washing tubs are lost in clouds of steam; green-eyed cats watch their mistresses plucking chickens. We are not far from Turkey. We are not far from Persia. […]

And so I go on building my own Yerevan. I grind, crush, absorb and inhale its …

Modern Moscow Views

Modern Moscow Views: Moscow is a wonderful city that has combined history and modern facilities. Check out some photographs of the city below. Click on the image to see it in full size. The Troitskaya Tower, the Troitsky Bridge and the Komendantskaya Tower. … Read more...

Anton Chekhov: An Artist's Story

IT was six or seven years ago when I was living in one of the districts of the province of T----, on the estate of a young landowner called Byelokurov, who used to get up very early, wear a peasant tunic, drink beer in the evenings, and continually complain to me that he never met with sympathy from any one. He lived in the lodge in the garden, and I in the old seigniorial house, in a big room with columns, where there was no furniture except a wide sofa on which I used to sleep, and a table on which I used to lay out patience. There was always, even in still weather, a droning noise in the old Amos stoves, and in thunder-storms the whole house shook and seemed to be cracking into pieces; and it was rather terrifying, especially at night, when all the ten big windows were suddenly lit up by lightning.
Condemned by destiny to perpetual idleness, I did absolutely nothing. For hours together I gazed out of window at the sky, at the birds, at the avenue, read everything that was brought m…

Moscow Nights Red Army Choir in Paris 1958


Siberia And More By Alexander Kuznetsov

Siberia And More By Alexander Kuznetsov: Alexander Kuznetsov is a photographer and a film maker from Krasnoyarsk. Below are photographs he took from 1980 till 2007. In the line for milk, Krasnoyarsk, 1980. Krasnoyarsk, 1980. Military Parade in Krasnoyarsk on May 9th, 1981. Minors Commission, Krasnoyarsk, … Read more...

Leningrad Of 1965 In Photos By German Tourist

Leningrad Of 1965 In Photos By German Tourist: These are photos of Leningrad taken by German photo journalist Hans Rudolf Uthoff who visited the city in 1965.

Marina Tsvetaeva's Memorial Flat

There is a special house in the heart of Moscow, in one of the ancient districts of the city. Hidden in the quite and cozy lane, between low-storeyed buildings, it appears like a little miracle for a stranger, walking down the Moscow streets.

This apartment house is a unique place, that keeps the spirit of old noble time, dreams and reality of a young woman with bitter tears of the postrevolutionary period. The name of this women is Marina Tsvetaeva and for nearly a century ago she, full of joy and inspiration, rented an apartment number 3 in this 3-storeyed villa, where she spent 8 years from 194 to 1922.

This building was built in 1862 at Borisoglebsky Lane, named after the Church of Saints Boris and Gleb. That is how it looked in 70-80s, before the restoration.

Marina Tsvetaeva spent in this house a big and important period of her life. It was a place of inspiration as well as a realm of tragic feelings. While living here with her husband Sergey Efron and their daughter Ariadna, sh…

Lighthouses Of The Caspian Sea

Lighthouses Of The Caspian Sea: Lighthouses are the most romantic places on earth. Today, we want to tell you about the lighthouse of Apsheronsk, one of the oldest lighthouses of the Caspian Sea, and a lighthouse located in the city of Lankaran which used to … Read more...

Boris Berezovsky:Rachmaninov - Preludes Op.23 No.1, 2, 4, 6, 10


The USSR In Photos

The USSR In Photos: Some interesting pictures of the USSR to remember how it was. Healthy Family Club, Igor Charkovsky, Moscow, 1985. Igor Charkovsky was a well-known person in Moscow with crowds of fans who wanted to have healthy kids. Igor taught them how … Read more...

Winter Fairy Tale In Pripyat

Winter Fairy Tale In Pripyat: Pripyat was founded in 1970 to house workers for the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It was officially proclaimed a city in 1979 but was abandoned in 1986 following the Chernobyl disaster. Currently Pripyat is being supervised by the Ministry of … Read more...

Mikhail Frunze

Mikhail Vasilyevich Frunze was a Russian/Soviet revolutionary, a politician and one of the most successful Red Army commanders during the Civil War of 1917-1923. Mikhail Frunze’s father was a “Russified” Romanian who had lived as a peasant in the Kherson Region (now Southern Ukraine). He served in the military in Turkestan in Central Asia (now a divided territory shared by Russia, Afghanistan and China) and remained there to work as a paramedic. Frunze’s mother was a peasant who had moved to the Zhetysu (or the Semirechye, meaning “Seven Rivers”) Region of Turkestan in the 1870s. Mikhail Frunze was born in the town of Pishpek (now Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan) in the Semirechye Region. His childhood was financially difficult as his father died early and his mother had to work hard to earn a living. After graduating from the Pishpek town school he entered the gymnasium in the town of Vernyi (now Almaty, the largest city of Kazakhstan) and in 1904 graduated with a gold medal. He …

Yuri Bashmet and Moscow Soloists