Victor Nikitin sings “Heidenröslein”
This is when Nikitin made the live recording of Heidenröslein in German. This is a very rare soundtrack.
Dresden concert, 1948.
Victor Ivanovich Nikitin (Виктор Иванович Никитин) sings “Heidenröslein” with the Alexandrov Ensemble, conducted by Boris Alexandrovich Alexandrov. Words by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; music by Heinrich Werner. I understand that, for reasons unknown, the second half of the song has been edited out.
This 1948 track is said to have been recorded in Dresden (though it could be Berlin). Dresden was where the German section of the 1948 tour started on 18 July for the Ensemble. The famous Berlin peace concert in August of that year, notable for Nikitin singing in German, took place half a dozen venues later. Nikitin’s voice sounds less tired than in the confirmed Berlin recording of Im schönsten Wiesengrunde.
But these big concerts took place outdoors; Dresden’s centre had been flattened in 1945, with many thousands killed, and the Ensemble had to stand there in 1948 and perform in the middle of all the destruction, for citizens and refugees who really needed the concert for the sake of morale. It cannot have been easy.
Nikitin’s date of birth is unknown, but he was possibly around 30 years old in 1948. In Berlin he did three encores of Kalinka, and on that occasion was the first of the Ensemble tenors to be named Mr Kalinka. In 1952 his solo career ended suddenly when he opted to re-join the Ensemble choir, where he remained at least until 1965.