Vinogradov sings “Nightingales”

Georgy Pavlovich Vinogradov (Георгий Павлович Виноградов) sings “Nightingales” or “Solovii”

With the Alexandrov Ensemble, conducted by Boris Alexandrov, 1950.

This song asks the nightingale to be quiet as the soldiers are “sleeping”: that is, they have died. It was composed during World War II by V.Solovev-Sedoy; lyrics by A. Fatyanov.

However I think this arrangement of the song is typical of Alexander Alexandrov. Both Vinogradov and A. Alexandrov were from Kazan, and both sang in the choir at Kazan cathedral. A lot of the harmony in the arrangement comes from traditional Eastern Orthodox church music. So this is why I’m pretty sure that this arrangement and performance of the song is firmly rooted in the style of Kazan cathedral of before 1917 – even though the song itself was written later.

Boris Alexandrov used the identical arrangement for Evgeny Belyaev in the 1963/75/78 recordings – except that Belyaev is allowed to hit the high note at the end. But I’m pretty sure that this is Boris’ father’s arrangement as it is so much closer to Alexander’s style than to Boris’s.

You might well ask why the arrangement matters. Without this arrangement, there would be no great showcase for Vinogradov and Belyaev in this song. The Alexandrovs were great showmen, and they deserve as much credit as their wonderful soloists, choir and orchestra.


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