On May 9th every year, Russians celebrate Victory Day (Den Pobedi/День Победы). This is a day to commemorate the Nazi surrender in 1945. Parades, music and fireworks highlight the celebration. This year is the 65th anniversary of this day.
During World War II, the Alexandrov Ensemble gave over 1500 performances at both Soviet fronts, entertaining troops about to go into battle, at gun emplacements, airfields, and in hospitals. Their mission was to keep morale high. After the war, the Ensemble toured yearly in many of the war-torn European countries, to include giving the August 1948 “Peace Concert” in Berlin.
“The Sacred War” is undoubtedly the song most closely associated with the terrible struggle that the Russians endured during the war. A.V. Alexandrov wrote this music on 22 June 1941, the day the Nazis invaded Russia. The words are a war cry, and it is said that this song was one of the influences which gave Russia the courage to defend itself.
Here are links to some other songs from the WW II era that you’ll enjoy:
- Georgy Vinogradov sings Katyusha.
- Leonid Kharitonov and Ivan Bukreev sing Vasya-Vasilyok.
- Selections from the 1942 Concert for the Front movie.