The 2nd soiree of the One Hundred Best Russian Songs
festival is titled as a tribute to the True Friends
comedy film (1954), the songs from which will be performed in the concert along with the music from the favourite Soviet films.
The programme is focused on the music of the 1930–1950s. Many songs have interesting history; here is one of them. In 1950, Isaak Dunaevsky got a letter from Voronezh schoolgirls who asked him to write a song for their teacher in gratitude for her hard work. Dunaevsky refused but he promised to write a song about love for all the schools of the country and their teachers. He kept his word: some months later at his son’s school graduation party he presented the School Waltz song to Mikhail Matusovsky’s lyrics. It was a tremendous success, and in 1956, the touching song sounded in the film Spring on Zarechnaya Street, which became one of the most important cinema symbols of the Khrushchev Thaw.
The programme also comprises songs by foreign composers. The French singer and composer Henri Salvador wrote the song The Bee and the Butterfly (L’abeille et le papillon), which was very popular in the USSR in the 1950s. It is to hear in the Winter Evening in Gagra melodrama, and formerly the text had been used in the film When the Trees Were Tall.
The Novaya Opera’s soloists, guest artistes and instrumental band will perform retro hits by Serafim Tulikov, Efim Rozenfeld, Oscar Feltsman to name but a few.
The artistic director of the festival is the Novaya Opera’s director Dmitry Sibirtsev, a pianist and a winner of the Moscow City Literature and Arts Prize.