17 December 2007

In which my balalaika teacher continues to be the best

In addition to walking me to the tram stop after my Tuesday lesson - we had black ice, and with my less-than-perfect post-knee surgery balance (which may or may not be all in my head) and a fear of falling instilled by numerous painful spills on Vladivostok's slippery hills last winter, I'm pretty tottery on ice – Mikhail Semyonovich gave me a copy of an mp3 anthology of balalaika music compiled by some French balalaika enthusiast. Well, he gave me volume one, anyway, which is over sixty hours of recordings spanning from Vasily Andreev, the late-19th century father of the modern balalaika, to the best examples of the contemporary school of balalaika (including my teacher's teacher and two of his students!).

Besides enjoying listening to all this music, I'm getting a huge kick out of the jpegs of record and cd covers that are included with the anthology. Many of them are shining examples of Soviet graphic design (which I love):
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And then there's a whole genre of balalaika-player-superimposed-on-Russian-scene:
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Plus one where the balalaika player is actually standing in the Russian scene:
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I am really digging the contrast between Mr. Necheporenko's stern demeanor and the flowing pink script in which his name is written.

And then the many that were clearly designed by musicians, not graphic designers:
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(Ok... uh... grab your balalaika... and... uh... stand... uh... oh, here's a nice-looking column. Yeah... stand here. No, a little to the right. Ok, ready? Smile! No... wait... maybe you should look a little more serious. Um... ok. Yeah. Yeah, that's good. One, two... three! Hmm. Do you think we need to take another shot? Probably not, eh?)

There are bad costumes:
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(Le Trio Star Treque?)

Russian folk costumes galore:
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And finally, two of my favorites, both non-Russians:
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When I make it big, I can *only hope* that my group has a name as awesome as "Bibs and Vanya."

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket... And that I have a style consultant as skilled as Petro Ivanovitch's of "The Ivanovitch Gypsies."

Sadly, Petro ended up with a receding hairline; on the bright side, he got a solo album:
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And this is only the "Balalaika" folder – I haven't even uploaded "Domra" (a related Russian folk instrument) or "Ensembles." And there are three more volumes after this one!

6 comments:

Julia said...

wow. these are amazing! i'd kind of like to imagine that anatolii tixonov is actually just hanging out in priroda in his suit and white tie...

Anonymous said...

skilled as Petro Ivanovitch's of "The Ivanovitch Gypsies."

Petro is one of my favorite. Hi is a gypsy-background from Yougoslavia
Meried Raya's doughter Natasha.
A lot of france gypsy-jaz player use his music as a reference, very
well known for his gentle stille of playing. He tunes his balalaika
diferently HEA
No1- Potpourri tzigane
No2- Doina
No3-Roumanian suite

lovely things

Leslie said...

Thank you for your comment! I didn't know that he tunes his balalaika differently. (I am listening to his music now - I still can't tell!) That's really interesting. I've also heard that he plays with a pick (plectre), which is not typical for the prima balalaika.

Do you know if he still performs?

Leslie

Anonymous said...

Hi Leslie!
Yes " Les tziganes Ivanovich" playing again, but now Petro with his two sons, Nikak and Aleko.
http://www.dailymotion.com/opamaa

Let's open this web

In a years 70-tieth and 80-tieth
Jarko Jovanovic played with his two sons, Petro and Slobodan. Jarko was virtruoso, he played 4-strings alto size balalaika tuned Fis,H,E,A(tuned like basprim-tambura)
Today Petro play with Nikak and Aleko.
Click the link below to read the post:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=277991846&blogID=356889262

Aleks(scerba@aei.net)

Anonymous said...

http://www.petroivanovitch.com/

Anonymous said...

Click the link below to read the post:
http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=277991846&blogID=356889262

Eatch time you open this web clik
on the "les tziganes Ivanovitch"
top left icon
You will automaticaly dawnload one number from Petro Ivanovich.
Repied this for seven times.
Enjoy your amazing balalaika music.
Nobody play so soft and sensitive like Petro!!!!