was one of Russia’s most beloved artists during the post-war years. Already 28 at the outbreak of WorldWar I, she could well be expected to have recorded during the pre-electric period. Why she was not given the opportunity to do so, will probably never be known. Listening to her records of 1937 onwards you can hardly believe that this is the voice of a 51-year-old-singer!
I am going out on a limb. There are a number of wonderful, wonderful Russian singers who are not well known in the West because they lived behind the Iron Curtain. I found Obukhova just by accident and thought she was a magnificent singer. The placement of the voice and the control of the breath are just outstanding. This was a great, great voice. Here is the going out on a limb part. I don’t speak or read Russian. The first song that Obukhova is going to sing is the Élegie by Massenet. She sings it in Russian, and not in French. There are recordings of her singing French arias in French, and her pronunciation is beautiful. But I don’t have those for you. Normally, I would put the Russian in the Cyrillic alphabet, a transliteration to the Latin alphabet, and then the English. For the Elegy, all I will be able to do for you is French and English. I apologize, but finding song lyrics in Russian is not easy. For the Tchikavosky, I will be able to provide the Russian, the transliteration, and the English. Obukhova sings Dalila’s first aria from Samson et Dalila, also by Massenet. Unfortunately, here again, I don’t have the Russian lyrics, so I have given you the original French and an English translation.