Galina Vishnevskaya, Russian Lyrico-Dramatic Soprano, sings Tchaikovsky with comparison to Netrebko

Galina Vishnevskaya, (Galina Pavlovna Ivanova), Russian soprano (born Oct. 25, 1926, Leningrad, Russia, U.S.S.R. (now St. Petersburg, Russia]—died Dec. 11, 2012, Moscow, Russia),was a leading soprano at the Bolshoi Theatre from 1952 until 1974, when she and her third husband, cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich (to whom she was married from 1955 until his death in 2007), left the Soviet Union and went into exile. Vishnevskaya’s extraordinary voice and sultry beauty brought her stardom in the 1960s, though she was rarely allowed to perform outside the Soviet Union. She was particularly noted for her work in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Modest Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, and Dmitry Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District. Such was her fame that Shostakovich composed especially for her, Benjamin Britten created the soprano part of his War Requiem for her (she was not allowed to travel to England to sing at the 1961 premiere), and poet Anna Akhmatova dedicated a poem to her. Vishnevskaya was awarded (1971) the Order of Lenin, but it was rescinded as she and Rostropovich became recognized as political dissidents. After they left the U.S.S.R., they were stripped of their citizenship (1978); it was restored in 1990. Vishnevskaya founded (2002) an opera center in Moscow, and she and her husband established (1991) a foundation to provide health care to children and young adults.

Ночь

Отчего я люблю тебя, светлая ночь,
Так люблю, что страдая любуюсь тобой!
И за что я люблю тебя, тихая ночь!
Ты не мне, ты другим посылаешь покой!…

Что мне звёзды-луна-небосклон-облака
Этот свет, что, скользя на холодный гранит,
Превращает в алмазы росинки цветка,
И, как путь золотой, через море бежит?

Ночь! за что мне любить твой серебряный свет!
Усладит ли он горечь скрываемых слёз,
Даст ли жадному сердцу желанный ответ,
Разрешит ли сомненья тяжёлый вопрос!

Сам не знаю, за что я люблю тебя, ночь,
Так люблю, что страдая любуюсь тобой!
Сам не знаю, за что я люблю тебя, ночь,
Оттого, может быть, что далёк мой покой!

Noch’

Otchego ya lyublyu tebya, svetlaya noch’,
Tak lyublyu, chto stradaya lyubuyus’ toboy!
I za chto ya lyublyu tebya, tikhaya noch’!
Ty ne mne, ty drugim posylayesh’ pokoy!…

Chto mne zvozdy-luna-nebosklon-oblaka
Etot svet, chto, skol’zya na kholodnyy granit,
Prevrashchayet v almazy rosinki tsvetka,
I, kak put’ zolotoy, cherez more bezhit?

Noch’! za chto mne lyubit’ tvoy serebryanyy svet!
Usladit li on gorech’ skryvayemykh sloz,
Dast li zhadnomu serdtsu zhelannyy otvet,
Razreshit li somnen’ya tyazholyy vopros!

Sam ne znayu, za chto ya lyublyu tebya, noch’,
Tak lyublyu, chto stradaya lyubuyus’ toboy!
Sam ne znayu, za chto ya lyublyu tebya, noch’,
Ottogo, mozhet byt’, chto dalok moy pokoy!

Night

Why do I love you, shining night?
I love you so much that even in my suffering I love you!
And is that why I love you, quiet night?
It is not me but others to whom you send rest! . . .

What are the stars to me, the moon, the sky, the clouds,
This light hovering over the cold granite
Transforming the dew drops on the flowers into diamonds
And running across the sea like a golden highway?

Night? Why do I love your silver light?
Does it remove the bitter taste of hidden tears?
Might it give the longed for answer to an eager heart?
Will it resolve doubts raised by painful questions?

Even I do not know why I love you, night.
I love you so much that even when I am suffering I love you!
Even I do not know why I love you, night.
It is perhaps because rest is so far away from me!

Скажи, о чём в тени ветвей

Скажи, о чём в тени ветвей,
когда природа отдыхает,
поёт весенний соловей
и что он песней выражает?
Что тайно всем волнует кровь?
Скажи, скажи, какое слово
знакомо всем и вечно ново?
Любовь!

Скажи, о чём наедине
в раздумье девушка гадает,
что тайным трепетом во сне
ей страх и радость обещает?
Недуг тот странный назови,
в котором светлая отрада.
Чего ей ждать? Чего ей надо?
Любви!

Скажи! когда от жизненной тоски
Ты утомленный изнываешь,
И злой печали вопреки
Хоть призрак счастья призываешь!
Что услаждает грудь твою?
Не те ли звуки неземные,
Когда услышал ты впервые
Слова, слова любви!

Skazhi, o chjom v teni vetvej

Skazhi, o chjom v teni vetvej,
kogda priroda otdykhajet,
pojot vesennij solovej
i chto on pesnej vyrazhajet?
Chto tajno vsem volnujet krov’?
Skazhi, skazhi, kakoje slovo
znakomo vsem i vechno novo?
Ljubov’!

Skazhi, o chjom najedine
v razdum’e devushka gadajet,
chto tajnym trepetom vo sne
jej strakh i radost’ obeshchajet?
Nedug tot strannyj nazovi,
v kotorom svetlaja otrada.
Chego jej zhdat’? Chego jej nado?
Ljubvi!

Skazhi! kogda ot zhiznennoy toski
Ty utomlennyy iznyvayesh’,
I zloy pechali vopreki
Khot’ prizrak schast’ya prizyvayesh’!
Chto uslazhdayet grud’ tvoyu?
Ne te li zvuki nezemnyye,
Kogda uslyshal ty vpervyye
Slova, slova lyubvi!

Tell me, in the shadow of the branches

Tell me, in the shadow of the branches,
when nature is resting,
what is the vernal nightingale singing about,
and what he is expressing with the song?
What secretly stirs the blood for all?
Tell me, tell me, tell me, which word
is familiar to all and is forever new?
Love, love, love!

Tell me, what in private
does a girl lost in thought wonder about,
what with furtive trembling in her sleep
promises her fear and joy?
Name that strange affliction
in which there is serene comfort,
what is it she needs to wait for?
Love! love!

Tell me, when from longing for life
You wearied, tired and languishing,
And felt a contrary evil sadness,
Although you invoke the ghost of happiness.
What makes your bosom rise?
Aren’t those unearthly sounds
When did you first hear
Words, words of love!

Комнату лампада

«Ax уймись ты, буря!
Не шумите, ели!
Мой малютка дремлет
Сладко в колыбели!

Ты, гроза Господня,
Не буди ребёнка!
Пронеситесь, тучи
Черные, сторонкой.»

Бурь ещё не мало
Впереди, быть-может,
И не раз забота
Сон его встревожит.

Спи, дитя, спокойно!
Вот гроза стихает,
Матери молитва
Сон твой охраняет.

Завтра, как проснёшься
И откроешь глазки,
Снова встретишь солнце,
И любовь, и ласки.

Komnatu lampada

«Ah ujmis’ ty, burja!
Ne shumite, jeli!
Moj maljutka dremlet
Sladko v kolybeli!

Ty, groza Gospodnja,
Ne budi rebjonka!
Pronesites’, tuchi
Chernye, storonkoj.»

Bur’ jeshchjo ne malo
Vperedi, byt’-mozhet,
I ne raz zabota
Son jego vstrevozhit.

Spi, ditja, spokojno!
Vot groza stikhajet,
Materi molitva
Son tvoj okhranjajet.

Zavtra, kak prosnjosh’sja
I otkrojesh’ glazki,
Snova vstretish’ solnce,
I ljubov’, i laski.

Lullaby in a Storm

« Ah, calm yourself, storm!
Don’t make any noise, firs !
My baby is sleeping
Gently in his cradle !

You, Mistress Storm,
Don’t awaken the babe!
Flee, black clouds
into the distance.

Storm no more now, a little
later, maybe,
Please make sure that you do not
Disturb his sleep.

Sleep in peace, my child!
The storm lessens,
Your mother’s prayer,
Protects your dreams.

Tomorrow, when you will awake
You will open your eyes,
You will meet the sun again,
End love and caresses. »

Песнь Миньоны: Нет, толко тот, кто знал

Нет, только тот,
кто знал свиданья, жажду,
поймёт, как я страдал
и как я стражду.
Гляжу я вдаль…
нет сил, тускнеет око…
Ах, кто меня любил
и знал – далеко!
Ах, только тот,
кто знал свиданья жажду,
поймёт, как я страдал
и как я стражду.
Вся грудь горит…

Pesn’ Min’ony: Net, tolko tot, kto znal

Net, tol’ko tot,
kto znal svidan’ja, zhazhdu,
pojmjot, kak ja stradal
i kak ja strazhdu.
Gljazhu ja vdal’…
net sil, tusknejet oko…
Akh, kto menja ljubil
i znal – daleko!
Akh, tol’ko tot,
kto znal svidan’ja zhazhdu,
pojmjot, kak ja stradal
i kak ja strazhdu.
Vsja grud’ gorit…

Mignon

Only one who
knows loneliness
and who longs
for a meeting,
knows how I have suffered
and am still suffering.

With a veiled look,
I stare into the distance.
Ah, the one who loved me
knew me is far away.
Only one who
knows loneliness
and who longs.

Забыть так скоро

Забыть так скоро, боже мой,
Всё счастье жизни прожитой!
Все наши встречи, разговоры,
Забыть так скоро, забыть так скоро!

Забыть волненья первых дней,
Свиданья час в тени ветвей!
Очей немые разговоры,
Забыть так скоро, забыть так скоро!

Забыть, как полная луна
На нас глядела из окна,
Как колыхалась тихо штора…
Забыть так скоро, забыть так скоро, так скоро!

Забыть любовь, забыть мечты,
Забыть те клятвы помнишь ты, помнишь ты, помнишь ты?
В ночную пасмурную пору, в ночную пасмурную пору,
Забыть так скоро, забыть так скоро!
Боже мой!

Zabyt’ tak skoro

Zabyt’ tak skoro, bozhe moj,
Vsjo schast’e zhizni prozhitoj!
Vse nashi vstrechi, razgovory,
Zabyt’ tak skoro, zabyt’ tak skoro!

Zabyt’ volnen’ja pervykh dnej,
Svidan’ja chas v teni vetvej!
Ochej nemye razgovory,
Zabyt’ tak skoro, zabyt’ tak skoro!

Zabyt’, kak polnaja luna
Na nas gljadela iz okna,
Kak kolykhalas’ tikho shtora…
Zabyt’ tak skoro, zabyt’ tak skoro, tak skoro!

Zabyt’ ljubov’, zabyt’ mechty,
Zabyt’ te kljatvy pomnish’ ty, pomnish’ ty, pomnish’ ty?
V nochnuju pasmurnuju poru, v nochnuju pasmurnuju poru,
Zabyt’ tak skoro, zabyt’ tak skoro!
Bozhe moj!

To forget so soon

To forget so soon, oh, God!
all the happiness we had together!
All our meetings, our talks!
To forget so soon, so soon!

To forget the excitements of our first days together,
Our meetings in the shadow of branches,
Mute talks between our eyes!
To forget so soon! So soon!

To forget how the full moon
Was looking at us through the window,
How the curtains fluttered –
To forget so soon! To forget so soon, so soon!

To forget our love, our dreams,
our vows! Do you remember?
Do you remember? Do you remember
the ones we said during the dark and cloudy night?
To forget so soon! To forget so soon!
Oh, God!

Он так меня любил

Нет, не любила я! но странная забота
Теснила грудь мою, когда он приходил;
То вся краснела я, боялася чего то,
Он так меня любил, он так меня любил!

Чтоб нравиться ему тогда, цветы и те наряды
Я берегла, что он по сердцу находил;
С ним говорила я, его ловила взгляды, –
Он так меня любил, он так меня любил!

Но раз он мне сказал: ,,В ту рощу,
в час за ката придёшь ли?“ — ,,Да, приду!“
Но не хватило сил. Я в рощу не пошла,
он ждал меня напрасно!

Тогда уехал он, сердясь на неудачу;
Несчастный, как меня проклясть он должен был!
Я не увижусь с ним, мне тяжело, я плачу…
Он так меня любил, он так меня любил!

On tak menja ljubil

Net, ne ljubila ja! no strannaja zabota
Tesnila grud’ moju, kogda on prikhodil;
To vsja krasnela ja, bojalasja chego to,
On tak menja ljubil, on tak menja ljubil!

Chtob nravit’sja jemu togda, cvety i te narjady
Ja beregla, chto on po serdcu nakhodil;
S nim govorila ja, jego lovila vzgljady, –
On tak menja ljubil, on tak menja ljubil!

No raz on mne skazal: ,,V tu roshchu,
v chas za kata pridjosh’ li?“ — ,,Da, pridu!“
No ne khvatilo sil. Ja v roshchu ne poshla,
on zhdal menja naprasno!

Togda ujekhal on, serdjas’ na neudachu;
Neschastnyj, kak menja prokljast’ on dolzhen byl!
Ja ne uvizhus’ s nim, mne tjazhelo, ja plachu…
On tak menja ljubil, on tak menja ljubil!

He loved me so much

No, I wasn’t in love! But a strange feeling
Seized my heart, when he came near;
So that I blushed, vulnerable to something,
He loved me so much, he loved me so much!

In order to please him then, certain flowers and outfits
I put on, so that he would hold me in a special place in his heart;
I conversed with him, trying to catch his eye, –
He loved me so much, he loved me so much!

But once he said to me: “will you meet me in an hour in the grove?”
– “Yes, I’ll come!”
But that wasn’t enough. I didn’t go to the woods,
and he waited for me in vain!

Then he departed, angry at my failure to appear;
Miserable, that’s how he should curse my behavior!
Now I won’t ever see him again, and it’s hard for me, I’m paying for it now…
He loved me so much, he loved me so much!

Ни слова, о друг мой, ни вздоха

Ни слова, о друг мой, ни вздоха…
Мы будем с тобой молчаливы…
Ведь молча над камнем могильным
Склоняются грустные ивы…

И только, склонившись, читают,
Как я в твоём [взоре]1 усталом,
Что были дни ясного счастья…
Что этого счастья — не стало!

Ni slova, o drug moj, ni vzdokha

Ni slova, o drug moj, ni vzdokha…
My budem s toboj molchalivy…
Ved’ molcha nad kamnem mogil’nym
Sklonjajutsja grustnye ivy…

I tol’ko, sklonivshis’, chitajut,
Kak ja v tvojom serdece ustalom,
Chto byli dni jasnogo schast’ja…
Chto `etogo schast’ja — ne stalo!

Not a word, my dear friend, not a sigh!

Not a word, my dear friend, not a sigh!
We’ll be silent…
After all, the willows above
the tomb stone are silent.

They just bend down and read
as I read in your exhausted heart
That there were days of bright happiness
And that this happiness is gone now!

Ночи безумные, ночи бессонные

Ночи безумные, ночи бессонные,
Речи несвязные, взоры усталые…
Ночи, последним огнем озаренные,
Осени мёртвой цветы запоздалые!

Пусть даже время рукой беспощадною
Мне указало, что было в вас ложного,
Всё же лечу я к вам памятью жадною,
В прошлом ответа ищу невозможного…

Вкрадчивым шепотом вы заглушаете
Звуки дневные, несносные, шумные…
В тихую ночь вы мой сон отгоняете,
Ночи бессонные, ночи безумные!

Nochi bezumnye, nochi bessonnye

Nochi bezumnye, nochi bessonnye,
Rechi nesvjaznye, vzory ustalye…
Nochi, poslednim ognem ozarennye,
Oseni mjortvoj cvety zapozdalye!

Pust’ dazhe vremja rukoj besposhchadnoju
Mne ukazalo, chto bylo v vas lozhnogo,
Vsjo zhe lechu ja k vam pamjat’ju zhadnoju,
V proshlom otveta ishchu nevozmozhnogo…

Vkradchivym shepotom vy zaglushajete
Zvuki dnevnye, nesnosnye, shumnye…
V tikhuju noch’ vy moj son otgonjajete,
Nochi bessonnye, nochi bezumnye!

Frenzied nights, reckless nights

Frenzied nights, reckless nights,
Incoherent thoughts, tired glances…
Nights, illuminated by the last fire,
Autumn’s dead flowers blooming too late!

Even if the merciless hand of time
Has showed me that which was false in you,
I still fly to you full of a covetous memory,
Stuck in the past, looking for an impossible answer…

Insinuating whispers from you muffle
The sounds of day, unbearable, noisy…
In the quiet night, you drive away my dream,
frenzied nights, reckless nights!

Закатилось солнце

Закатилось солнце, заиграли краски
легкой позолотой в синеве небес…
В обаянье ночи сладострастной ласки
тихо что-то шепчет задремавший лес…

И в душе тревожной умолкают муки
и дышать всей грудью в эту ночь легко…
Ночи дивной тени, ночи дивной звуки
нас с тобой уносят, друг мой, далеко.

Вся объята негой этой ночи страстной,
ты ко мне склонилась на плечо главой…
Я безумно счастлив, о, мой друг прекрасный,
бесконечно счастлив в эту ночь с тобой!

Zakatilos’ solnce

Zakatilos’ solnce, zaigrali kraski
legkoj pozolotoj v sineve nebes…
V obajan’e nochi sladostrastnoj laski
tikho chto-to shepchet zadremavshij les…

I v dushe trevozhnoj umolkajut muki
i dyshat’ vsej grud’ju v `etu noch’ legko…
Nochi divnoj teni, nochi divnoj zvuki
nas s toboj unosjat, drug moj, daleko.

Vsja ob”jata negoj `etoj nochi strastnoj,
ty ko mne sklonilas’ na plecho glavoj…
Ja bezumno schastliv, o, moj drug prekrasnyj,
beskonechno schastliv v `etu noch’ s toboj!

The sun has set, the flickering colors

The sun has set, the flickering colors
Have lightly gilded the azure skies,
Charmed by the languorous caresses of the night
The slumbering forest is whispering gently…

Now within my troubled soul my worries fall silent
And I can breathe freely with a full chest tonight…
The shadows and sounds of this marvelous night
Carry us far away together, my friend.

Embraced by the languor of this passionate night,
You have reclined upon my shoulder with your head…
I am deliriously happy, oh, my beautiful friend,
Endlessly happy on this night with you.

Примиренье

О, засни, моё сердце, глубоко!
Не буди: – не пробудишь, что было,
Не зови, что умчалось далёко,
Не люби, что ты прежде любило…
Пусть надеждой и лживой мечтой
Не смутится твой сон и покой!

Для тебя невозвратно былое,
На грядущее нет упованья…
Ты не знало в блаженстве покоя,
Успокойся ж на ложе страданья,
И старайся не помнить зимой,
Как срывало ты розы весной!

Primiren’e

O, zasni, mojo serdce, gluboko!
Ne budi: – ne probudish’, chto bylo,
Ne zovi, chto umchalos’ daljoko,
Ne ljubi, chto ty prezhde ljubilo…
Pust’ nadezhdoj i lzhivoj mechtoj
Ne smutitsja tvoj son i pokoj!

Dlja tebja nevozvratno byloje,
Na grjadushcheje net upovan’ja…
Ty ne znalo v blazhenstve pokoja,
Uspokojsja zh na lozhe stradan’ja,
I starajsja ne pomnit’ zimoj,
Kak sryvalo ty rozy vesnoj!

Reconciliation

O, sleep deeply, my heart!
Do not wake – do not revive the past,
Do not call, that what hurried away
Do not love, what you loved before…
Let hope and deceptive dreams
Not disturb your sleep and quiet!

For you the past must not return,
In what is forthcoming there is no hope…
You did not have peace in the bliss
Stay calm in the face of your suffering now
And try not to remember in winter
How you picked the roses in spring!

Серенада

Ты куда летишь, как птица,
юный сын младой денницы,
свежий, чистый ветерок?
В даль спешишь, того незная,
что от страсти замирая,
каждый здесь дрожит листок!

Иль в долину хочешь мчаться,
в тёмных ивах покачаться,
где спит сладко соловей, спит меж ветвей?
Хочешь к розе ты спуститься,
о мотыльком ли порезвиться,
в майский день, под блеском лучей?

Нет, лети зарею ясной к той,
кого люблю я страстно,
к ложу её понеси
запах роз и трав душистых,
поцелуй мой нежный, частый,
как дуновенье весны.

Serenada

Ty kuda letish’, kak ptica,
junyj syn mladoj dennicy,
svezhij, chistyj veterok?
V dal’ speshish’, togo neznaja,
chto ot strasti zamiraja,
kazhdyj zdes’ drozhit listok!

Il’ v dolinu khochesh’ mchat’sja,
v tjomnykh ivakh pokachat’sja,
gde spit sladko solovej, spit mezh vetvej?
Khochesh’ k roze ty spustit’sja,
o motyl’kom li porezvit’sja,
v majskij den’, pod bleskom luchej?

Net, leti zareju jasnoj k toj,
kogo ljublju ja strastno,
k lozhu jejo ponesi
zapakh roz i trav dushistykh,
poceluj moj nezhnyj, chastyj,
kak dunoven’e vesny.

Where are you going, breath of dawn?

Where are you going, breath of dawn,
Wind of honey that has just arisen,
Fresh breath of a beautiful day?
Where are you going, fickle breeze,
When the throbbing leaf
Seems to shudder from love ?

Is it in the depths of the valley,
In the disheveled crown
Of a willow, where the wood pigeon sleeps?
Do you pursue the scarlet flower,
Where the butterfly arises
One morning in flame and gold?

Go, rather, breathe the dawn,
Rock the soul whom I adore;
Bring to his bed, scented by
The smell of the woods and moss,
And some sweet words
Like the roses of May.

Не спрашивай, не вызывай признанья!

Не спрашивай, не вызывай признанья!
Молчания лежит на мне печать;
всё высказать – одно моё желанье,
но втайне я обречана страдать!

Там вечный лёд вершины покрывает,
здесь на поля легла ночная тень,
с весною вновь источник заиграет,
о зарею вновь проглянет божий день.

И всем, и всем дано в час скорби утешенье,
указан друг, чтоб сердце облегчит:
мне с клятвой на устах дано одно терпенье,
и только бог их может разрешить!

Ne sprashivaj, ne vyzyvaj priznan’ja!

Ne sprashivaj, ne vyzyvaj priznan’ja!
Molchanija lezhit na mne pechat’;
vsjo vyskazat’ – odno mojo zhelan’e,
no vtajne ja obrechana stradat’!

Tam vechnyj ljod vershiny pokryvajet,
zdes’ na polja legla nochnaja ten’,
s vesnoju vnov’ istochnik zaigrajet,
o zareju vnov’ progljanet bozhij den’.

I vsem, i vsem dano v chas skorbi uteshen’e,
ukazan drug, chtob serdce oblegchit:
mne s kljatvoj na ustakh dano odno terpen’e,
i tol’ko bog ikh mozhet razreshit’!

Don’t ask me to speak

Don’t ask me to speak – ask me to be silent,
for my secret is a solemn duty to me.
I wish I could bare my soul to you,
but Fate does not will it.

At the right time, the sun’s course will dispel
the dark night, and it must be illuminated.
The hard rock will open its bosom; and
ungrudgingly, the earth will release deep hidden springs.

Others may seek calm in the arms of a friend;
there, one can pour out one’s heart in lament.
But for me alone, a vow locks my lips,
And only a god has the power to open them.

Средь шумного бала, случайно

Средь шумного бала, случайно,
В тревоге мирской суеты,
Тебя я увидел, но тайна
Твои покрывала черты.

Лишь очи печально глядели,
А голос так дивно звучал,
Как звон отдалённой свирели,
Как моря бушующий вал.

Мне стан твой понравился тонкий
И весь твой задумчивый вид,
А смех твой, и грустный, и звонкий,
С тех пор в моём сердце звучит.

В часы одинокие ночи
Люблю я, усталый, прилечь;
Я вижу печальные очи,
Я слышу веселую речь,

И грустно я, грустно так засыпаю,
И в грёзах неведомых сплю…
Люблю ли тебя, я не знаю,
Но кажется мне, что люблю!

Sred’ shumnogo bala, sluchajno

Sred’ shumnogo bala, sluchajno,
V trevoge mirskoj sujety,
Tebja ja uvidel, no tajna
Tvoi pokryvala cherty.

Lish’ ochi pechal’no gljadeli,
A golos tak divno zvuchal,
Kak zvon otdaljonnoj svireli,
Kak morja bushujushchij val.

Mne stan tvoj ponravilsja tonkij
I ves’ tvoj zadumchivyj vid,
A smekh tvoj, i grustnyj, i zvonkij,
S tekh por v mojom serdce zvuchit.

V chasy odinokije nochi
Ljublju ja, ustalyj, prilech’;
Ja vizhu pechal’nye ochi,
Ja slyshu veseluju rech’,

I grustno ja, grustno tak zasypaju,
I v grjozakh nevedomykh splju…
Ljublju li tebja, ja ne znaju,
No kazhetsja mne, chto ljublju!

In the midst of a noisy ball, by chance

In the midst of a noisy ball, by chance,
Among the tumultuous whirl of life,
I caught a glimpse of you, but mystery
Veiled your features.

Your eyes betrayed your sadness,
But your voice rang out divinely,
Like the sound of distant pipes,
Or like the dancing waves of the sea.

I was entranced by your slender form,
Your pensive expression,
And your laughter, both sad and ringing,
Since then, echoes in my heart.

During the lonely hours of night
I love to lie down, to rest;
I see those sad eyes,
I hear that merry laugh,

And oh so wistfully, I drift off,
And sink into mysterious dreams…
Do I love you? I don’t know,
But it seems like I do!

День ли царит, тишина ли ночная

День ли царит, тишина ли ночная,
В снах ли бессвязных, в житейской борьбе,
Всюду со мной, мою жизнь наполняя,
Дума все та же, одна роковая,
Всё о тебе!

С нею не страшен мне призрак былого,
Сердце воспрянуло снова любя…
Вера, мечты, вдохновенное слово,
Всё, что в душе дорогого, святого,
Всё от тебя!

Будут ли дни мои ясны, унылы,
Скоро ли сгину я, жизнь загубя!
Знаю одно, что до самой могилы
Помыслы, чувства, и песни, и силы,
Всё для тебя!

Den’ li carit, tishina li nochnaja

Den’ li carit, tishina li nochnaja,
V snakh li bessvyaznykh, v zhitejskoj bor’be,
Vsjudu so mnoj, moju zhizn’ napolnjaja,
Duma vse ta zhe, odna rokovaja,
Vsjo o tebe!

S neju ne strashen mne prizrak bylogo,
Serdce vosprjanulo snova ljubja…
Vera, mechty, vdokhnovennoje slovo,
Vsjo, chto v dushe dorogogo, svjatogo,
Vsjo ot tebja!

Budut li dni moi jasny, unyly,
Skoro li sginu ja, zhizn’ zagubja!
Znaju odno, chto do samoj mogily
Pomysly, chuvstva, i pesni, i sily,
Vsjo dlja tebja!

Whether day dawns

Whether day dawns or in the stillness of night,
Whether in a dream or awake,
Everywhere I go, I am filled entirely
With one thought alone:
Only of you!

Gone are the griefs that have tortured me,
Love alone reigns supreme within my heart…
Courage, hope, and eternal devotion,
All that is good, united in my soul,
All that my soul holds dear or sacred,
It is all because of you!

Whether the rest of my days pass in joy or in sadness,
Whether my life ends soon or late,
I know that, though death overtake me,
All my hope, feeling, song, and strength,
All, all, all are for you!

I have put a link to a site where Netrebko sings the last song that Vinevskaya sings (“Den’ li cari) just for comparison purposes. This time, I’m going to tell you what to listen for. Vishnevskaya’s placement, meaning where the tone and the air go, is very high. She is for the most part singing using resonant cavities in her head to create the sound she produces and the overtones that you hear. I would say, in general, the Vishnevskaya’s voice is too big for the microphones that were used, and that in the top of her range, you can hear where she is not well recorded.

I think that Netrebko sings very badly, and yet she is a prima donna.  This observation is the main reason for this blog; that is to see what we have lost in the past when compared to today’s “stars”.

Galina Vishnevskaya

Before giving you some background on Vishnevskaya, I should say that I just finished reading her autobiography ,called “Galina”, which stops in 1984. Vishnevskaya was born into the abject poverty that most Russians after WW I and WW II faced. Eventually, she almost “forced” Krushchev to let her and her husband, Mstislav Rostropovich leave the USSR. It is a fascinating book as it gives a great amount of detail as to what the Russian people suffered under the USSR as well as the way in which artists were treated.

Galina Vishnevskaya, Soprano and Dissident, October 25, 1926 – December 11, 2012

Galina Vishnevskaya was an electrifying soprano who endured repression and exile as one of the postwar Soviet Union’s most prominent political dissident.

Ms. Vishnevskaya, the wife of the celebrated cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, was renowned both as an emotional singer with a polished technique and as a charismatic actress. She had performed in operettas and music hall revues before joining the Bolshoi Theater of Russia, the country’s premier opera company.

At the Bolshoi she breathed new life into stodgy Soviet-era productions with dynamic interpretations of Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin,” Marina in Mussorgsky’s “Boris Godunov” and Natasha Rostova in Prokofiev’s “War and Peace.” In 23 years at the Bolshoi, from 1952 through 1974, she performed more than 30 roles.

Though Ms. Vishnevskaya was rarely allowed to sing in the West at the height of her powers in the 1960s and ’70s, she drew rave reviews when she did. “Galina Vishnevskaya’s appearances at the Metropolitan Opera are like a comet’s, sudden, infrequent, capable of lighting up the sky,” Raymond Ericson wrote in The New York Times, reviewing her performance in the title role of Puccini’s “Tosca” in 1975.

In the mid-1970s, Ms. Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich were hounded by the Soviet authorities for their liberal political views and their friendship with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Nobel laureate novelist and dissident.

In 1978, while traveling abroad, the couple were stripped of their Russian citizenships by the Kremlin. They were allowed to return to the Soviet Union and regain citizenship only in 1990 at the behest of President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the last head of state before the collapse of the Communist regime a year later.

By then, Ms. Vishnevskaya had already retired from opera. In 1984 she published a memoir, “Galina: A Russian Story,” which recounted the repression, squalor and humiliation endured even by cultural luminaries like herself and her husband under a corrupt political system that claimed to exalt classical music and the opera. She was forced to live in a communal Moscow apartment “swarming with people and bedbugs,” she wrote.

Nor was fame any protection from the politically powerful. In 1955, she wrote in her memoir, Premier Nikolai Bulganin made passes at her in front of her husband and pressured Rostropovich unsuccessfully to agree to let her become his mistress in exchange for better housing. But Ms. Vishnevskaya was by then inured to such indignities. Her earlier life had been far more harrowing.

Galina Pavlovna Ivanova was born in St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad, on Oct. 25, 1926. As a 3-year-old she sang to house guests while her mother strummed a guitar. She was brought up mostly by her grandmother after her father, an alcoholic, tried to kill her mother with an axe. At 10, she was given a recording of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.” It was the first opera she had ever heard, and she played it again and again on her grandmother’s hand-cranked record player.

“I was in a fever for days,” Ms. Vishnevskaya recalled. “I noticed nothing around me, I forgot to eat, I no longer ran out into the street to play with the boys.”

During the Stalinist purge of the 1930s, entire families in her building were hauled off to Siberian camps and almost certain death. Then came World War II, with the 872-day siege of Leningrad by the German Army that left more than a million people dead from starvation, disease and combat injuries.

When the siege was finally broken in 1944, she successfully auditioned for the Leningrad Operetta Theater and joined a music hall revue that entertained Russian troops. During this period she married twice — briefly to a young alcoholic sailor, Georgi Vishnevsky, whose surname she took, and then to a violinist, Mark Rubin, who was 22 years her senior.

Ms. Vishnevskaya began studying opera under a prized voice teacher, Vera Garina, in 1951. But her career and life were almost cut short by tuberculosis. Doctors told her she could survive only if she allowed them to collapse her infected lung — the conventional treatment in those days, when antibiotics were scarce. But at the last moment she balked because the procedure would have prevented her from singing professionally again. She recovered with injections of adulterated streptomycin purchased on the black market.

Then, in 1952, she won a competition to join the Bolshoi in Moscow. Her first starring role there was as Tatyana in “Eugene Onegin” in October 1953. She had almost been passed over after complaining that the traditional production was boring. But she was allowed to offer her own, more animated interpretation of Tatyana, and it became her signature role. In Paris 29 years later, she sang the part in her farewell appearance.

As her star rose, she left her second husband in 1955 to marry Rostropovich (who, according to her, chased after her passionately), with whom she had her two daughters, Olga and Elena. But Ms. Vishnevskaya’s fame and dark beauty soon attracted unwanted admirers in the Kremlin. She was forced to attend drunken parties for Politburo members.

“Most loathsome was to be expected to sing toward the end of a reception,” she recalled. “People drink and chew, their backs turned to you.” She added, “In that huge pigsty you sing for their pleasure like a serf girl.”

The Soviet authorities allowed her to perform abroad, most notably in recitals with the U.S.S.R. State Symphony Orchestra on a two-month tour of the United States in 1959, and again in 1961, when the impresario Sol Hurok arranged a 46-day American tour, during which she sang four “Aidas” and one “Madama Butterfly” at the Met and 11 solo concerts across the country. Rostropovich also performed in more than 25 concerts on the second trip.

Tours of Western and Eastern Europe followed for the couple.

A turning point in their lives came when they were in Prague, at the start of a tour, on Aug. 21, 1968, the day Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia to put an end to the Communist reform government there. “It seemed the most disgraceful act in the history of the Russian state,” she wrote.

Ms. Vishnevskaya and Rostropovich began associating with Soviet dissidents like Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov, the eminent nuclear physicist who became a human-rights activist. The couple allowed Solzhenitsyn, who had come under attack by Soviet authorities, to live and write in their dacha outside Moscow from 1969 to 1973.

Ms. Vishnevskaya received the highest prize in the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin, in 1971. But within months the government, apparently regretting the award, ordered a media blackout. “The major newspapers simply stopped writing about me, and my voice could no longer be heard on radio or television,” she wrote.

When the couple criticized the lack of artistic freedom in the Soviet Union during a tour abroad, the Kremlin proclaimed them “ideological renegades” and revoked their citizenship. Before it was restored in 1990, they lived in Europe and the United States.

In 2002 Ms. Vishnevskaya opened the Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center to promote young Russian singers. The following year Rostropovich died in Moscow at 80.