This page is an attempt to carry on the Tradition of introducing the best of the Russian musical sounds to the Net community, people who, perhaps being far away from home, are missing the smoke of the Fatherland and therefore would be glad to bring back the old memories and new impressions. I believe this to also be a nice resource for the local English-speaking folks who by virtue of interest or class assignment are researching the subject.

I will ask you to kindly keep in mind that the page has been set up with the idea of private listening and enjoyment only, and carries no commercial flavor whatsoever. Those interested in the commercial side of Russian music are encouraged to contact the appropriate manufacturing/ distributing companies (the addresses are indicated, where available, on the appropriate pages and in the "Credits" section.)

The last thing I would like to mention is that this page is dedicated to my best bud, Mr. Michael Finkelstein, formerly of Moscow, and currently of Dusseldorf, Germany, in remembrance of the great song-singing, Sangrķa-drinking, thought-sharing, girl-chasing (and hence heart-broken) times we were once having anywhere from the Moskva River to the Thames.

Well, now that you know all that, it's time to sit back, grab the hold of that mouse and enjoy the Russian Musical Heritage.

Zhanna Bichevskaya

Zhanna Bichevskaya

Zhanna Bichevskaya's style and the impact she's had on the popularity of the folk tunes has been compared by a number of experts to that of Joan Baez and, most recently, Tracy Chapman (although, to the best of my knowledge, Bichevskaya has not written a song of her own). Her repertoire is grand and diverse, ranging from the long-forgotten Russian countryside tunes ("Village and Town Songs and Ballads," Vols. I and II) to the wartime songs of the 1920s ("Lyubo, Bratsy, Lyubo") to the contemporary secular prayer-like pieces ("Pyesni Ieromonacha Romana"). In the 1980s, Bichevskaya's selections also included her own versions of songs written by her mentor and friend Bulat Okoudjava, as well as of those by Sergei Nikitin, Andrei Makarevich, Alexander Dolski and others.

Bulat Okoudjava

Bulat Okoudjava (1924-1997)

In the early 1950s, a music genre hitherto unknown was born in Russia. Here's how it worked: a person in a shabby suit with a cheap guitar was singing for his friends at a party, the friends sang along, and the next thing you knew his sons were travelling all around the country, and thousands of people in shabby suits with cheap guitars were singing. Critics may argue who really belongs in the category of the Bards, for that's what the genre is called. It is clear though that Bulat Okoudjava was one of the very first to move the hearts of whoever cared to listen to just one song of his. The Great Bard they called him, the Great Soul Healer, the Man of Our Time. Of the time when your Muscovite, tired of the never-ending Russian winter, would take the last trolley-bus home, where wood would be cracking cozily in the fireplace, and where Faith, Hope and Love - the eternal symbols of Okoudjava's songs - would be waiting.

Boris Grebenschikov

Boris Grebenschikov and "Aquarium"

Do they have rock in Russia? Oh yes they have, and the kind of rock that makes you think. Boris Grebenschikov, know to the friends and fans as BG, has formed his band "Aquarium" in the 1970s, and has been enjoying enormous popularity eversince. Like most of the thinking authors in Russia, he has gone through a period of intolerance mild to harsh on behalf of the government, "This Train's On Fire" is a good example of how he coped with it. His songs are an unusual mixture of calmness and anger, dream and reason, classical and modern, pious and heretical. He has been compared to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, he is a living legend, a legend unbelievably talented and blessed.

Igor Talkov

Igor Talkov

As the Communist rule was coming to its end in the late 1980s, there emerged a new kind of music hero. He was uncompromising and hard, he didn't take prisoners, he spoke his mind clearly, letting everybody know just what he thought of the government and the Party. Maybe clumzily at times, too straight forward, maybe without that little spark of irony that might have been needed in such a fight. Igor Talkov started the movement known as Patriotic Rock, grabbing the hold of the music charts with his hit "Russia," perhaps the best of all his songs. As he used to say himself, his whole life was one giant battle, "a battle with a wolf that bit." He never lived to see the true results of that battle of his, murdured with a single gunshot in the Fall of 1991, right before his concert. The prophetic words of "I Shall Be Back" were whispered by thousands of people at his funeral. As far as I know, this site is the only tribute to Igor found on the Net.

Alexander Rosenbaum. Wish I had his picture.

Aleksander Rosenbaum

Speaking of the Bards and Authors? Speak of Alexander Rosenbaum, the bard with so many styles that one indeed feels overwhelmed. Rosenbaum has come along in the 1980s with his philosophic, Cat Stevenslike tunes, of which the best - it is argued, I know - was "The Snow That Flies From the Sky." He then switched to the town ballads, describing his one and only love - St. Petersburg, Leningrad at the time, its canals, its palaces, its markets. He has proved to be a real son of his city, going everywhere with his verses, from the top of St. Isaac's Cathedral to the last dark alley where gangs would be known to flourish. Following that were the songs of the Cossacks, the Don Tunes, simple and yet melodic. Rosembaum might never have reached the level of popularity that, say, Vysotsky enjoyed, but nonetheless he has his own audience, thankful and loving.

Sbornaya solyanka

... And The Rest Of Us, What The Heck

All right, in this last section I have humbly reserved a couple of spots for myself and my own songs, as well as little bits of Russian music that did not seem to fit anywhere else. Like Alexander Malinin's "Toast," which is a good song but still not enough to start his own page. Well, you'll see.

More will be coming soon! From Galich, Vysotsky, Dolsky and hopefully many others. Keep visiting.


Created by Arthur Barsky and The Barsky House, Inc. © 1997 All rights reserved, excluding those of the respectful authors and manufacturing/distributing companies. Suggestions, comments and the like are most welcome at You're visitor # -- Thanks for stopping by!