Vladimir Vysotsky ( 1938-1980) was one of the outstanding creative artists of Soviet Russia in the 1960s and 1970s. Singer, poet and actor, he gave voice to what many felt but could not express and was adored by the intelligentsia.
Alla Gelich will be readingabout 20 of Vysotsky's songs. The songs will not be read in English, but translations will be provided.
After the readings, there will be a discussion (in English and Russian), which will focus on whether Vysotsky's songsare still relevant today and whether they are also worthy ofappreciation in their own right as poetic compositions. It is planned to have vote on these two questions at the end.
The evening will be introduced by David Brummell .
When the singer, poet and actor, Vladimir Vysotsky died in the summer of 1980 a crowd of over 30,000 flocked to his funeral in Moscow. Some of those attending carried umbrellas. This was not to protect themselves from the burning sun, but to shield the floral tributes, so that they would not fade. A moving tribute to Vysotsky, and an eloquent expression of what Russians feel about the power of the spoken and written word. In Russia, to speak out, or to write, has often been a matter of life and death.
Нынче все срока закончены,
А кто мёртвые — крестом.
И другие заключённые
Пусть читают у ворот
Нашу память застеклённую —
Надпись: "Все ушли на фронт"
Nowadays all prison time is over,