Affection of Resentment: The Singer and Actor Vladimir Wyssozki (1979)

This voice – deep and tough, generally screaming, generally tender and quiet. As well as a consistently barely detuned guitar with metal strings. The melodies had been tonal, however the chords had been troublesome to replay by somebody who was socialized within the concord of the western guitar pop. Continuously any diminished, extreme or seventh chords, I do know as we speak. The beat largely hit. A music that conveyed the have an effect on of stubbornness. There was nothing lyrically pleasing, as along with his considerably older modern Bulat Okudschawa. Right here somebody sang about accidents, you could possibly hear that instantly.

To start with, accidents that his nation had suffered in World Conflict II. There was a time in Soviet cinema when warfare movies had been mixed with songs: the well-known love music “Tjomnaja notsch” (darkish the night time) is the best-known instance of this style, it was sung by Wyssozki’s colleague Mark Bernes. One other Wyssozki music “On the mass graves” comes from one other of those warfare movies: “No person units up crosses on the mass graves / Right here weeping widows are lacking / Right here come people who find themselves stronger / However is it maybe simpler?”

That was his tone: harsh and tough, a pathos of modesty. That is precisely why he received underneath the pores and skin. Wyssozki evaded the temptation of Soviet hurra patriotism, even when he was repeatedly put in soldier roles within the movie. Within the music “State of affairs within the Restaurant”, written a lot later, he describes within the type of a ballad how he sits at a desk with an officer in a practice station restaurant. Collectively they drink a bottle or two, out of boredom, and the soldier begins to grouse. He held out the bones in Kursk for snotty spoons just like the lyrical narrator, and “as we speak’s youth” merely take pleasure in peace with out due gratitude. The final stanza brings the ironic envelope: “The captain continued to drink himself / And was in my ears / I went and mentioned to him on the finish / ‘You’ll by no means change into a serious’”.

In between there have been lots of of songs, the verses of that are nonetheless proverbial in Russia: the “sleeping residents” consequence from the music “Moscow-Odessa”, which makes enjoyable of flight cancellations and delays at Aeroflot, the music of male comradeship within the mountaineering milieu: “Simply let the useless arguments / I’ve already confirmed all the things / Solely the mountain we haven’t climbed but is healthier than this mountain” – and naturally cult ballads like that of the “wolf hunt”, the punch line of which is that the wolf finds the braveness to interrupt the restrictions of its nature and to avoid wasting its freedom with the hunter chain.

In such texts one wished to see the reflection of the damaged relationship between the Soviet state and Wyssozki. In reality, it was neither correctly allowed nor prohibited. He was a member of the ensemble on the avant-garde Taganka Theater in Moscow. The manufacturing of “Hamlet” with him within the title function was on this system for a few years till Vysozki’s demise. However his musical work remained apocryphal: Throughout his lifetime within the Soviet Union, solely a single LP along with his songs was launched; as a substitute, numerous personal tapes of his appearances had been circulating in kitchens or cultural facilities, which had been typically copied and handed on regardless of the customarily creepy sound high quality. The story goes that Wyssozki as soon as got here to one of many new oil cities in Siberia, Tyumen or Surgut. There the employees would have greeted him with the truth that a tape recorder was taking part in his songs from each window within the lengthy rows of dormitories. Alternatively, he by no means skilled repression, was allowed to journey, and the state may not have been unhappy if he had stayed within the West. However he didn’t do her the favor. Wyssozki was not a dissident; he sang concerning the alienation of even the benevolent particular person in “developed socialism”. He clearly had highly effective protectors; KGB chief Yuri Andropov is alleged to have belonged to them. Wyssozki wrote a music about how “highly effective folks order him to sing the ‘wolf hunt’ to them.”

Vladimir Wyssozki lived the lifetime of a bohemian: ladies’s tales, medication, plenty of tobacco and alcohol. It was not wholesome. The try by his French spouse Marina Vlady to assist him out of his habit failed, even when she moved to Moscow due to him. In his final months of life he was clearly depressed, formulated in traces like “I simply need to lie down on the ocean flooring / like a submarine / with the bearing sign off”. He died on July 25, 1980 on the age of 42. The information was formally hid, however it unfold from mouth to mouth throughout Moscow at lightning pace. Wyssozki’s funeral on July 28 ought to happen in silence. Over 100,000 followers got here to say goodbye to the songwriter. It was the most important unofficial rally in Soviet historical past earlier than perestroika.

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