Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Typical Soviet-era Radio Moscow music, circa 1970-85
Vorthog | Ontario, Canada | 12/28/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am a huge fan of traditional Russian folk music played on the Russian accordion known as the "bayan" (sometimes also spelled "bajan"). But somehow it seems fairly difficult to find recordings of such music. So after listening to the clip of the excellent first song on this album here on Amazon I was very excited and eagerly ordered a copy.
But unfortunately it turns out that only a couple of the songs on this album are actually what I would call traditional folk songs. The remainder instead fall into the category of what I would term "Soviet music".
By this I refer to that particular brand of music by which the Soviet state sought to meld its traditional folk culture with what it saw as Western "high" culture, in an interesting but not always successful attempt to achieve legitimacy and prestige for its culture and put it on a par with any in the world.
The results are quite uneven, and sometimes downright bizarre (--For example Track 9 features the unlikely combination of bayan with Hawaiian guitar!). This album compiles tracks from 4 separate recording sessions, in 1970, 1976, 1981 and 1985. Strangely, it is the 1970 tracks in particular (the final 3 on the disc) which seem the most unusual and "Soviet" in tone. -- Imagine a full orchestra playing something like a moody West Side Story or Gershwin overture, but with the bayan as the central instrument!
Also, Mr.Gridin seems to be going out of his way to show off his virtuosity, and the songs on the album thus frequently seem to suffer from an often stifling over-embellishment. As a result, with the exception of a few tracks (1, 6, 7) the album turned out to be far from the light-hearted traditional folk fare I had been hoping for.
But I cannot condemn this recording completely. It does have its value, and will stand as a document of a particular time and place. I would recommend it to all curious about the climate and situation of music in the Soviet Union during this era, and perhaps also to film or TV producers seeking suitable background music for productions set in this era."