Putin and Netrebko turn out for Soviet balladeer

Putin and Netrebko turn out for Soviet balladeer


norman lebrecht

November 10, 2019

It was the 90th birthday yesterday of Aleksandra Pakhmutova, composer of some of the most ear-wormy Soviet ballads. Among those who attended her gala were the Russian president and the roaming soprano, who broke off a European tour for the day to be in Moscow.

Here’s Putin having a cuddle with the birthday girl.

Here’s a classic ballad of hers.

She also wrote concert works.

But here’s what she did best.


  • esfir ross says:

    The tune of song “Tenderness” was stolen from Benjamin Britten “Simple symphony. A.Pachmutova glorified all Russian dictators: from Stalin to Putin. Staunch time-server without remorse

    • LewesBird says:

      Stalin had been cold for 5 years by the time Pakhmutova (note spelling, if you will) started composing anything. You should be a Slipped Disc headline writer. You have the right skills.

      • esfir ross says:

        AP was student at Moscow conservatory at piano and composition faculty from 1947-1952. She started composing during Stalin reign. Member of Komsomol, soviet communist party.

        • Joe says:

          Clearly Esfir has no clue. ALL young Soviets were members of Komsomol. It was either Komsomol or Gulag. Esfir has a political conviction *instead* of a brain. A common enough affliction among critics of Russia. As for AP, her tunes were hummed by the whole country, communists, dissidents, and those who didn’t know the difference alike. Accept it.

          • esfir ross says:

            I and my husband wasn’t member of Komsomol. Membership will help to advance in career. No threat of repression, GULAG. AP and her poet husband wrote for many event. “Coward doesn’t play hockey”-eggrigeus

  • Uncle S says:

    The song (called “Geroi Sporta” – “Heroes of Sport”) from the last clip is being performed there by the truly great Soviet singer (classically educated and trained, by the way!), Muslim Magomaev. The song was written by Pakhmutova and her husband/poet Dobronravov prior to the Olympic Games of 1972 in Munich to bolster the moral of the Soviet athletes. But here’s an interesting more modern performance, from 2014 – conducted by none other than a frequent subject of news on this site…:-)


  • Tom Rakewell says:

    Haooy Birthday to You!

  • Gershon Giron says:

    The good old days of the Soviet Union