Russian TV reverts to Stalin’s music

Russian TV reverts to Stalin’s music


norman lebrecht

June 03, 2022

This is what they are showing on Russia’s Channel 1 – a martial number by Alexandrov, composer of the official Soviet anthem.

Who ever imagined that this stuff would be back?


  • Minnesota says:

    Leni Riefenstahl would have said, “Not too bad….”

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Sometimes it is very difficult to discern Soviet music from film music from game music; they mostly co-exist in the same wavelength.

  • V.Lind says:

    It may have been the official Soviet anthem, but it is still the official Russian anthem, with different lyrics. And a lot of people were mightily relieved when it became so, as it was by almost universal acclaim the best (musically) national anthem in the world. I learned it — including the old lyrics, in Russian, from the Romanised version — as a child. I can still sing Soyuz nerushimyy…never learned the new lyrics.

  • J Barcelo says:

    Heck, this may mean that Shostakovich’s 2nd and 3rd symphonies have some value after all. And the Khrennikov symphonies, too!

  • PaulD says:

    Next thing you know, they’ll be showing Alexander Nevsky 24/7 on Russian TV.

  • Bashh says:

    Springtime for Putin. Or as one twitterer called it, more Russ—it

  • Uncle Sam says:

    For those who doesn’t understand Russian: please take a look at the clip below with the English subtitles – and you would have to agree with me that if anybody has the perfect right to perform THAT song with THOSE words in the year 2022 – it’s Ukrainians: it is THEIR land has been invaded since last February by the Russian rapists and robbers and sadists, so it is THEIR noble rage should boil over like a wave in their sacred war in defense of their homeland. Just to think that this famous song, which was written a few hours after Hitler invaded Soviet Union in 1941 and which has the most profound meaning for anybody whose life was affected by that Great Patriotic War, directly or indirectly, – to think that it is being used and abused now as a soundtrack for a kitschy, preposterous performance while Russia is being whipped into a fascistic frenzy by the Hitler (or Stalin?) wannabe Putin and his propaganda machine, and while Russian army is committing massive war crimes day and night in Ukraine, yeah – isn’t that precious?! Something else in this world is upside down – not just that Russian acrobat on top of the ridiculous pyramid! I happen to have had many Russian-speaking relatives, who defended their homeland from Nazis some 80 years ago; what a brazen, blasphemous insult that “performance” looks like in 2022 to their sacrifices and their heroism and their memory…

  • Correction says:

    Everyone in Russia knows that song. It’s not “stuff that is back”, you could hear it regularly around May 9th and it is quite a revered song from WWII. It’s like saying “they brought back Kalinka”.

  • Enrique Sanchez says:

    THIS is so tragic for the Russian people. Apparently obligated to return to their horrific roots of veiled nationalism. I have no animosity for them, but silently mourn their forced silence and blindness. I can only speculate as to the Kremlin’s next move towards all-out repression.

  • BobS says:

    Another waste of artistic ressources.

  • Rafael Enrique Irizarry says:

    Lustily sung with fine voices, nice choreography. Superb jingoistic visual candy. Otherwise, cringe, be very afraid. A very dark future looms, first over Europe later over the extent of our little planet. I hope they don’t once again try to assuage our fears with that laughable helmeted turtle and the unconscionable “Duck and Cover” doctrine. It should have really been “Duck, Cover and KYAG (Kiss your Ass Goodbye).” This time around no amount of ducking or shielding will suffice. None, my dears. None…

  • Anthony Sanderson says:

    Perhaps Valery Gergiev will fill a gap in the catalogue and record a cycle of the symphonies of Tikhon Nikolayevich Khrennikov.

  • corruption in Russia says:

    Stalin’s quotes have been in bus shelters all over Russia for some years.
    “patriotism” has been de rigeur for 2 decades now.
    It’s only you don’t know that, because you never travel in RF.

    I am used to hearing apologies for the Stalin genocides of the 1930s, “it was a time of great progress, industrialisation…..sacrifices had to be made… etc”.

    In Perm 36 gulag museum, the official line was adopted & reinforced after the forced annexation of parts of Ukraine, (by kicking out the administrators who showed what Stalin had really done).
    Solzhenitsyn was compromised by Putin at the end of his life, then the slow but steady re-sovietisation of the country has inexorably followed.
    (because no desovietisation was ever attempted)

    Without a full lustration & desovietisation of Russia, the country has headed rapidly back to the middle ages, and will continue its cannibalistic traditions from history,
    … a time of slavery and mental subordination by the equally criminal orthodox church.

    You only have to visit the Kremlin museum in Yaroslavl to see how the Tsar’s church were a band of rich abusive criminals.

    You only have to see how “memorial”, Meduza and Moscow Times were closed down recently to understand the current “commander in chief” Putin cannot tolerate any form of free expression. And you are suprised??

    What planet are you living on?

  • ThrownOutOfTheKremlinForSinging says:

    Lyrics (brace yourself for this):

    Rise, huge country!
    Rise for the deathly battle
    Against the dark fascist force
    Against their cursed hordes!

    Let our noble wrath
    Seethe like waves
    The national war is moving,
    The Sacred War!

    All correct thinking (right ideas)
    Will resist the oppressors

    (These two lines are inverted – word-order and phrase order is less meaningful in Russian than it is in English.)

    Rapists, bandits
    Tormentors of the people

    (Refrain repeats)

    Their black wings do not dare
    To fly over our Motherland
    On our immense fields
    The enemy doesn’t dare to tread!

    (Refrain repeats)

    Let us put a bullet into the brow
    Of the rotten fascist vermin
    Let us make a strong coffin
    For such breed

    (Refrain repeats)

    Written: 1941
    Lyrics: V. Lebedev-Kumach
    Music: A. Alexandrov
    Translation: from the Russian by Igor Koplevsky
    Transcription/Markup: Liviu Iacob, 2006, modified for clarity and commented on by myself.

  • Patrick says:

    Goosebumps. And not the good kind.

  • MPMcGrath says:

    I guess the Russian public will take this in stride as it has everything else since 1917?

    Nothing like progress.

    Crazy world.

    Meanwhile, back in the USA, where vestiges of democracy and sanity still exist in certain states, we wonder whether the next elections will once again, voluntarily and knowingly, give up freedoms and move us in the direction of American fascism, a kind of USSR on Potomac. And the American public will undoubtedly take THAT in stride as well.

    Wacko world that doesn’t learn from simply looking around!!

  • Robert Holmén says:

    It was better with the original goose steps.