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Russian Songs & Romances

Russian Songs and Romances

Album Overview:

"Russian Songs & Romances" album (1999) reflects the old pre-communistic Russia with its unique blend of wild sentimentality and epic spirituality. Sweet nostalgic melodies carry you back in time. Performed in Russian by the talented Esfira Kodesh, mezzo-soprano, and Yelena Eckemoff, piano, this music is as elegant as the original oil painting of Russian landscape found on the jewel case insert (artwork by Y. Eckemoff).

From Yelena's Journal:

"I recorded this album rather unexpectedly. By chance I met Esfira Kodesh, a singer from Latvia, in the spring of 1998, and we immediately decided to create a program of Russian music together: she was impressed with my piano playing, and my heart melted when I listened to her beautiful voice.

For the recording site we chose the big sanctuary of a UM church, the place of my employment as a music director at that time. I sought to have optimal voice and piano track separation on the recording, thus we had to perform from opposite sides of the sanctuary. It was more challenging to perform in a duo being so far from each other, yet we managed just fine. It certainly helped that we both felt the music in the same emotional key.

We selected our favorite songs and romances for the program. The project itself was not at all about hard work and our high expectations concerning the marketing future of our product. Our primary goal was to have fun with the lovely old Russian vocal music, as neither of us ever had any opportunities to perform these sweet melodies since long ago. It was as if we were watering our culture roots even as they grew dry. Needless to say, we truly enjoyed performing and recording this album. We know that our heritage and love for this music shows through the CD itself.

Front picture on the CD insert features an image of my oil-on-canvas painting. It is a typical Russian landscape memories of which I cherish in my heart."

Russian Songs and Romances mp3
1. Motherland Listen
2. Red Sarafan Listen
3. The Chrysanthemums Have Bloomed Listen
4. Over The Fields Listen
5. Kalinka Listen
6. Why Is My Heart?... Listen
7. To Love And Weep Over You Listen
8. The Night Is Clear Listen
9. We Walked Out In The Garden Listen
10. Don't Awaken The Old Memories Listen
11. I Still Love You Listen
12. A Blizzard Sweeps Along The Street Listen
13. The Foggy Morning Listen
14. There Are No Lovelier Eyes In The World Listen
15. I Love You Listen
16. Only Once Listen
17. The Little Gate Listen
18. A Portrait
19. We Are Just Acquainted Listen
20. The Dark-Burgundy Shawl Listen
21. Thin Mountain Ash Listen

Listeners' Comments:

"It is very beautiful music. I enjoyed it very much." [Brenda Britt, legal secretary]