Tuesday, 27 December 2016

The Alexandrov Ensemble

I am very far from being a supporter of the old Soviet Union, or of the direction of Russian politics in the years since the fall of the USSR, but I've always had a respect for the Red Army.

That of course is based on the Soviet sacrifices of the Great Patriotic War, but I suppose I am a sucker for the propaganda image of the worker-soldier, grim in battle, but ready to relax with a glass of vodka and a rousing song (let's not talk of the rape of German women or the oppression of the majority of Eastern Europe).  One of the great projectors of that propaganda image was the the Red Army Choir - now the Alexandrov Ensemble (properly the Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Russian Army named after A. V. Alexandrov).

The crash of the Russian Defence Ministry's Tupolev Tu-154 is of course a tragedy, and would have been whoever it was on board and whenever it happened.  But the fact that it happened on Christmas Day (as we celebrate it in the West) and that 64 of the 96 killed were members of the choir does tug at the heartstrings somewhat.

So, ignore the uniforms and the lyrics if they upset you, but sit back and enjoy some rousing music.


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