1. O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL (2:35)
2. O LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM (3:30)
3. O TANNENBAUM (2:40)
4. CAROL OF THE BELLS (1:40)
5. Russian Christmas Song –
PRAY TO THE LORD (3:40)
6. THE HOLLY & THE IVY (3:00)
7. ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID'S CITY (3:30)
8. THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS (5:50)
9. BACH-AVE MARIA (5:15)
10. DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH (2:45)
11. WHITE CHRISTMAS (3:50)
12. THE FIRST NOEL (4:10)
13. IT CAME UPON
THE MIDNIGHT CLEAR (2:35)
14. Russian Christmas Song –
ON THE DAY CRIST WAS BORN (2:45)
15. Russian Holiday Song –
SINGING ANGELS (1:30)
16. JOY TO THE WORLD (2:00)
17. AULD LANG SYNE (1:45)
18. HOORAY FOR CHRISTMAS (1:40)
RED STAR RED ARMY CHORUS
COLONEL ANATOLY BAZHALKIN
Artistic Director and Conductor
|Much of the heritage of choral singing in the former Soviet Union resided within the ranks of the military whose forces, whether army, navy or air corps, all contained choirs as well as orchestras, band and dance companies. Some of these were of such splendid professional quality that the very best toured not only within their own borders, but across Eastern Europe as well; as relations between east and west thawed, these elite ensembles toured the west, including nations in Europe, Asia, and North America. One of the best among these groups is RED STAR RED ARMY CHORUS AND DANCE ENSEMBLE who, in 1992, toured triumphantly in the United States, gathering such rave reviews that they could have been composed by the company itself. The grand chorus of this formidable artistic attraction appears in this recording of traditional and familiar hymns and songs of Christmas.
|Clearly it is a supreme irony that after 75 years of societal repression in the former Soviet Union, one of the first institutions to re-emerge from darkness in a freer Russia is the Holy Church, albeit with its monuments and frescos, icons and buildings in considerable disrepair. But in its purpose of administering to the faithful, the church did not fail; it merely went underground to do its work. Today, Russians in droves are returning to their churches, celebrating the Christian calendar once again and, in this calendar, there is no festival more joyous than Christmas, either as a secular or religious holiday. To repudiate fully the old and corrupt system, can there be a more powerful symbol than a celebration of the Epiphany by an old instrument of that system: the Russian Army? Talk about ironies! Here, then, is RED STAR RED ARMY CHORUS in a program of seasonal music, their stentorian voices ceremoniously lifted in the power and glory of Christmas.
|#5, PRAY TO LORD
This is a traditional hymn to God.
The hymn praises Maria for bringing Jesus Christ to our world. "She gave birth to her first baby boy, wrapped him up in a cloth, and then put him down in a cradle."
-(EVANGELIST, 2-10 II)
|#14, ON THE DAY CHRIST WAS BORN
"It was a quiet night, holy night. While Vifleem was asleep, God's son entered the world. Maria wrapped him up with love, and put him down in a cradle ... where shepherds found him."
|#15, SINGING ANGELS
This is the hymn of angels
The angels are happy in the skies. People are also happy on that day, the day when Christ is born. The birds and animals folic. Jesus Christ walks into Vifleem's life.
|All selections are:
PD, arr. Bazhalkin; Publ M&F/Bronjo Music except White Chtistmas (Berlin) Berlin Music (ASCAP)
and Hooray For Christmas (Fass, Wolfson) Clams Music (ASCAP)
PRODUCERS: Mantovani and Fleishaker Productions
RECORDING DIRECTOR: Leonid Fleishaker
SOUND ENGINEER: Vadim Ivanov
ASSISTANT ENGINEER: Vitaly Ivanov
EDITING: Farida Uzbekov
DESIGN: Marlene Bergman
PHOTOGRAPHY Roy Round
Recorded in the Mosfilm Studios in Moscow, Russia (September, 1993)
©(P) 1993 Mantovani and Fleishaker Productions/San Juan Music