Intonation anxiety"Melody" № 3, 1987 г.
Song Cycle by Alexander Gradsky « Star Field » on verses of Nikolai Rubtsov, created in the early 80s and recorded at the same time the All-Union radio, finally saw the light. During this time, the firm "Melody" came out several LPs A. Gradsky: Songs based on poems by Paul Eluard and the opera "stadium", prepared for the release of "Satire" Sasha Cherny, vocal suite on poems by Boris Pasternak and Vladimir Mayakovsky. In the author played his songs on texts by Vladimir Nabokov and ballads memory of Vladimir Vysotsky.
Gradskij first show "Star Fields", an impression (and not just me) that something is missing in it, It was high tide of the "New wave" - Debuts "Film" and "Bravo"- tongue twisters, and a realistic tight juicy theatrical retro. Pastoral poetry and philosophical reflections passed away early in the Vologda in the interpretation of the poet Alexander Gradsky gave some old-fashioned, symphonic rock, 70s. It also seemed that the emotional rigor and softly melodic poetry Rubtsova not match the sharp keen sense of the composer-singer, who lives rhythms of the city, however, as an expressive means of rock music in general.
But as they say, "seen from a great distance." Now clearly it can be argued that Gradsky still managed to find the poetry in the language Rubtsova rock common denominator, however, still in the 70s with their "Russian songs" the composer proved that melodies of Russian folk verse and rhythmic flexibility broaching the song does not contradict the vocabulary of rock. This is what is admired in the "Russian Song" A. Gradsky drummer Chris Cutler - one of the the most interesting experimenters in British rock music (he is known to connoisseurs of the group of "Henry Cow" and "new wave" ensemble, David Thomas).
Gradsky have in common - a rock musician and Rubtsov - Russian poet - artlessness and directness of expression (as a simple but accurate said - and sung: "But if there is neither joy nor sorrow ... it will all be a lie "), the freedom in choosing the means of expression - in spite of their apparent traditionalism. Who, for example, you can now, in the second half of XX century, hit the epithet "black night". But Rubtsov and Gradsky (and the group "Deep Purple"), it works! Overall - this is an unexpected internal life of the poetic and musical imagery: "if I do not hurt my brain ...", "and it was gloomy, and somehow calm the soul." This is unexpected, sometimes angular (Here, incidentally, there is also a point of contact with our "new wave", "Aquarium", "Cinema" - a poetic tradition N. Z and D. Harms, noted by the poet Voznesensky). Stresses and synthesizers "erupting" sonority of the choir, and "strange" harmonic phrases (the second stage in a reduced number of "On the dogs', that displays the song from the circle so common today stylization« under Vysotsky »).
But all this - not only the resemblance, it is generated by a common reflection on the fate of national culture, far from the idealization of the "little backwater," imbued with anxiety, sadness, and yet the belief in the purity of the soul. Gradskij-songwriter found in verse Rubtsov, and Gradskij singer was able to convincingly convey this tone of alarm, bringing together a rhythm the poem "What is written," "The City" and "As night" ("everything is so alarming an hour before the raid pitch darkness, without a trace of life"). Deeply personal, lyrical is proving to be a warning to humanity the nuclear age. Intuition does not deceive the poet: we now know that we are threatened not so much a "thousand suns", as "nuclear night." And so it is natural to hear from Gradsky that uses the power of rock music, at first glance, the quiet words: "It's like a red sun on the snow, a huge, extinguished forever ..." Hence the unnatural sound of the nature of the noise, acoustic instruments, voice, - cracked, deliberate vibrato (but black-on-och). The brutal reality intrudes into the most intimate lyrics - from this artist today can not escape. So cheesy and the waltz "In your eyes," becoming a caricature, caricatures. It is a tradition of Mahler's ("March in Callot manner" - in the First Symphony), Shostakovich ("gallops", "Buy those bagels" - the Second Cello Concerto), Alfred Schnittke (remember the theme of his "Concerto Grosso", played on an artificial "upset "seemed to be distorted grimace, piano).
vocal and instrumental suite "Elegy Road", which occupies the second side of the "Star Fields" - as it were, look at the Russian romance rock musician who is also familiar with all that is done in modern music, but based on a strong domestic tradition. Here is "to sing" - and Gradsky-vocalist and choir under Vladimir Minin. Gradskij no secret of his sources - "The Road, the road" and the poet and the composer-singer - a variation on the theme song "Steppe all around." By the way, this song included in his series of "Russian songs" Polish singer and composer Czeslaw Niemen, the musician, with the work which Gradsky a lot in common (and in experiments with folk and electronic experiments). They are, by the way, know personally and obviously learn from each other.
climax episode of "Star Fields" - a return to the main theme, another bridge on the personal (the "road-flour" which wrote the poet, doomed, and all the musicians), a universal ("Field burning star, has not disappeared, for all alarm inhabitants of the earth »...).
Epilogue ("Let the soul remains pure") needs no comment. But much can be said about how the romance develops a jet in the works Gradsky (in the "satire", Nabokov's cycle of Vysotsky songs of memory). He continues to write music and perform it. Many of his works are designed specifically for audio, so I would like to, we met with Alexander Gradsky gramophone records, and more frequently and regularly.