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Bulat Okudzhava Concert In Brno October 1995
Bulat Okudzhava Concert In Brno October 1995
Published: 2016/05/25
Channel: oldiesrussianmusic
Пока Земля ещё вертится... (Молитва) - Б.Окуджава
Пока Земля ещё вертится... (Молитва) - Б.Окуджава
Published: 2007/10/04
Channel: Tmeq
Bulat Okudzhava - Ah Nadia Nadenka
Bulat Okudzhava - Ah Nadia Nadenka
Published: 2011/05/08
Channel: lachiaveastella
Bulat Okudzhava Concert In Tokyo October 1989
Bulat Okudzhava Concert In Tokyo October 1989
Published: 2016/05/25
Channel: oldiesrussianmusic
Bulat Okudzhava - Georgian song Булат Окуджава - Грузинская песня «Виноградная косточка»
Bulat Okudzhava - Georgian song Булат Окуджава - Грузинская песня «Виноградная косточка»
Published: 2017/05/08
Channel: popololopopolo
Bulat Okudzhava Molitva
Bulat Okudzhava Molitva
Published: 2013/05/05
Channel: Nika Lux
Bulat Okudzawa. Vashe Blagorodie.
Bulat Okudzawa. Vashe Blagorodie.
Published: 2012/01/11
Channel: caspiansix
Bulat Okudzhava
Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2017/07/19
Channel: oldiesrussianmusic
Paper Soldier - Bulat Okudzhava
Paper Soldier - Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2012/03/29
Channel: MamuskaDublin
The last blue trolley! By Bulat Okudzhava
The last blue trolley! By Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2008/03/08
Channel: xzmnll
Letter of Bulat Okudzhava
Letter of Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2016/07/26
Channel: Crimean Tatars
Bulat Okudzava - Ballad Of Soldiers
Bulat Okudzava - Ballad Of Soldiers' Boots
Published: 2007/03/06
Channel: Jan jmr
Молитва, Булат Окуджава Prayer  Bulat Okudzhava
Молитва, Булат Окуджава Prayer Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2012/06/26
Channel: kerlpiner aset
Bulat Okudzava - Vashe Blagorodije
Bulat Okudzava - Vashe Blagorodije
Published: 2009/10/18
Channel: szasad
Виноградная Косточка (The Grape Seed) - Окуджава (Okudzhava)
Виноградная Косточка (The Grape Seed) - Окуджава (Okudzhava)
Published: 2017/03/13
Channel: Katia Earth
Окуджава "Грузинская Песня" ("Виноградная Косточка") 1
Окуджава "Грузинская Песня" ("Виноградная Косточка") 1
Published: 2010/03/18
Channel: Mushtaid
Булат Окуджава - Песенка об Арбате
Булат Окуджава - Песенка об Арбате
Published: 2008/03/02
Channel: Эдуард Термиянц
Bulat Okudzhava March 14, 1979 Wheeler Hall
Bulat Okudzhava March 14, 1979 Wheeler Hall
Published: 2015/05/07
Channel: Russian Writers at Berkeley
Bulat Okudzhava | Булат Окуджава творческий вечер
Bulat Okudzhava | Булат Окуджава творческий вечер
Published: 2017/01/07
Channel: Kaleidoscope
Bulat Okudzhava «Farewell, Boys»
Bulat Okudzhava «Farewell, Boys»
Published: 2016/07/01
Channel: VOLKOV DMITRIY
Regina Spektor-The Prayer of Francois Villon by Bulat Okudzhava ( English Translation ))
Regina Spektor-The Prayer of Francois Villon by Bulat Okudzhava ( English Translation ))
Published: 2015/10/06
Channel: Uncovered Emotions
BULAT OKUDZHAVA - "Conscience, Nobility and Dignity"
BULAT OKUDZHAVA - "Conscience, Nobility and Dignity"
Published: 2016/09/06
Channel: From Russia with Love
Окуджава "Грузинская Песня" ("Виноградная Косточка") 2
Окуджава "Грузинская Песня" ("Виноградная Косточка") 2
Published: 2010/03/18
Channel: Mushtaid
Bulat Okudzhava Song of American Soldier
Bulat Okudzhava Song of American Soldier
Published: 2010/06/19
Channel: Jędrzej Wiącek
Regina Spektor singing The Prayer of François Villon by Bulat Okudzhava at Housing Works, NYC
Regina Spektor singing The Prayer of François Villon by Bulat Okudzhava at Housing Works, NYC
Published: 2011/05/18
Channel: wheresthepackingtape
Булат Окуджава Десятый наш десантный батальон
Булат Окуджава Десятый наш десантный батальон
Published: 2008/05/10
Channel: takitaknet
Bulat Okudzhava Poem of Pushkin 1976
Bulat Okudzhava Poem of Pushkin 1976
Published: 2016/05/25
Channel: oldiesrussianmusic
Francois Villon
Francois Villon's Prayer by Bulat Okudzhava -- from W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism
Published: 2009/01/12
Channel: Nikolay Nikiforov
Булат Окуджава - Не обещайте деве юной (Bulat Okudzhava - Do not promise a young lady)
Булат Окуджава - Не обещайте деве юной (Bulat Okudzhava - Do not promise a young lady)
Published: 2016/03/03
Channel: Art Lab Studio
Bulat Okudzhava | napis na kamn (Булат Окуджава)
Bulat Okudzhava | napis na kamn (Булат Окуджава)
Published: 2014/04/11
Channel: Peppe Millanta
Wishes For Friends by Bulat Okudzhava
Wishes For Friends by Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2017/03/28
Channel: School LifeGo
Song "Prayer" by  Bulat Okudzhava, "Молитва" - Б.Окуджава
Song "Prayer" by Bulat Okudzhava, "Молитва" - Б.Окуджава
Published: 2010/01/02
Channel: Grigpit
Булат Окуджава - Шарик
Булат Окуджава - Шарик
Published: 2008/09/30
Channel: Richard Robin
"Three Loves" (Trzy miłości); B.Okudzhava   -   Sława Przybylska  (7)
"Three Loves" (Trzy miłości); B.Okudzhava - Sława Przybylska (7)
Published: 2008/04/05
Channel: jurek46pink
Modlitva - Bulat Okudzhava
Modlitva - Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2015/02/08
Channel: Andrew Guitar
Soldier girl - Bulat Okudzhava in Hebrew translation
Soldier girl - Bulat Okudzhava in Hebrew translation
Published: 2014/02/01
Channel: Rachel Ramon
Bulat Okudzhava "Песенка о Моцарте" - performed by Chris Caglayan
Bulat Okudzhava "Песенка о Моцарте" - performed by Chris Caglayan
Published: 2011/09/26
Channel: cerennkarabayir
"Грузинская песня"  Cover / Georgian Song by Bulat Okudzhava / Georgisches Lied
"Грузинская песня" Cover / Georgian Song by Bulat Okudzhava / Georgisches Lied
Published: 2013/02/03
Channel: katyia poyet
After rain - Bulat Okudzhava in Hebrew translation
After rain - Bulat Okudzhava in Hebrew translation
Published: 2014/02/01
Channel: Rachel Ramon
Arsen Dedic (Bulat Okudzava), Molitva Fransoa Viona
Arsen Dedic (Bulat Okudzava), Molitva Fransoa Viona
Published: 2009/04/05
Channel: vongnadenschuss
Bulat Okudzhava - We Need One Victory For All Булат Окуджава - Нам нужна одна победа
Bulat Okudzhava - We Need One Victory For All Булат Окуджава - Нам нужна одна победа
Published: 2017/05/08
Channel: popololopopolo
Bulat Okudzhava - "Not strays, not boozers"
Bulat Okudzhava - "Not strays, not boozers"
Published: 2010/06/19
Channel: Jędrzej Wiącek
Adrianna Brzuzek -Modlitwa Okudżawy - The Prayer of Francois Villon by Bulat Okudzhava
Adrianna Brzuzek -Modlitwa Okudżawy - The Prayer of Francois Villon by Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2011/11/09
Channel: Adrianna Brzuzek
Trecho de
Trecho de 'Canción del soldado americano', de Bulat Okudzhava
Published: 2016/10/12
Channel: Memorial da Democracia
Bulat Okudzhava, The Old Jacket
Bulat Okudzhava, The Old Jacket
Published: 2016/10/13
Channel: Panayotis Kritidis
Hanna Banaszak   Modlitwa
Hanna Banaszak Modlitwa
Published: 2014/03/15
Channel: Waldek Ptak
Bulat Okudzhava tribute
Bulat Okudzhava tribute
Published: 2014/10/10
Channel: Venclovahouse
Bulat Okudzava - Pjesma O Moskovskom Metrou
Bulat Okudzava - Pjesma O Moskovskom Metrou
Published: 2009/10/08
Channel: OVANa
regina spektor - "the prayer of françois villon (molitva) [cover song in russian]"; *WITH LYRICS*
regina spektor - "the prayer of françois villon (molitva) [cover song in russian]"; *WITH LYRICS*
Published: 2012/06/01
Channel: apocalypsepolitics
Булат Окуджава РОМАНС / Bulat Okudzhava ROMANCE
Булат Окуджава РОМАНС / Bulat Okudzhava ROMANCE
Published: 2015/04/20
Channel: Oiscandero Alexander
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Bulat Okudzhava
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-R1202-0019, Berlin, Palast der Republik, Bulat Okudshawa cropped.jpg
Okudzhava performing at Palace of the Republic, Berlin, Germany, 1976
Background information
Birth name Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava
Born May 9, 1924
Moscow, Soviet Union
Origin Soviet Union
Died June 12, 1997(1997-06-12) (aged 73)
Paris, France
Genres Author song
Occupation(s) Musician, poet, editor, novelist, short story writer
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1950s–1997
Associated acts Bards

Bulat Shalvovich Okudzhava (Russian: Була́т Ша́лвович Окуджа́ва; Georgian: ბულატ ოკუჯავა) (May 9, 1924 – June 12, 1997) was a Soviet and Russian poet, writer, musician, novelist, and singer-songwriter of Georgian-Armenian ancestry. He was one of the founders of the Soviet genre called "author song" (авторская песня, avtorskaya pesnya), or "guitar song", and the author of about 200 songs, set to his own poetry. His songs are a mixture of Russian poetic and folksong traditions and the French chansonnier style represented by such contemporaries of Okudzhava as Georges Brassens. Though his songs were never overtly political (in contrast to those of some of his fellow Soviet bards), the freshness and independence of Okudzhava's artistic voice presented a subtle challenge to Soviet cultural authorities, who were thus hesitant for many years to give official recognition to Okudzhava.[1]

Life[edit]

Bulat Okudzhava was born in Moscow on May 9, 1924 into a family of communists who had come from Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, to study and to work for the Communist Party. The son of a Georgian father, Shalva Okudzhava, and an Armenian mother, Ashkhen Nalbandyan, Bulat Okudzhava spoke and wrote only in Russian. Okudzava's mother was the niece of a well-known Armenian poet, Vahan Terian. His father served as a political commissar during the Civil War and as a high-ranking Communist Party member under the protection of Sergo Ordzhonikidze later on. His uncle Vladimir Okudzhava was an anarchist and a terrorist who left The Russian Empire after a failed attempt to assassinate the Kutaisi governor.[2] He was listed among the passengers of the infamous sealed train that delivered Vladimir Lenin, Grigory Zinoviev and other revolutionary leaders from Switzerland to Russia in 1917.[3]

Shalva Okudzhava was arrested in 1937 during the Great Purge, accused of trotskyism and wrecking and executed shortly after, along with his two brothers. His wife was also arrested in 1939 «for anti-Soviet deeds» and sent to a labor camp of Gulag. Bulat returned to Tbilisi to live with his relatives. His mother was released in 1946, but arrested for the second time in 1949, spending another 5 years in labor camps. She was fully released in 1954 and rehabilitated in 1956, along with her husband.[4]

In 1941, at the age of 17, one year before his scheduled school graduation, he volunteered for the Red Army infantry, and from 1942 he participated in the war with Nazi Germany. After his discharge from the service in 1944, he returned to Tbilisi where he passed his high school graduation exams and enrolled at Tbilisi State University, graduating in 1950. After graduating, he worked as a teacher, first in a rural school in the village of Shamordino in Kaluga district, and later in the city of Kaluga itself.

In 1956, three years after the death of Joseph Stalin, Okudzhava returned to Moscow, where he worked first as an editor in the publishing house "Young Guard," and later as the head of the poetry division at the most prominent national literary weekly in the former USSR, Literaturnaya Gazeta ("Literary Newspaper"). It was then, in the middle of the 1950s, that he began to compose songs and to perform them, accompanying himself on a Russian guitar.

Soon he was giving concerts. He only employed a few chords and had no formal training in music, but he possessed an exceptional melodic gift, and the intelligent lyrics of his songs blended perfectly with his music and his voice.[citation needed] His songs were praised by his friends, and amateur recordings were made. These unofficial recordings were widely copied as magnitizdat, and spread across the USSR and Poland, where other young people picked up guitars and started singing the songs for themselves. In 1969, his lyrics appeared in the classic Soviet film White Sun of the Desert.

Though Okudzhava's songs were not published by any official media organization until the late 1970s, they quickly achieved enormous popularity, especially among the intelligentsia – mainly in the USSR at first, but soon among Russian-speakers in other countries as well.[citation needed] Vladimir Nabokov, for example, cited his Sentimental March in the novel Ada or Ardor.

Okudzhava, however, regarded himself primarily as a poet and claimed that his musical recordings were insignificant. During the 1980s, he also published a great deal of prose (his novel The Show is Over won him the Russian Booker Prize in 1994). By the 1980s, recordings of Okudzhava performing his songs finally began to be officially released in the Soviet Union, and many volumes of his poetry were also published. In 1991, he was awarded the USSR State Prize. He supported the reform movement in the USSR and in October 1993, signed the Letter of Forty-Two.[5]

Okudzhava died in Paris on June 12, 1997, and is buried in the Vagankovo Cemetery in Moscow. A monument marks the building at 43 Arbat Street where he lived. His dacha in Peredelkino is now a museum that is open to the public.

A minor planet, 3149 Okudzhava, discovered by Czech astronomer Zdeňka Vávrová in 1981 is named after him.[6] His songs remain very popular and frequently performed.[7][8][9][10] They are also used for teaching Russian.[11]

The song of the open door

When, like a beast, the snow storm roars,
when, in a rage, it howls,
You do not have to lock the doors,
of your residing house.

When on a lasting trip you go
the road is hard, supposing,
you ought to open wide your door;
leave it unlocked, don't close it.

As you leave home one quiet night,
decide, don't pause a minute:
mix up the burning pinewood light
with that of human spirit.

I wish the house you live in,
were always warm and faultless.
A closed door isn't worth a thing,
a lock is just as worthless.

Trans. by Alec Vagapov, The song of the open door on YouTube, performed by Elena Frolova and Galina Khomchik

Music[edit]

Okudzhava, like most bards, did not come from a musical background. He learned basic guitar skills with the help of some friends. He also knew how to play basic chords on a piano.

Okudzhava tuned his Russian guitar to the "Russian tuning" of D'-G'-C-D-g-b-d' (thickest to thinnest string), and often lowered it by one or two tones to better accommodate his voice. He played in a classical manner, usually finger picking the strings in an ascending/descending arpeggio or waltz pattern, with an alternating bass line picked by the thumb.

Initially Okudzhava was taught three basic chords, and towards the end of his life he claimed to know a total of seven.

Many of Okudzhava's songs are in the key of C minor (with downtuning B flat or A minor), centering on the C minor chord (X00X011, thickest to thinnest string), then progressing to a D 7 (00X0433), then either an E-flat minor (X55X566) or C major (55X5555). In addition to the aforementioned chords, the E-flat major chord (X55X567) was often featured in songs in a major key, usually C major (with downtuning B-flat or A major).

By the nineties, Okudzhava adopted the increasingly popular six string guitar but retained the Russian tuning, subtracting the fourth string, which was convenient to his style of playing.

Fiction in English translation[edit]

  • The Art of Needles and Sins, (story), from The New Soviet Fiction, Abbeville Press, NY, 1989.
  • Good-bye, Schoolboy! and Promoxys, (stories), from Fifty Years of Russian Prose, Volume 2, M.I.T Press, MA, 1971.
  • The Extraordinary Adventures of Secret Agent Shipov in Pursuit of Count Leo Tolstoy, in the year 1862, (novel), Abelard-Schuman, UK, 1973.
  • Nocturne: From the Notes of Lt. Amiran Amilakhvari, Retired, (novel), Harper and Row, NY, 1978.
  • A Taste of Liberty, (novel), Ardis Publishers, 1986.
  • Girl of My Dreams, (story), from 50 Writers: An Anthology of 20th Century Russian Short Stories, Academic Studies Press, 2011.

Selected discography[edit]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Original title
Lyrics Other
1961 My Friend, Kolka! Друг мой, Колька! Merry Drummer; Over Sea, Over Land
1962 Chain reaction Цепная реакция Last Trolleybus; Old Pier actor (bus passenger)
1964 I Am Twenty Мне двадцать лет Sentimental March cameo (as himself)
1965 Faithfulness Верность screenplay
1966 July Rain Июльский дождь A Song About Infantry music
1967 Zhenya, Zhenechka and Katyusha Женя, Женечка и «катюша» Dutch King's Elixir screenplay, vocal, cameo (soldier)
1970 White Sun of the Desert Белое солнце пустыни Your Honor, Lady Luck
Belorussian Station Белорусский вокзал We Need Only One Victory music
1974 The Straw Hat Соломенная шляпка all songs
1975 The Captivating Star of Happiness Звезда пленительного счастья romances cameo (bandmaster)
The Adventures of Buratino Приключения Буратино Lamplighters; Papa Carlo; Karabas Barabas (two songs); About Greed-Guts; The Field of Wonders; Pierrot's Serenade
1976 The Key That Should Not Be Handed On Ключ без права передачи Let's Exclaim cameo (as himself)
The Strogovs Строговы actor (officer)
1977 One-Two, Soldiers Were Going... Аты-баты, шли солдаты... Take the Greatcoat, Let's Go Home
1979 The Wife Has Left Жена ушла One More Romance vocal
1982 The Pokrovsky Gate Покровские ворота Sentries of Love; Painters; Ditty About Arbat vocal
1984 Dear, Dearest, Beloved, Unique... Милый, дорогой, любимый, единственный… One Wishes to Get Rich vocal
1985 Legal Marriage Законный брак This Woman in the Window; The Skies are Freer After the Rain actor (train passenger)
1986 Guard Me, My Talisman Храни меня, мой талисман One Can't Return the Past; Family Photo Against Pushkin cameo (as himself)
2000 Still Waters Тихие омуты Youth Ends Quickly music
2005 The Turkish Gambit Турецкий гамбит Autumn Rain

References[edit]

  1. ^ Smith, G. S. (1988). "Okudzhava Marches On". Slavonic and East European Review. 66.4 (October 1): 553. 
  2. ^ Bulat Okudzhava (2006). The Abolished Theater: A Family Chronicle. Moscow: Zebra E, 336 pages. ISBN 978-5-94663-332-1
  3. ^ List of Passengers That Crossed Germany During the War published by Vladimir Burtsev on October, 1917 (in Russian)
  4. ^ Dmitry Bykov, Bulat Okudzhava. Moscow: Molodaya Gvardiya, 2009, 784 pages. ISBN 978-5-235-03255-2
  5. ^ Писатели требуют от правительства решительных действий. Izvestia (in Russian). October 5, 1993. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – p.260
  7. ^ Sentries of Love, Bulat Okudzhava's songs by Tatiana and Sergei Nikitin
  8. ^ Songs of Bulat Okudzhava by Galina Khomchik
  9. ^ Songs of Bulat Okudzhava by Zhanna Bichevskaya
  10. ^ Blue balloon, song and music by Bulat Okudzhava, performed by Elena Frolova
  11. ^ Tumanov, Vladimir. "Usings Songs in the Foreign Language Classroom." Russian Language Journal 54 (177–179) 2000: 13–33 (with Jeff Tennant).

External links[edit]

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