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“No song without you” (in memory of Arno Babajanian)

The soloists of the Art-project “The Tenors of the XXI Century” belong to the generation that was brought up not only to classical music but to the flagships of national song. One of the most favorite composers for us is Arno Babajanian, each new melody of whose was instantaneously sung by entire Soviet people. Moreover, the best poets of those times like Evgeny Evtushenko, Andrey Voznesensky, Robert Rozhdestvensky were Babajanian’s collaborators. Georg Ots, Rashid Beibutov, Yury Guliaaev, Muslim Magomaev, Jean Tatlian, Josif Kobzon, Eduard Hill, Emil Gorovets, Vadim Mulerman, Sergey Zakharov and many other classical and variety singers included songs of Arno Babajanian to their repertoire.

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The first performance of Arno Babajanian’s songs program took place in 2007 sung by the Art-project “The Tenors of the XXI Century”. Alexander Bogdanov, Maxim Paster, Alexander Zaharov, Mikhail Urusov, Alexander Skvarko, Edward Semenov and Dmitry Sibirtsev gave a concert in Kostroma with symphonic orchestra conducted by Pavel Slobodkin. An audience which got used to listen to Babajanian’s works sung by baritones, warmly greeted a new “tenor” sounding such songs as “Nocturne”, “Bladodaru tebia”, “Chertovo koleso”, “Svadba”, “Verni mne muziku”, “Tvoi sledy”, “Koroleva krasoty”… A flawless success of the concert opened not only new pages for singers’ work, but also started a preparation for the whole range of variety songs programs. The Art-project “The Tenors of the XXI Century” started its collaboration with “Russian Philarmonia” Moscow Symphonic orchestra. The first performance with the program took place February 22, 2008 in Svetlanovsky Hall of Moscow International House of Music. Shortly before that, the best reputed singer of Babajanian’s music, Muslim Magomaev had passed away. Therefore, this concert consisted only of the songs which were sung by Muslim Magomaev at different times. Thus, the program itself got the name “No song without you”. In April 2008 the television version of the concert in the House of Music was featured at “MIR” TV-channel. Since then, every year Svetlanovsky Hall becomes a concert venue for this program, it is been acclaimed in many Russian cities. For instance, the range of five concerts were sold out in Samara and after success in April 2011, Arno Babajanian’s songs were performed again by demand of spectators in the next concert season. In 2011 “Kultura” TV-channel showed the program “No song without you” as part of “Romantic of romance” project.

There is one indispensable condition for the concert with songs of Arno Babajanian by “The Tenors” – participation of a big symphonic or wind orchestra. Specifically for this kind of the orchestra the best Moscow music arrangers created new orchestral arrangements of his the most popular works. Only the sound of orchestra coupled with voices of “The Tenors” is able to give audience an opportunity to evaluate the full beauty of Arno Babajanian’s music. Certainly, much depends on the level of orchestra musicians and conductor’s skill. So far, the musical library of the Art-project gathered more than thirty orchestral scores, while collaboration with Sergey Kondrashin, Pavel Ovsyannikov, Sergey Tatarin and “Russian Philarmony” orchestra is deemed to be the most successful “artistic alliance”.

Seven years have gone since the day of the first concert in Kostroma. Edward Semenov passed away; Mikhail Urusov is now living and working in USA. But the program “No song without you” keeps living: together with old guard, songs of Arno Babajanian are performed by George Faradzhev, Sergey Pisarev, Alexander Ostrovsky as well as Yury Rostotsky and Dmitry Bobrov are preparing to their debuts. Based on performing traditions of the best maestros of the past, paying homage to distinguished singers of soviet variety song, “The Tenors of the XXI century” are following their way; they bring an exclusive part of their soul, their temper and intonation in every song. Everyone who is coming to listen to the program “No song without you” has an opportunity to hear great music of Arno Babajanian in live rather than recordings. These melodies are not only nostalgia for the past. It is a hope for the future well-bred, educated generation which will be able to evaluate true beauty. Every year we see more and more young people in the hall. It points to the fact that Russia was and exists as a great cultural nation which is able to maintain what was gained by generation that was born in the Soviet Union. The generation which gave us one of the most outstanding composers - Arno Babajanian.

The next concert is to take place October 9, 2015 in Svetlanovsky Hall of the Moscow International House of Music.