In my search for the authors of Dorogoi Dlinnoyu (see last entry) I have listened to scores of different recordings, and discovered that Aleksandr Vertinskii wrote some of the most beautiful songs, in addition to making Fomin’s song famous.
But the real find of the day, indeed of the year, is the singer Oleg Pogudin whose album of Vertinskii’s songs, Panikhida Khrustal’naya is one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard in a long time. Pogudin’s voice is warm, clear and soulful, like stroking velvet. He makes each song sound like a masterpiece.
What makes the album even more stunning is the brilliant accompaniment of Igor’ Ur’yash. He’s a fanstastic pianist, and his accompanying is probably the best I’ve ever heard in this genre. If I was Pogudin, I’d want to sign him for life. Both of them can do the ‘caf?’ sound to perfection, but with a subtlety, technique and depth that is breathtaking, and their partnership is so well attuned that they sound like a single voice.