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Customer Reviews

28
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Definitive Collection
Format: Audio CDChange
Price:£12.83+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2004
A double CD of magnificant songs, full of poignant grandeur and stirring melodies. Has there ever been a more magnificent national anthem than that of the Soviet Union, recorded here in all its splendour? This is a record of a lost era and a lost ideology, and somehow it rises above the tragic reality of the Soviet Union. Evoking the glories of Red Sqaure on a frozen winter's day, it sends a shiver down your spine. Abandon your 21st century cynicism: this is a stupendous achievement in choral musicianship. Top marks and long may the Choir continue to sing.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on 22 July 2005
.
This is the RED ARMY CHOIR, founded in 1929. For two generations, the Red Army was the most powerful army ever seen. Therefore, it is with a certain credability the choir sing "The Red Army is the strongest", or the grandiose "National Anthem of the USSR" as well as old soldier's or partisan's songs. One have not to understand russian to catch the feeling, and some of the lyrics can be found translated into english.
This is an exceptional choir. Incomparable, I'd say. Would give them 5+ anytime for performance. Recordings was made in Moscow over a number of years. All are with the entiere choir, unlike some other recordings that used a reduced troupe.

The downside:
Technical quality of some tracks doesn't make the choir full justice. Some tracks are in mono [well, mono can be excellent too] and some has been restored. And yes, some tracks suffer from distorsion, noise -or a less perfect mix.
When listening, I am sometimes transformed to an old black and white propaganda film from the war, sometimes to an auditorium where people cough and move, then to a studio-like set-up where a wonderful male voice appear in full strength out of the black silence. This is very confusing, and I can't help thinking of it -every time!
I'll re-arrange the tracks and put them on a CD-R. Then I will enjoy to the fullest!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Since I heard a midi version of the Soviet National Anthem back in 2000 I've been hooked on this kind of martial Russian style music. I recently bought this CD and it is awesome.
The main song for me really is the National Anthem. No anthem, hell, NO SONG comes close to beating this opus for granduer, glory, pomp and meaning. The feeling it instills upon the listener is endearing and great. "The Cliff" is my second favourite. It alike the national anthem is wonderfully crafted and performed and too is inspirational.
The rest of the album is awesome and to a similiar ultra-high quality of performance by the ensemble and of the writing of the music itself. The CD insert says that some of the tracks were originally recorded in Mono or may be lacking in quality, but after listening to it with high quality (Gigaworks S750) speakers at quite a high volume I couldn't notice any bad patches.
And for all the people saying "I don't understand the lyrics" : you don't have to. If the Red Army Choir did one thing excellently it was getting across the message through music and performance: "The Red Army is the Strongest."
If you liked the soundtrack to "The Hunt For Red October," or martial choral music such as Laibach then I recommend this CD. Or vice versa.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2004
This 2-CD compilation contains a number of the best-known old Russian (e.g. Along the Piterskaya; Kalinka) and Soviet (e.g. On the March; Roads) songs often performed by the ensemble (now, in the chaotic conditions of the present Russia, sadly underfunded).
Another and different compilation containing such songs as Cranes, Katyusha, or perhaps the brooding Oh, The Rye! would be more than welcome. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 19 February 2004
The Red Army Choir are without a doubt the most powerfull vocal group in the world, I may not understand what they are singing about, but you dont have to understand it to feel the intensity and passion involved. A truly amazing showcase of what the human voice can do including some simply out of this world solos.
All of the songs are real hand on heart patriotic anthems and are sung as such. Its a real motivation to listen to this CD and I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
We may not all agree with the background and some of the politics associated with this Red Army choir but boy can they sing !

This 2-disc set is a wide-ranging compilation of songs (performed in various venues/years and with varying recording quality !) which allow the members of the choir to demonstrate the full range, power and subtleties of their singing voices in a wonderfully harmonious way; the accompanying music is obviously necessary, and perfectly acceptable to listen to, but it really takes a back seat to the projections of the choir itself.

I, like most I'm sure, cannot understand Russian but that doesn't really matter; if you translate the lyrics, no doubt some of the songs will have a foundation in propaganda but the majority are simply rejoicing the Russian lifestyle and history. A good example of what is on offer, and the song which is my personal favourite, is 'Oh Fields, My Fields'; it may be familiar to some already as it appears in a few films and I seem to remember Michael Palin involving himself in a performance of the song when visiting Russia on one of his 'travel' journeys. The singing starts quite subtly, but gradually evolves into a powerful full-throttle effort and has a simple instrumental accompaniment plus the simulated sound of horses hooves, courtesy of what are probably nothing more than coconut shells being bashed together !

The audio presentation is perfectly acceptable for this type of music, but the production-values appear to be a bit 'rough and ready' as the odd 'sound-effect' can be heard in the background suggesting that either someone accidentally drops something or clatters into a piece furniture.... However, this essentially adds to the overall character of the performances to bolster the enjoyment even more - go buy !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2011
I was impressed by the website sound previews, but the quality on CD is just awesome and I simply do not understand the 'phone box' comment from another reviewer. The choice of song material is excellent and the 32 tracks on the two CDs are very good VFM - my only quibble with this album is the poor quality of the crystal case, which I have had to replace as the lugs on the holding plate had broken off, but that could have just been a one-off manufacturing fault; the quality of the CDs themselves was absolutely fine.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2003
This CD is superb with world class soloists backed by the finest male voice choir I have ever heard.
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on 24 May 2013
Being Welsh, I have grown up around a strong heritage of male voice choirs, so it was only natural that at some point I would come across the Red Army choir! I came across a recording of 'Song of the Volga Boatmen' with Leonid Kharitonov and the Red Army choir. Just on the strength of this incredible recording I bought this album. I haven't been disappointed! As a bass singer myself I love nothing more than singing along with the tracks in my car! I genuinely think any true aficionado of classical music should buy this album as unfortunately western culture seems to ignore anything soviet in origin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2007
Fantastic! Takes me back to 1957 or so when we saw them in London. Wow! What a performance! this CD is great.
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