Almost every second urban resident by 1910 had a gramophone and records of popular Russian singers. But most importantly, the emergence of vinyl records and record companies allowed to widely spread into the masses recordings of many performers, and preserve their work to the present day.

Evening bells

Isaac Levitan. Evening Bells (1892 )

Isaac Levitan. Evening Bells (1892 )

The lyrics for this Old Russian song were written by Ivan Kozlov in the early 19th century. Rather, the lyrics represent a translated from Irish poem by Thomas Moore. The music was later composed by Alyabyev. The song became popular only in the early 20th century, when it was performed by a singer Leonid Sobinov. In addition, the “Evening Bells” was later performed by singers Jehoiakim Tartakov and Oscar Kamionsky. Unfortunately, none of those performances of the song were preserved from that time.

Sergey Zakharov. Evening Bells

Do not go, stay with me

Creator of Russian romance songs Nikolai Zubov dedicated the song “Do not go, stay with me” to the singer Anastasia Vyaltseva. But it was not Vyaltseva’s but the performance of Varvara Panina tha became the most famous. The latter, by the way, was considered the most prominent performer of Zubov romance songs. In 1905, the song was recorded on a phonograph record.

Varya Panina. Do not go


The poem by the poet Vasily Bogdanov “Dubinushka” was published in the late 19th century. Later it was reworked by a lawyer Alexander Olkhin, who gave the poem some revolutionary meaning. In the early 20th century this song got included in their repertoire of the famous bass Feodor Chaliapin.

Chaliapin. Dubinushka

The Old Russian song “Dubinushka” has long been a symbol of the Russian revolutionary movement of the early 20th century.

In the moonlight

The romance song “In the moonlight” by Yevgeny Yuriev has other names as well – “A Bell”, “Ding-ding-ding.” One of the most famous performers of the song was Maria Karinskaya, who was considered the “Queen of Gypsy romance.” But we will present you a more contemporary version.

Evgenia Smolyaninova. In the moonlight…

Faded chrysanthemums

Nicholai Kharito created this romance song when he was a law student. It was the first and the most famous song of the composer. The song was performed by Vasily Shumsky. Later – by Yuri Morfessi, Semen Sadovnikov and Vladimir Sabinin.

Sergey Zakharov. Faded chrysanthemums

Shine, Shine, My Star

This patriotic romance song became popular at the beginning of World War I. The song was created in the mid-19th century by the poet Vladimir Chuevskiy and composer Peter Bulakhov. The arrangement of this famous Russian song with patriotic overtones was created by Vladimir Sabinin.

Alexander Malinin. Shine, shine, my Star

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