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     Andreyev, Vasily Vasilyevich (15th January 1861-21st December 1918)

    He was a composer, conductor and balalaika player born in Russia. He was the founder of the first Russian professional folk music orchestra in 1888 and made extensive tours with them throughout Europe and America.  Often called the "Father of Russian Balalaika" he created the modern form of the balalaika, which is a triangular body with three strings and metal frets, and his newly formed folk instrument orchestra which incorporated instruments of different sizes, became famous for it.  He also re-introduced Russian instruments such as the domra which was originally played by Russian minstrels or skomorokhi, and the gusli which is described as "an autoharp chorded with piano-type keys".  His works can be heard often in translations of folk songs or his own "Variations".  Famed for his compositions such as "In the Moonlight", "Waltz of the Faun" and "Triumphal Polonaise" his work was even mentioned in the book The Heart of a Dog by Michail Bulgakalov. He died in 1918 aged 57.

     

    Osipov Russian State Folk Orchestra recordings

    In the Moonlight

    Mercury 432 000-2 (CD: Balalaika Favourites)

    Conductor - Vitaly Gnutov

     

    Under the Apple Tree

    Mercury 432 000-2 (CD: Balalaika Favourites)

    Conductor - Vitaly Gnutov

     

    Waltz of the Faun

    Mercury 432 000-2 (CD: Balalaika Favourites)

    Conductor - Vitaly Gnutov

    Domra - Rudolf Belov

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GScid=639673&GRid=11233&
    2. http://www.barynya.com/alex.htm
    3. http://www.songsearch.com/rel/v2_viewupc.php?storenr=264&upc=67575493122
    4. http://www.deccaclassics.com/music/mercurylivingpresence/releases/4756610.html
    5. http://www.kommersant.com/p-7802/r_533/Events/

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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