Temnaya Noch

She felt glad to stay where she was and listen to Leonid Utesov singing Temnaya Noch. Famously featured in Two Fighters, the song was everywhere these days; Anton had learned it by heart and liked to sing it to his favorite telegraphist in the front room, cracking his voice with artificial tears on the last verses:

I don’t fear Death.

We’ve crossed paths many times on this steppe.

Even now Death is circling my head

In the darkness.

You wait for me,

Wide awake by the crib-side you sit.

All night long your vigil protects me.

This dark night I rest safe.

Elisewhere on the Nostalgistudio site you’ll find the Temnaya Noch Widget, where I’ll be featuring various versions of Nikita Bogolovsky’s beautiful song of the Great War. In the passage from LAMENT shown above I attempted my own translation of the lyrics by Vladimir Agatov.

Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky Metropolitan Opera's Season 2006-20
Hvorostovsky as Eugene Onegin; photograph from Opera News

Since starting the site I’ve been honored to feature this version recorded in 2003 with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra by baritone Dmitri Hvorostovky, one of my favorite opera singers, whose death last year at the age of 55 was hard to believe. He will be mourned as long as great voices are loved.

I like this video especially for the photographs of Red Army soldiers that come along around the one minute mark.

The new Temnaya Noch widget features the version by Leonid Utesov that the heroine of LAMENT favors, recorded in or before 1943 (it’s very hard to get good information from Russian internet these days). In any case, the video features interesting work from the Moscow School of Animation. Enjoy!