Антология народной музыки: Музык казаков-некрасовцев (1CD)

Disc number in the directory:
MEL CD 3001681
1982, 1983, 1986, 1990

A difficult historical fate befell the Nekrasov Cossacks, a community of the Old-Rite Orthodox Christians who left Russia in the early 18th century. After the escalated religious conflict and the defeat of the peasant uprising on the Don River in 1707-1709, the Cossacks under the leadership of Ignat Nekrasov moved to the Kuban area (which at that time was under Turkish rule), then to the Danube River area and, finally, to Asia Minor. In the adopted land the ideals of the community formed, passed on through history as the precepts of Ignat Nekrasov. The most important one of them was to return to Russia, but to a Russia without a tsar. Following the name of Nekrasov, they started to call themselves the Nekrasov Cossacks, aspiring to live according to equality and justice. The culmination of the community’s spiritual life was its return to Russia after lengthy negotiations with the Soviet government. The Cossacks were given the offer to settle in the Stavropol region, in the Levokum district, where in September 1962 a thousand people (215 families) arrived there from the village of Kogcagol.

Living for over two centuries on a territory open to many nationalities, having been exposed to the spirit and the cultures of various peoples, the Cossacks remained adherents of the Old Rites, preserving their archaic Russian language and song folklore.

Nevertheless, in their culture of everyday life, which is distinctive and full-blooded, the influences from various nationalities, with whom their paths crossed during their years of exile, become perceptible. Such is their communication with each other in Turkish, their habit of sitting with their legs tucked up beneath them, drinking coffee. The Cossacks remember and preserve not only the Russian musical folklore, but also the music of other peoples, for instance, the Turks and the Greeks.

The Nekrasov Cossacks’ singing presents choral monophony and heterophony: the female voices sound in the same register as the male ones, as if weaving in patterns around the core of the chant; they do not present a contrast, but the sound projection is marked by its monolithic nature, which is strengthened by the nonrecurring pulsation of the words, intrinsic to archaic monophony. The solo introduction and choral answer have almost no contrast to each other, which is not very characteristic for Russian folk music making.

A particular feature of the tradition is in the preservation of the epic genre – the Russian “bylina” heroic epic (“Alyosha, the Son of the Priest and Tugarin the Serpent”, “Ilya from Murom on the Ship”) and historical songs (“On the Blue, Blue Sea the Ship Sails”, “From under the Sham-Mountain it was from under the Stone”). Not a single communal festivity, not a single wedding could suffice without the “bylinas.” They sound out not as an ancient narrative but as a tale about the Cossacks’ own wanderings and destiny. Such is, for example, the epic song about Sadko “Oh, the Young Man’s Head Aches,” or the song about Dobrynya and Marinka “I Shall Play, I Shall Play, and Shall Cry Myself.”

Another epic genre of the Cossacks’ tradition are spiritual verses in which the experience of communion with Christianity in everyday life, outside of the church, has found its expression. The archaic verse about Feodor Tiron – “How the Ringing Bells Chimed” in performance by A. Ramzayeva and M. Elesyutikova – reminds one of the bylina verse about Yegory the Brave.

The basis of genre in the Nekrasov Cossacks’ tradition is formed by a lyricism of song, which is distinct by a rich melos (as is especially prominent in the song “The Little Pear”). Along with songs with little-known subject matter, found in the milieu of the Nekrasov Cossacks, there also could be found songs with popular plots from the Russian folklore, which are well-known in classical collections (such as “You Blossom, You are My Blossom, Blossom”).

The choral round (or Karagod) songs are timed to the period of the calendar from the Baptism to Shrovetide. The “Karagod” which gathered the entire village together, presented an hours-long procession following the sun. The slow chants, remarkable for their beauty (such as “Oh, You Sweet Girl, You have Grown up so Beautiful”), were intermixed with more agile krylo (or “winged”) songs: they were named after the choreographic form of “vorotse” (the little gate), named “krylo” (such as, the song “I Walk, I Walk on the Green Grass”).

Rare examples of male singing in ensemble have been recorded in the last years (“It Happened Near the High, the Elevated Burial Mound”), which was the result of greater interest towards the Nekrasov Cossacks on the part of youth folklore ensembles. The tradition of male singers remains as an autonomous one up to the present day in the religious singing rites of the Old Believers’ Orthgodox Christian Church.

The wealth of timbre colors is intrinsic to the vocal masters among the Nekrasov Cossacks: Semyon Milushkin, Anna Ramzayova, Maria Elesyutikova, Elena Gulina, Anna Chernyshova, et al. Especially distinctive is the performing style of one of Russia’s outstanding singers, Anastasia Nikulushkina. It has a prevalence of features that are closer to the Eastern manner of intoning with its “floridity” and abundance of melismatics. There have not been found the equals to Nikulushkina in the performance of Turkish songs, which she knew very well.

Very popular among the Nekrasov Cossacks are Turkish lyrical and humorous songs and tunes. They were adopted at fairs and in taverns. However, when performing foreign tunes, the Cossacks stretch out the vowels, gradually elevating the melody, which is not in the least customary for Turkish singing. Such novelty of sound greatly fascinated the Turks, who were fond of listening to their tunes in performance by the Nekrasov Cossacks.

Among the various appropriations from the folklore of other nations, there is the harmonica (the gubnushka or muzychka) which entered the Cossack’s everyday musical tradition. It was brought over to Turkey by either the Italians or the Germans, with both of whom Turkey had good relations after World War I. However the performance on the harmonica by the Nekrasov Cossacks is very distinctive (20): the dance tunes are very flexible and plastic in an Eastern manner, and their very names are characteristic – “the Izmirian,” the “Circassian,” “the Cossack”...

Not only the music, but also the traditional clothes, the decoration of homes and many attributes of ritual carry a mix of diverse strata of culture, which is what makes the unique ethnic community of the Nekrasov Cossacks particularly distinctive.

Vera Nikitina (Medvedeva)


Track List

  • 1
    Хожу я, хожу я по зелёной травке (Карагод)
    Фольклорный ансамбль Ставропольского края (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 2
    Уж ты, девица-душа, уродилася да хороша (Карагод)
    Фольклорный ансамбль Ставропольского края (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 3
    Как по нашей деревне во Майносской во селе (Карагод)
    Фольклорный ансамбль Ставропольского края (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 4
    Что при вышнем было при высоком было при кургане (Лирическая)
    Фольклорный ансамбль Ставропольского края (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 5
    У широких у ворот (Карагод)
    Елена Гулина, Домна Лебядкова, Матрёна Никулушкина, Полина Пронюшкина, Анастасия Пушечкина, Анна Чернышёва, Татьяна Елисютикова (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 6
    Княгиня по сенюшкам похаживала (Из былины "Алёша Попович и Тугарин Змей")
    Елена Гулина (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 7
    По синёй – то море плывёт корабель (Историческая)
    Фольклорный ансамбль Ставропольского края (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 8
    По чёрным было по морюшку (Из былины "Илья Муромец на корабле")
    Семён Милушкин (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 9
    Турецкие хоровые припевки I
    Мария Елесютикова, Елена Гулина, Семён Милушкин, Анастасия Никулушкина, Анна Рамзаева (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 10
    Турецкие хоровые припевки II
    Елена Гулина, Мария Елесютикова, Семён Милушкин, Анастасия Никулушкина, Анна Рамзаева (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 11
    Турецкая лирическая песня
    Анастасия Никулушкина (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 12
    Турецкая шуточная песня
    Семён Милушкин (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 13
    Из-под Шам-горы было из-под камушка (Историческая)
    Фольклорный ансамбль Ставропольского края (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 14
    Греческий распев
    Семён Милушкин (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 15
    Как звонили они звоны звонские (Из духовного стиха "Фёдор Тырин")
    Анна Рамзаева, Мария Елесютикова (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 16
    Ты цвет, ты мой цвет, цвет (Лирическая)
    Анастасия Никулушкина (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 17
    Ой, у молодца голова болит (Из былины "Садко")
    Анна Чернышёва, Елена Гулина, Домна Лебядкова, Матрёна Никулушкина, Иван Никулушкин, Полина Пронюшкина, Анастасия Пушечкина, Анастасия Никулушкина, Семён Милушкин, Татьяна Елисютикова, Лифер Пашин (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 18
    Заиграю, заиграю, сам да заплачу (Из былины "Добрыня и Маринка")
    Анастасия Никулушкина (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 19
    Пришатнулся казак, примотнулся (Историческая)
    Анастасия Никулушкина, Домна Лебядкова, Матрёна Никулушкина, Полина Пронюшкина, Анастасия Пушечкина, Анна Чернышёва, Татьяна Елисютикова (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 20
    Наигрыш на губных гармошках
    Мария Елесютикова, Анастасия Никулушкина (Музыка народная)
  • 21
    Сторона ль моя сторонушка (Историческая)
    Анастасия Никулушкина, Елена Гулина, Домна Лебядкова, Матрёна Никулушкина, Полина Пронюшкина, Анастасия Пушечкина, Анна Чернышёва, Татьяна Елисютикова (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 22
    Не туман то туман со синя моря сподымается (Карагод)
    Елена Гулина, Домна Лебядкова, Матрёна Никулушкина, Полина Пронюшкина, Анастасия Пушечкина, Анна Чернышёва, Татьяна Елисютикова (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
  • 23
    Грушица (Лирическая)
    Анастасия Никулушкина (Музыка народная - Слова народные)
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