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Friday, July 31, 2009

Ukrainian artist: Sofia Rotaru

Last Sunday's program featured two songs by Sofia Rotaru.

Водограй (Vodohraj - Dance of the Water Fountain), from an LP produced shortly after the KGB murdered the popular singer/songwriter Volodymyr Ivasiuk in 1979. The album was a tribute to Ivasiuk and featured a number of singers and groups who recorded his music. Rotaru was one of them.

According to Wikipedia, this song won the Best Song of the Year award of the Soviet Union in 1972. There's a nice YouTube video featuring a slide show of photos of Sofia Rotaru here. (Embedding has been disabled by request, so I can only direct you to the YouTube site.) The photos are from various stages of her long and prolific career as a stage performer and recording artist.

Водограй was performed by other artists as well as Rotaru. Here's a black & white video of Smerichka performing it at what looks to be a variety show sometime during the Soviet era.

Одна Калина (Odna Kalyna, which means one, or single, kalyna tree) is a more contemporary release. It was very popular during Ukraine's Orange Revolution in 2004. I first saw the video at the Adult Ukrainian Language Immersion Camp in Crystal Lake, Saskatchewan a few years ago. I love the harmonica intro (wish it was worked into more of the song) and the upbeat tempo. And the visuals in the video are gorgeous. We should all age as gracefully as Sofia Rotaru! She is truly gorgeous... not to mention a wonderful singer.


Natasha Sazonova said...

Rotaru was not all this gorgeous her whole life. In fact, she wasn't much to look at in her younger years. I actually think that she gets better with age. Not a bad trait to have for a woman!

Pawlina said...

Yes, I definitely agree! :-)

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