Alexandrov Ensemble: Suliko (1960s)





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Uploaded on Jan 5, 2010

The Alexandrov Ensemble sings "Suliko", conducted by Boris Alexandrovich Alexandrov, recorded 1950s or 1960s. This is a Georgian traditional song.

The photo is of the Ensemble marching through London, probably in 1956 (or possibly 1963) to their concert venue. The 1963 venue was the Albert Hall; the 1956 venue was elsewhere. That is Nelson's column (Trafalgar Square) in the background - and of course an old Routemaster bus.
Suliko (Georgian: სულიკო) is a Georgian female and male name meaning 'soul'. It is also the title of a love poem written in 1895 by Akaki Tsereteli, which became widely known throughout the Soviet Union as a song performed with music composed by Varenka Tsereteli. In that form it was often performed on radio during Joseph Stalin's rule, reputedly because it was the emperor's favorite. It was translated to and performed in multiple languages including Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, English and German.
Я могилу милой искал,
Но ее найти нелегко,
Долго я томился и страдал;
Где же ты моя Сулико!

Розу на пути встретил я,
В поисках уйдя далеко,
Роза, пожалей, услышь меня,
Нет ли у тебя Сулико?

Среди роз душистых, в тени,
Песню соловей звонко пел,
Я у соловья тогда спросил
Сулико не ты ли пригрел?

Соловей вдруг замолчал,
Розу тронул клювом легко,
Ты нашел, что ищешь, - он сказал
Вечным сном здесь спит Сулико

Роза, наклонившись слегка,
Свой бутон раскрыв широко,
Тихо прошеплала мне тогда
Не найти тебе Сулико.
I was looking for my sweetheart's grave,
And longing was tearing my heart.
Without love my heart felt heavy, I cried to the night -
"Where are you, my Suliko? "

Alone among the thorns of the bush
A lone rose was blooming
My heart was beating hard, I had to ask it:
"Where have you hidden Suliko?".

A nightingale hid with bated breath
In the branches of the rose thorn
Gently, then, I asked him if he was the one,
if he had any news of Suliko

The Nightingale lifted his head high
And sang a loud clear song to the stars
His eyes held a gleam, and he cocked his head
As if to tell me "Yes, yes, I know Suliko!"

Suddenly the nightingale fell silent
And softly touched the rose with the beak
"You have found what you are looking for," he said,
In an eternal sleep Suliko is resting here."

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