|Pjotr Leschenko: 1935|
Tangos, Foxtrots & Romances
Paul Vernon in "folk roots" about this CD:
Pjotr Leschenko's story is complex and tragically fascinating. Russian by birth, he achieved immense popularity in the 1930s and was known as "The Russian King Of The Tango".
He toured the old Ottoman Empire extensively, was a resident in Berlin during the Weimar Republic days, played Paris, Vienna, Riga and London, ran his own club in Bucharest, spent the war performing for the Romanian military, was arrested, on stage, by Stalin's regime and died in a Bucharest prison camp at the age of 56. Colourful.
As a motif of his internationalism, the first track here is a tango sung in Russian, recorded in London, featuring a blistering Hawaiian guitar solo. This programme of tangos, romances and fox trots (with some hot playing from what are probably English dance band musicians), displays Leschenko's talents both as a guitarist and as a singer of great warmth of emotion. Some of the stuff here, especially the romances, could honestly be filed under 'Curate's Egg' and will not be to everyone's taste, but just about half the tracks are tangos, recorded in both London and Riga during 1935, and are lovely.
The mastering is excellent, although the Riga recordings suffer from poor original engineering and are a little distant and noisy. The notes, in French, German and English are succinct, factual and include a superb vintage photograph of the artist, while the overall packaging is the most handsome I've seen in some time. It pushes the Folk Roots parameters just a little, and will not be everyone's bag of chips, but I enjoyed it immensely.
1. SERDTSE Tango - 02:49
2. MUSENKA Tango - 03:19
3. TATJANA Tango - 03:06
4. UJDI Tango - 03:21
5. POJ, TSYGAN, PLATSCH, TSYGAN Romanze - 03:38
6. TY JEDJESCH PJANAJA Romanze - 03:31
7. DUNJA Foxtrott - 02:43
8. NASTENKA Foxtrott - 02:07
9. CHA-TSCHA-TSCHA Foxtrott - 02:52
10. SERDTSE MAMY Tango - 02:55
11. DAWAJ PROSTIMSJA Tango - 03:12
12. MOJA MARUSJETSCHKA Foxtrott - 02:55
13. KAPRIZNAJA, UPRJAMAJA Romanze - 03:17
14. SINJAJA RAPSODIJA Tango - 02:54
15. DJEWONKA Romanze - 03:25
16. SENJORITA Tango - 03:22
17. BJELLOTSCHKA Tango - 03:15
18. KOGDA ZASHGUTSJA FONARI Tango - 03:04
19. LOLA Tango - 03:25
20. KARAVAN Romanze - 03:31
21. IGRAJ, TSYGAN Langsamer Walzer - 03:02
Mastered and restored 1996 by MISIAK Mastering, Hamburg