Russian Tango from Paris

Aleksander Wertyński (Alexandre Vertinsky): Tango Magnolia, Columbia c.1929 (Polish pressing)
Alexandr Nicolaievich WERTYŃSKI (in Russian: Александр Huколаевич Вертинский) born 1889 in Kiev, died 1957 in Leningrad, USSR (Sankt Petersburg, Russia). ) A legandary Russian singer and composer of the romances, poet & troubadour of the „white" emigrant Russian tea-rooms in Paris of the 1920s. As a member of the avant-guarde Russian cabaret „Blue Bird (Siniaja Ptica) in the midddle of 1920s, he also spent some time in Warsaw, where he felt in love with a Polish upper class lady, to whom he dedicated one of his most beautiful romances „Madame Irene".

Many of his songs had been immortalised not only by his own interpretations, but also - his followers, who continue interpreting them a la manière de „tzarist Russia" or in a more modern way. „Letter To The Lady", „Steppes of Moldavia", „Yellow Angel", „Hispano-Suiza", „The Road Is Darkening", „Drink, My Girl", „The Leaves Are Just Falling, Madame" as well as dozens of others, including „Tango Magnolia - belong to the steel repertoire of every performer of the Russian songs of yesteryears.
Surprizingly, in 1942 Wertynski returned to Soviet Russia, where he started performing for Red Army soldiers, receiving enthusiastic acclaim so from the audience, as, most astonishingly, from the Soviet officials (- on contrary to another famous emigree Russian singer, Pyotr Leshchenko, who for all his life was persecuted by the Soviet secret services, in France and in Romania).

Those facts make Wertynski- who will, ofcourse, remain in our memory as wonderful singer - suspected of being the NKVD agent in Western Europe, in 1920/30s.

Russian tango from Paris

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