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Vertinsky's voice and manner of performance - a melodious and cutesy recitative with expressive grassing - is impossible not to recognize or confuse with someone. Vertinsky is a NAME-legend, and there is no other like that. Possessing a unique charm and aristocratic magic, he, like a hypnotist, skillfully controlled the mood of the audience in the hall. So what is the phenomenon of this great artist?
Yuri Olesha wrote about him very well and accurately in his memoirs:. Indeed, the strange and sophisticated genre in which Vertinsky worked, combining in one person a poet, composer, singer and artist, was truly unique.
The beginning of his creative career in the capital was not easy - small odd jobs, episodic roles in films and small theaters, world war, work as an orderly, but nothing could prevent the manifestation of his artistic talent.
From a young age, Vertinsky raved about the theater. He ran to performances and concerts, showing considerable ingenuity to get there, sometimes he himself got small roles in amateur productions. The dream of becoming an artist never left him. And, having saved a little money for the trip, Vertinsky set off from his native Kiev to conquer Moscow. However, in the capital of the young "genius" no one expected, there were plenty of his "misunderstood" here. But Vertinsky believed that he would definitely break through, only he did not know which of his many talents would be in demand, which would bring him fame and success. An attempt to enter the Moscow Art Theater school ended in failure - Stanislavsky himself, hearing his desperate grazing, categorically rejected him as a future artist.
And bohemian life began to spin - young ladies, champagne, and cocaine, which flooded the capital in those years … Vertinsky recalled that one day he saw a bronze Pushkin jump into the tram in which he was traveling, having come off the pedestal, and even tried to buy a ticket. Realizing that these are hallucinations, and no one else sees Pushkin, fearing that he was going crazy, Vertinsky decided to get rid of his addiction. And soon he volunteered for the front - at that time the First World War was already underway. He was assigned as an orderly on a train taking out the wounded from the front.
In such conditions, seeing every day the pain and suffering of people, he quickly forgot about his depression. He had to do several tens of thousands of dressings alone. Trying to alleviate the suffering of the wounded, he read letters to them, arranged performances for them, at which he sang. Almost two years passed in this way.
At the beginning of 1916, Alexander returned to Moscow again. Here he begins to perform with his own program, appearing to the audience in the form of a sad Pierrot - a deathly pale face with large sad eyes, a bright red mouth. Spectacular waving of the hands complemented the image during the performance of sad songs, which the artist himself called "Pierrot's ariettes". And, it seems, there was nothing special about them, but no one else will repeat …
It is difficult to say what the audience liked more - the image of the sad Pierrot or the songs touching the soul, but unexpected success came to the newly-minted artist, he became a celebrity. Despite the fact that his performances were accompanied by devastating articles in the press, his fame resounded throughout the country, tickets for concerts were sold out for many days in advance.
- the artist himself was surprised.
At first, Vertinsky performed in Pierrot's traditional white suit, but, becoming more ironic and caustic over time, he considered black to be more suitable for himself.
Having no illusions about his vocal abilities, Vertinsky was afraid of failure all his life, but at his concerts the halls were always full of enthusiastic spectators.
But as soon as he said quietly: "", and the hall instantly fell silent.
In 1916, Vertinsky wrote one of his piercing songs - "Kokainetka". The tragedy associated with cocaine was familiar to him firsthand - while he worked as an orderly, his sister died of an overdose. Unfortunately, there are no recordings of this song performed by Vertinsky himself … But there are good versions:
performed by Tatyana Kabanova:
performed by Katya Lintsevich:
By 1917, he stopped hiding behind a mask, which at first helped him to hide his excitement, and began to go on stage without any make-up, dressed in a black tailcoat, with which a dazzling white shirt front was contrasted, very successfully complemented the suit of the top hat. At the same time, he looked very elegant.
Meanwhile, Russia is entering a terrible period - a revolution and a fratricidal war begins. After the death of three hundred cadets who defended the Moscow Kremlin, Vertinsky wrote one of his best songs - "":
In connection with this "counter-revolutionary" song, Vertinsky was summoned to the Cheka. He could not understand: "". The answer was very eloquent: "".
«»The White army retreated to the south, where people still lived in the hope of a happy ending. Vertinsky also went there following the example of many artists. He continued to perform in the south.
But the happy ending never came. In 1920, Vertinsky left Russia, as it turned out, for 23 long years.
His life in exile, which began with Constantinople, was an endless whirlwind of cities and countries. Driven by an incomprehensible melancholy, Vertinsky toured the whole world with concerts. Of course, his main listeners were Russian émigrés, but he was also applauded by princes and kings, American millionaires and famous film actors, among whom he made many friends.
An interesting story connected with Charlie Chaplin was told by Vertinsky in his memoirs:
His life abroad seemed quite prosperous, only the songs betrayed the true state of mind of the artist. One of them is "". From a poem written in 1932 by Raisa Blokh, Vertinsky removed several lines, replaced some words, and wrote music to it. A very soulful song came out:
Brought an accidental rumor Sweet, unnecessary words: "Summer Garden, Fontanka and Neva."
There are noise in other people's cities, And someone else's water splashes, And someone else's star shines.
You neither take, nor hide, nor drive away. We must live - we must not remember, So that it does not hurt again And so that the heart does not scream anymore …
It was, it was and passed, Everything passed and covered with snow like a blizzard, That is why it is so empty and light.
You, words of flight, where? There live strange gentlemen, And someone else's joy and misfortune, And we are strangers for them FOREVER!
The song "In the Moldavian Steppe" was also very popular among Russian emigres.
The last country in a series of long wanderings of the artist was China, where a large Russian diaspora also settled. In Shanghai, the already middle-aged Vertinsky met the young Georgian princess Lydia Tsirgvava. Despite the big age difference, they got married and soon had a daughter.
Vertinsky has long dreamed of returning home to Russia, applied for, but he was refused. And suddenly, quite unexpectedly, in 1937 he received an invitation to the USSR, although this time there were no requests from him. It took several years to solve the problems associated with the move, and finally, in early November 1943, Vertinsky and his family, leaving Shanghai, went home.
But life here turned out to be not quite the same as he painted it in his dreams. He was not allowed to perform in the capital and large cities, but the 60-year-old artist was sent to the most remote corners of the country, despite the heat and cold. His constant companion on these trips was his accompanist Mikhail Brokhes.
For 14 years of his touring life, having traveled the country far and wide, Vertinsky gave about 3,000 concerts, while collecting full houses. But neither Vertinsky himself nor his songs received official recognition. Records of his songs, which were considered completely unnecessary for that time, were not released, it was also impossible to hear them on the radio, the press was silent about Vertinsky.
And he continued to perform until the very last day of his life. The Leningrad tour in May 1957 was the last for the artist. There, at the Astoria Hotel, Alexander Vertinsky died of a heart attack at the age of 68.
And in continuation of the theme, a story about why Anastasia Vertinskaya stopped acting in films: fears and addictions of "Vivien Leigh of the Soviet screen".