Ensemble “Rustavi” Administration Press Release, January 4th, 2020
Connecting with the 50th anniversary of the Ensemble “Rustavi”, there has been published a very important anthology – “400 Georgian Folk Songs”.
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Specialist in folklore
From the book
It would be difficult to compare any ensemble with the “Rustavi” in the job of popularization of the Georgian folk song. Even today, you could hardly find any significant concert in which the “Rustavi” doesn’t participate. The “Rustavi” is loved by people due to its merit and deeds, and they considered it to be an inseparable part of the present day.
The “Rustavi” has a great endowment for introducing Georgian art to foreigners abroad. It is difficult to name exactly to how many countries (listeners) presented this Ensemble the Georgian folk song.
We must also take into consideration the fact that this collective produced most of the songs performed by them as gramophone records. The “Rustavi” has produced many short or long-duration recordings independently or together with other ensembles. In this regard, the production of series – “60 Georgian Folk Songs” – was the crown of the job dedicated to ancient period. This set consists of five gramophone records and by itself represents a wonderful gift for our local fans of the Georgian folk song as well as for interested foreigners (if we are not wrong, the “Rustavi” was enriched by a new member, Ramin Mikaberidze exactly at the time, when the “Rustavi” was just beginning its work on the set. The heads of the Ensemble made a correct choice: R. Mikaberidze is indeed one of the best among the “active” singers of the present day, and his contribution to the recording of the above-mentioned 60 folk songs must properly be estimated).
The ensemble completes quite an important mission when it revives and gives a new birth to the forgotten songs, or the ones that exist only on old gramophone records and the notes decoded by folklore masters.
When we talk about the search for and restoration of the old, almost forgotten songs, there has to be mentioned great endowment of the head of the Ensemble – Anzor Erkomaishvili. Through his titanic work, there were found and restored the songs performed by our best singers of the early period of the century. And these songs will be available to the music fans very soon. The voices of Giorgi Babilodze, Master Alexa, Dedas Levana (Mother’s Levana), Varlam Simonishvili, Vladimer Berdzenishvili, Mikha Jighauri, Artem Erkomaishvili, Vano Mchedlishvili and many others will gain life again.
Through the cycle of TV programs “Ten Folk Songs”, the “Rustavi” introduced lots of samples of Georgian folk musical works to the audience. By the way, on the TV programs of the mentioned cycle, you could hear the songs performed by old singers, which later were repeated by the “Rustavi” itself with its own interpretation. But, during this exact repetition, it was especially apparent the difference in the performance style of the folk singers and the members of “Rustavi”. Even a careful listener would probably easily notice that the “Rustavi”’s variants bore a European tint and were more “refined”, “culturally exquisite” and more “academic”.
If “Rustavi” tries to come closer to the folk origin, and it set this as one of its main principles, we should hope that it strengthens its work towards this direction and achieve further success.
The statement is supported by the fact each member of the Ensemble has rich, multifarious experience and good knowledge of folk songs. But, what is the most significant, – the “Rustavi’ continues active concert life today, and we can think with an absolute confidence, that it will make us happy through its works again many more times.