Elena Frolova

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Elena Frolova
Elena Frolova with gitara.jpg
Elena Frolova
Photo by Margarita Kabakova
Background information
Birth name Elena Frolova
Born (1969-10-01) 1 October 1969 (age 45)
Riga, Soviet Union
Genres Singer-songwriter, author song, ethnic Russian music, world music
Occupation(s) singer, composer and poet
Instruments Vocals, guitar, gusli
Years active 1986–present
Associated acts Elena Kamburova, ASiA
Website frolova.golos.de/ru/

Elena Borisovna Frolova (Russian: Елена Борисовна Фролова, born 1 October 1969 in Riga) is a Russian singer-songwriter, composer, and poet. She is author and performer of songs based on poems by many Russian poets of twentieth century,[1] including Marina Tsvetaeva,[2] Sophia Parnok,[3] Joseph Brodsky,[4] Anna Barkova, Andrei Belyi, Varlam Shalamov, Maria Petrovykh,[5] Veniamin Blazhenny,[6] Bulat Okudzhava,[7] and many others,[8][9][10][11][12] as well as her own poetry.[13] Frolova is one of few performers who uses Russian folk instrument gusli and ancient harp,[14] along with classical six-string guitar for the accompaniment. During 25 years of work she created more than 630 songs[15] and published more than 40 music albums.[16][17][18]

Biography[edit]

Born in Riga, Frolova composed her first song at age of 15.[19] That was song on poem "I wrote on the slate" by Marina Tsvetaeva.[20] She was a winner of many song and music festivals, including the Second All-Union Festival in Tallinn in 1988.[21] Since 1988 Elena performed together with Vera Evushkina, in the author's duet "VerLen".[22] She is a co-founder and active member of creative group "ASiA", together with Tatiana Aleshina, Alexander Derevyagin and Nicholai Yakimov.[23] She is a member of juries in Russian art song festivals, including Grushinsky festival. During last few years, Elena made a number of tours in trio "Trilogy" with performer of Russian romance Julia Ziganshina and singer-songwriter Elmira Galeeva,[24][25][26]

Since 1989, Elena Frolova worked in Moscow Theatre of Music and Poetry directed by Elena Kamburova. She is a member of Union of Russian Writers. Since 1991, she made many tours with her solo concerts in Russia, Germany, Italy, France, and Israel. Her songs on poems by Russian poets of the Silver Age and her own poetry brought her wide recognition. According to Marina Gershenovich : "The cycle of songs based on poems by Marina Tsvetaeva makes you to believe in the idea of reincarnation. The image of Marina is just as real as your own perception of reality. Coming through the music and voice of Elena, Tsvetaeva rebels, loves, tell prophecies, makes fun, and creates... One can bring back from the death someone he truly loves. Elena Frolova does it with her songs."[27] A documentary about work by Frolova on poetry by Tsvetaeva was created by Irina Roerig[28]

Elena Frolova playing gusli
(Photo by Margarita Kabakova)

In 1996, Elena has mastered a new instrument, gusli, to perform Russian folk and other songs.

Since 2002, she participates in World Music festivals and concerts in Russia, many countries around the Europe, Israel, Argentina, and Mexico. She performed in Théâtre de la Ville, Bienvenue à la Maison des Cultures du Monde and Théâtre des Abbesses in Paris, Teatro de la República in Mexico, as well as in Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels and Antwerp. Since 2008 she has been a regular guest at the Festival of Arts in Naxos.

Frolova took part in the congress "The historical experience of the Soviet Communist totalitarianism: the opposition to Gulag" in Milan in 2003 with the program on poems by Varlam Shalamov. In March 2004, she represented Russia at the First International Festival "Eurasia Diva" in Moscow.[29]

In 2007 she published a book of her poetry, "Song for Eurydice".[30] Frolova also participates in creation of animated movies. She performed romance Don't wake her up at dawn... on words by Afanasy Fet in My Love by Aleksandr Petrov and composed music for animated version of The Legend of Lady Godiva [31]

Poetry[edit]

Elena composed many songs on her own poetry, one of the most popular being A Straw.[32] Many of her poems and songs have strong spiritual and Christian components, such as her Journey into Eden,[33] a song dedicated to Francis of Assisi,[34] and Disciple Day.[35]

Concerts published on YouTube[edit]

Selected discography[edit]

Elena Frolova with gusli
(Photo by Margarita Kabakova)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Spiritual triptych Blessed are the humble in spirit published by Frolova on YouTube: Introduction, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
  2. ^ To Anna Akhmatova, words by Marina Tsvetaeva, music by Frolova
  3. ^ You are neither good nor mean, lyrics my Sophia Parnok, music by Frolova
  4. ^ Sonetik, words by Joseph Brodsky, music by Frolova
  5. ^ Do not complain, my confessions are crude, lyrics by Maria Petrovykh, music by Frolova
  6. ^ The wheel, words by Veniamin Blazhenny, music by Frolova
  7. ^ Blue balloon, song and music by Bulat Okudzhava, arrangement by Frolova
  8. ^ Insomnia, Homer, lyrics by Osip Mandelstam, music by Vitaly Kharisov
  9. ^ The vain lullaby, words by Marina Gershenovich, music by Frolova
  10. ^ "I don't want to forget you...", words by Leonid Gubanov
  11. ^ Love is not an angle, words by Dmitry Strotsev, music by Frolova; White mother, words and music by Dmitry Strotsev
  12. ^ There, text by Tatiana Aleshina, inspired by Sodade
  13. ^ Solar thread of Elena Frolova by Zakhar Prilepin, Novaya gazeta, 07-04-28
  14. ^ Skyphos Songs, sound of reconstructed ancient (500 BCE) angular harp found by archeologists in Altai Mountains: music and songs by Elena Frolova on Ishtar and other "Skyphos poems" by Marina Tsvetaeva
  15. ^ Texts of songs by Frolova (Russian)
  16. ^ The language to express the ineffable. Yelena Frolova at the crossroads of spiritual poetry and art song by Collection, Youth Orthodox missionary and educational magazine
  17. ^ Page of Elena Frolova at website of Theater of Music and Poetry by Elena Kamburova
  18. ^ Singer Elena Frolova: "I took Gusli in my hands after meeting with people of Irkutsk by Irina Zheglova, Komsomolskaya Pravda, 7.02.2010]
  19. ^ Elena Frolova: There are visible and invisible cultures in Russia, by Vera Kopylova, Moskovskij Komsomolets, 15.05.2010.
  20. ^ "I wrote on the slate" by Tsvetaeva
  21. ^ Along the free trace of spring water, by Natalia Savelieva, Truth and Life, a monthly journal, N3, 2002
  22. ^ Little sister, poem by Arseny Tarkovsky, music by Vera Evushkina; Concert with Vera Evushkina in 2011 Part 1, Part 2
  23. ^ Website of project ASIA+
  24. ^ "Enigma", words by Anatoly D'Aktil, music by V.Sidorov, performance by "Trilogy", Frolova, Ziganshina and Galeeva
  25. ^ "What is heart so...", poem by Mikhail Matusovsky, music by Tikhon Khrennikov, performance by "Trilogy", Frolova, Ziganshina and Galeeva
  26. ^ Gazel of Remembrance, poem by Garcia Lorca, music by Vitaly Kharisov, performance by Elena Frolova and Julia Ziganshina
  27. ^ Artistic biography of Frolova
  28. ^ Patriots and poets: Frolova and Tsvetaeva
  29. ^ "Divas of Eurasia". A friendly festival of ethnic culture (Russian), P.Znameny, Literaturnaya Gazeta, №10, 2004
  30. ^ Elena Frolova, "Song for Eurydice" (Russian: Песня для Эвридики), Вита Нова, ISBN 978-5-93898-142-3; 2007
  31. ^ The Legend of Lady Godiva.
  32. ^ A Straw; Do not leave me so fast, When I will tire of life, YouTube records
  33. ^ Journey into Eden №2", YouTube record
  34. ^ "Franciscus Assisiensis", also dedicated to Viktor Luferov, words and music by Frolova
  35. ^ Translation of the song:


    Disciple Day

    My wounded heart will cower,
    Disciple Day will smile,
    Open his palm, uncover
    Heaven promised to us...
    When Holy night`s fallen down,
    As a golden daughter of no one,
    I will roll like a lightsome cloud,
    Learn some thoughts unspoken aloud,
    Reach the border of death and life -
    There`s heaven, to which I strive...
    On the road, leading to heaven
    I will see you and recognize you,
    But will bury my face in hands, -
    Help you leave my soul intact!

    My wounded heart will cower,
    The past will not recover,
    All that has stayed therein,
    Won`t give us a smile, but grin!
    A cliff is beyond the border,
    Nothingness and disorder,
    Only the fault of mine
    Is lapping against the line,
    Only the moon and midnight, -
    And there`s no one to help fight!

    This is the road to Heaven!
    I know it, I know!
    This is the road to life!
    Never say die, but strive...

    My wounded heart will cower,
    Disciple Day will shake up,
    Open his palm, uncover
    Heaven, promised to us.
    And nothing else unfair
    From the past will be there,
    And no one else nearby, -
    Only from under sky
    The sound of crane flock`s crying
    Breaking forth and then dying...

    This is the road to Heaven!
    I know it, I know!
    This is the road to life!
    Never say die, but strive!
     


    Trans. by Tatiana Vlasova

External links[edit]