Heart on Snow

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Heart on Snow
Marc almond heart on snow album cover.jpg
Studio album by Marc Almond
Released 21 October 2003
Recorded PSG Melodia (St Petersburg), Mosfilm (Moscow), SBN Recordings (Moscow), Mute Studios (London)
Genre Russian traditional music, Russian romance
Length 67:46
Label Blue Star Music / XIII BIS Records
Producer Andrei Samsonov
Marc Almond chronology
Stranger Things
(2001)Stranger Things2001
Heart on Snow
(2003)
Stardom Road
(2007)Stardom Road2007
Singles from Heart on Snow
  1. ""Gone But Not Forgotten" b/w "Gosudariunia" & "Just One Chance""
    Released: September 2003

Heart on Snow is the twelfth solo studio album by the British singer/songwriter Marc Almond. It was released by Blue Star Music, in conjunction with XIII BIS Records, on 21 October 2003.

Background[edit]

An article by the BBC describes how Almond "went to St Petersburg to interpret traditional Russian romance songs" to make what "may have become his most ambitious album so far".[1] Almond mostly sang cover versions of traditional Russian songs, including a number from the Russian romance canon, and collaborated with a number of Russian artists on the album, such as Alla Bayanova and Lyudmila Zykina.

The album was released as a standard jewel case CD and a limited edition CD book in a slipcase containing a 44-page book with extensive background notes to all of the songs.

The single "Gone But Not Forgotten" was released from the album in September 2003 with two tracks ("Gosudaryunia" and "Just One Chance") and the video for the title track.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Uncut3/5 stars[2]
The Guardian2/5 stars[3]

Reviews for Heart on Snow were mixed. Dorian Lynskey in The Guardian describes Heart on Snow as "a labour of love for which it's hard to feel much affection" and as lacking "the sly humour of Soft Cell and his best solo work" yet admires the "boldness and integrity in making an album that only uses Russian musicians".[3] The review in Uncut states that Almond keeps his versions of the material "respectful which, despite the lack of Russian wildness, makes it (Heart on Snow) all the more moving".[2] Paul Taylor in the Manchester Evening News describes the album as "a cunning mixture of smooth, westernised productions and balalaika-plucking, raw Russky folk stylings" and states that "anyone remotely broad-minded about their music would find this a joy".[4]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)OriginsLength
1."So Long the Path (So Wide the Field)"Marc Almond, Lev Knipper, Viktor Gusevbased on Polyushko-polye3:12
2."Strange Feeling" (duet with Sergey Penkin)Alex Prusovoriginally performed by Sergey Penkin3:42
3."Gosudaryunia" (featuring Aquarium)Boris Grebenshchikovoriginally performed by Aquarium3:05
4."Always and Everywhere (I Will Follow You)"Sofus Gerdeloriginally performed by Vadim Kozin3:40
5."Oh, My Soul" (duet with Alla Bayanova)trad.traditional3:31
6."Two Guitars" (with Loiko)Apollon Grigoryev, Ivan Vasilievtraditional3:32
7."Heart on Snow" (with 'Russia' orchestra)Arno Babajanian, Aleksandr Dmokhovskijoriginally performed by Arno Babajanian4:03
8."Nuit De Noel" (with Boris Grebenschikov)Alexander Vertinskyoriginally performed by Alexander Vertinsky2:53
9."Romance"Nikolai Noskov, Nikolay Gumilyovoriginally performed by Nikolay Gumilyov4:59
10."The Storks"Yan Frenkel, Rasul Gamzatovoriginally Zhuravli (The Cranes)3:53
11."Luna (The Moon)" (duet with Alla Bayanova)Bayanova, Tatyana Flaviskayaoriginally performed by Alla Bayanova2:01
12."White Flowers of Acacia"trad., A PugachevRussian romance song2:33
13."The Glance of Your Dark Eyes" (featuring Mikhail Aptekman)Nikolai Zubov, I ZhelezkoRussian romance song3:48
14."If Your Affectionate Smile Has Gone" (duet with Ilya Lagutenko)Vasily Lebedev-Kumachoriginally performed by V Kozin4:11
15."Sleeping Beauty"Andrei Samsonov, Almond 3:59
16."Just One Chance" (duet with Lyudmila Zykina)Boris Fomin, Pedro Saint GermanRussian romance song4:22
17."Gone But Not Forgotten"Almond, Martin Watkins 4:29
18."So Wide The Field (Reprise)" (featuring Mikhail Aptekman)Almond, Knipper, Gusevbased on Polyushko-polye1:38
19."The Glance of Your Dark Eyes (version 2)" (featuring Mikhail Aptekman)Nikolai Zubov, I ZhelezkoRussian romance song4:15

Note – there is a discrepancy with the titles of tracks 13 and 19 between the liner notes, "Glance From Your Dark Eyes"; and the track listing, "The Glance of Your Dark Eyes".

Personnel[edit]

In addition to artists credited in the track listing:

  • Marc Almond – vocals, translation adaptation
  • Martin Watkins – piano, original keyboards, arrangements
  • Andrei Samsonov – keyboards
  • Oleg Belov – keyboards, grand piano
  • Mikhail Aptekman – grand piano
  • Sergey Erdenko – violin
  • Georgij Osmolovskij – violin
  • Aliosha Bezlepkin – guitar
  • Vladimir Kudryavtsev – double bass
  • Grigory Voskoboynikov – double bass
  • Albert Potapkin – drums
  • Garij Bagdasaryan – drums
  • Oleg Sakmarov – flute
  • Andrej Vikharev – percussion
  • Sergej Shurakov – accordion
  • Kirill Kravtsov – cello
  • Alexandre Kiahidi – trumpet
  • Dmitrij Kuzmin – tuba
  • Karin Brown – French horn
  • Viktor Bastrakov – guitar
  • Maria Shurakova – mandolin
  • Vladimir Miller – bass vocal
  • Anatoli Sobolev – conductor
  • The St Petersburg Higher Naval Engineering Choir – choir
  • Gardemarin Youth Choir – choir
  • Julia Khutoretskaya – choir leader

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tim Bishop (5 November 2003). "Torch singer Almond lights up Russia". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Marc Almond – Heart on Snow". Uncut. 1 December 2001. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Dorian Lynskey (5 December 2011). "Marc Almond, Heart on Snow". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Paul Taylor (12 August 2004). "Marc Almond – Heart on Snow". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 1 April 2015.