Popularity on a high

Belarusian Pesnyary gives concert at Minsk’s Concert Hall on Friday 13th, for second year in a row
Belarusian Pesnyary gives concert at Minsk’s Concert Hall on Friday 13th, for second year in a row

Defying superstition, the band held their recent concert on the inauspicious date. In fact, it’s likely that they didn’t even notice the incidence. Before the show, Vladislav Misevich admitted, “It’s more important for us that the concert is taking place. Some time ago, we made a decision to perform once every two years. In 2014, we gave a large solo concert dedicated to the 45th anniversary of Pesnyary’s foundation. However, our fans have been insistent, for which we’re very thankful. At their request, we again decided to give a concert — presenting a new programme.”

Interestingly, the musicians chose not to devote their concert to a certain event, rather agreeing to perform in a relaxed atmosphere. Endless congratulation messages were replaced by warm dialogue and recollections of past times. Importantly, kind friends were invited: fans and colleagues who have helped Belarusian Pesnyary experience their second youth and artistic revival.

Valery Daineko 

The musicians never stop surprising their fans, despite gathering representatives of various generations to their concerts for many years. Some come to recollect their happy past and others attend to simply hear the band’s repertoire. This time, one of the most popular Belarusian ensembles shared the stage with friends: artistes from the Spamash Producer Centre — Alexey Gross and Alena Lanskaya, in addition to saxophone player Vitaly Yamuteev and the choir of Minsk’s Seminary — led by Protodeacan Andrey Skrobota. Vladislav Misevich and Alexander Katikov personally visited rehearsals by seminary pupils in Zhirovichi, several days before their performance. Vladislav admitted that he was delighted by what he’d observed.

The musicians’ choice of invited guests was wonderful, with audiences applauding ardently after just two songs; those present did not wish to part with the young singers. Honoured Artiste Alena Lanskaya received fans’ approval also. Speaking after the performance, she noted, “In childhood, I hardly dreamt that I’d perform alongside Daineko, Penya or Misevich. Kupalle Summer Night and Red Rose were often heard at home; I grew up to their accompaniment. Today, my dream has come true. I hope this won’t be our last experiment.”

Alena Lanskaya shares that it’s been her long held dream to perform alongside Belarusian Pesnyary

Belarusian Pesnyary aren’t making any promises for future performances. As Mr. Misevich explains, they’d rather not repeat a programme. He says. “Last year, we realised Vladimir Mulyavin’s dream of preparing a major concert programme, with an orchestra. This time, we invited our talented younger colleagues. Next time, we’ll offer something new.”

Some time ago, Belarusian Pesnyary were rare guests to Minsk, performing only every few years. The situation has changed now, as you’ve been giving concerts in Belarus more often. Why is this? 

In truth, the financial crisis in Russia affected our concert activity, just as it has other artists, including those abroad. Look at how many Russian singers have come to Belarus in concert recently, thanks to our improved climate and eager audiences. Our popularity in Belarus remains high — much owing to our fans. We’ve retained the same ‘face’ for 45 years, and have a great repertoire. Moreover, we’re more than simply acting the part of ‘pesnyars’ (singers): it’s our whole being. This may account for our band’s success.

Vladislav Misevich

Your programme included not only golden hits but new compositions. Belarusian Pesnyary seems to be on a high. 

I’d like to think so. The public has accepted our new song warmly but we know that most people attend our concerts to hear Mulyavin’s legacy. We’ve preserved the charm of Mulyavin’s time while attempting to offer fresh ideas. As you see, we’re a success! We still enjoy popularity and love. What else could an artiste desire? 

By Yuliana Leonovich

Photo: Pavel Chuiko
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