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Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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Shest Romansov 'Six Romances', Op 25
Gavorit sultansha kanareyka 'The sultana speaks to a canary'
Govorit sultansha kanareyke: “Ptichka! luchshe v tereme vïsokom Shebetat i pesni pet Zuleyke, Chem porkhat na Zapade dalekom?
Spoy zhe mne pro zamore, pevichka, Spoy zhe mne pro Zapad, neposedka! Est li tam takoye nebo, ptichka, Est li tam takoy garem i kletka? U kovo tam stolko roz bïvalo? U kovo iz shakhov est Zuleyka, I podnyat li tak ey pokrïvalo?”
Ey v otvet shchebechet kanareyka: “Ne prosi s menya zamorskikh pesen, Ne budi toski moyey bez nuzhdï: Tvoy garem po nashim pesnyam tesen, I slova ikh odaliskam chuzhdï … Tï v lenivoy dryome rastsvetala, Kak i vsya krugom tebya priroda, I ne znayesh, dazhe ne slïkhala, Shto u pesni est sestra—svoboda.”
Lev Mey (1822-1862)
The sultana speaks to a canary: ‘Little bird, is it better to be in a high tower Chirping and singing to Zuleika, Or to fly about in the distances to the west?
Sing to me of lands beyond the sea, Sing to me of the West, restless little singer. Are the skies the same, little bird? Are there the same harems and cages? Who there has so many roses? What Shah has a lover like Zuleika, And is she also closely guarded?’
The canary chirps in reply: ‘Do not ask me to sing of lands beyond the sea, Do not raise hopeless longings in me. Your harem is full of our songs But their words are strange to the odalisques … You blossom in easy languour Like all the nature around you, And you do not know, you have never heard That singing has a sister: freedom.’