Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Analect 2.702x

21 April 2010. Gray morning, some rain... Old Chinese pines off Moeser--now gone...

Mark Bernes, his strong face, close cropped Soviet hair, brushed down a little over the forehead. Singing to a Russian woman, blond, just alongside--the camera holds on her impassive face, questioning eyes... Shalandy polnye kefali... The Black Sea skiffs are filled with gray mullet... Much too prosaic in English, where the Russian has all the lilt that arrives with years of inhabiting and enjoying a particular place. Lore of Odessa...the shifting tones...

Ya vam ne skazhu za vsyu Odessu
Vsya Odessa ochen' velika (here the tone modulates up a half step)
No i Moldavanka u Peresyp' (back to the minor)
Obozhayut Kostyu-moryaka... (and then the major again...)

I won't tell to you about all Odessa
For all of Odessa is surely very grand
But in the Moldavanka and Peresyp'
All adore Kostya the fisherman...

* * *

(Shalandy with Mark Bernes singing, 1939)

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