Heart on Snow

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Heart on Snow
File: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

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

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Uncut 3/5 stars[2]
The Guardian 2/5 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

No. Title Writer(s) Origins Length
1. "So Long the Path (So Wide the Field)"   Marc Almond, Lev Knipper, Viktor Gusev based on Polyushko-polye 3:12
2. "Strange Feeling" (duet with Sergey Penkin) Alex Prusov originally performed by Sergey Penkin 3:42
3. "Gosudaryunia" (featuring Aquarium) Boris Grebenshchikov originally performed by Aquarium 3:05
4. "Always and Everywhere (I Will Follow You)"   Sofus Gerdel originally performed by Vadim Kozin 3:40
5. "Oh, My Soul" (duet with Alla Bayanova) trad. traditional 3:31
6. "Two Guitars" (with Loiko) Apollon Grigoryev, Ivan Vasiliev traditional 3:32
7. "Heart on Snow" (with 'Russia' orchestra) Arno Babajanian, Aleksandr Dmokhovskij originally performed by Arno Babajanian 4:03
8. "Nuit De Noel" (with Boris Grebenschikov) Alexander Vertinsky originally performed by Alexander Vertinsky 2:53
9. "Romance"   Nikolai Noskov, Nikolay Gumilyov originally performed by Nikolay Gumilyov 4:59
10. "The Storks"   Yan Frenkel, Rasul Gamzatov originally Zhuravli (The Cranes) 3:53
11. "Luna (The Moon)" (duet with Alla Bayanova) Bayanova, Tatyana Flaviskaya originally performed by Alla Bayanova 2:01
12. "White Flowers of Acacia"   trad., A Pugachev Russian romance song 2:33
13. "The Glance Of Your Dark Eyes" (featuring Mikhail Aptekman) Nikolai Zubov, I Zhelezko Russian romance song 3:48
14. "If Your Affectionate Smile Has Gone" (duet with Ilya Lagutenko) Vasily Lebedev-Kumach originally performed by V Kozin 4:11
15. "Sleeping Beauty"   Andrei Samsonov, Almond   3:59
16. "Just One Chance" (duet with Lyudmila Zykina) Boris Fomin, Pedro Saint German Russian romance song 4:22
17. "Gone But Not Forgotten"   Almond, Martin Watkins   4:29
18. "So Wide The Field (Reprise)" (featuring Mikhail Aptekman) Almond, Knipper, Gusev based on Polyushko-polye 1:38
19. "The Glance Of Your Dark Eyes (version 2)" (featuring Mikhail Aptekman) Nikolai Zubov, I Zhelezko Russian romance song 4:15

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

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

  1. Tim Bishop (5 November 2003). "Torch singer Almond lights up Russia". BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Marc Almond - Heart on Snow". Uncut. 1 December 2001. Retrieved 1 April 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 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.