The Inevitability of Change: Sambar.


This story starts with a song so well known around the world that even Cynthia Lennon, John Lennon’s first wife, made a recording of it.

Very few people know, however, that it was written in 1926 for a famous Russian emigre artist Alexander Vertinsky, “the Black Pierrot,” as his stage persona was known, a melancholy balladeer of the times gone but not forgotten. After the revolution that forced the upper classes of Russian society into exile, Vertinsky followed his audience, eventually earning fame in Paris. Plagued by nostalgia, the celebrated “bard of the exile” accepted Stalin’s invitation to return and came back to Russia in 1943. Even though he was allowed to perform and even record some of his songs, he remained a shady, half-legal, not exactly trusted by communists individual. Most certainly, those of his ballads that had been written and performed while in exile were considered forbidden subversive…

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