Full Recording

“And suddenly came a man who proved with his songs that everything our people talk about in kitchens, in a narrow circle or think about during insomnia–that all is the very most important…” Fazil Iskander

This is an unabridged recording of Bulat Okudzhava’s performance in UC Berkeley’s Wheeler Hall on March 14, 1979. Okudzhava was introduced by Simon Karlinsky, a professor in the Berkeley Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Karlinsky describes Okudzhava as “the earliest and still the best of the new Soviet bards,” and locates Okudzhava’s poetry within a tradition “as old as the Greek rhapsodes and French troubadours, and…as new as the recordings of Bob Dylan and Patti Smith.” Okudzhava begins with a discussion of his creative development, from his initial decision to recite poetry to guitar accompaniment 20 years earlier, to his more recent transition to prose works. The concert itself consists of eleven individual songs and poems, with brief commentary preceding or following each one. To jump to specific poems or points in the performance, please adjust to the appropriate time, as listed below the video.

  • 0:00 Introduction by Simon Karlinsky
  • 2:05 General remarks by Okudzhava
  • 11:40 Приезжая семья фотографируется у памятника Пушкину (A Family is Photographed at the Monument to Pushkin)
  • 14:00 Полночный троллейбус (The Midnight Trolleybus)
  • 17:15 Песенка о солдатских сапогах (Song about the Soldiers’ Boots)
  • 19:34 Как научиться рисовать (Learning to Paint)
  • 21:52 Дальняя дорога (The Long Road)
  • 26:10 Я пишу исторический роман – В. Аксенову (I am Writing a Historical Novel)
  • 29:50 Прощание с осенью (Farewell to Autumn)
  • 31:47 Песенка о Моцарте (Song about Mozart)
  • 37:07 Капли датского короля (The Danish King’s Elixir)
  • 39:50 Песенка о Леньке Королеве (The Little Song about Len’ka Korolev)
  • 42:18 Бумажный солдат (The Paper Soldier)
  • 43:55 Я пишу исторический роман – В. Аксенову (I am Writing a Historical Novel)