• Clare Burgess

Strannik in Concert, Duns Tew

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

When Tatiana Soloviova contacted Stephanie in November last year to ask if her Folk Band could play for us in the church, little did we imagine we would be trying to restrict the audience and ask them all to wear masks!

Willing to play to just a handful of people, our concert went ahead on Saturday night, amid the now familiar hand sanitisers and NHS QR code posters. But all those concerns quickly receded as the beautiful singing and playing of Tatiana, and Jon Bennett (Moonrakers), transported us to Russia, Mexico, Italy, England and the States - very appropriate as ‘Strannik’ means wayfarer in Russian.

In addition to some unfamiliar tunes (and some definitely unfamiliar Russian lyrics), Strannik treated us to some well-known numbers, such as Mary Hopkin’s 1968 hit ‘Those were the Days, my Friends’, which we learned was originally a Russian romance song, ‘By the Long Road' and this was sung in Russian for us. Another surprise was that Pete Seeger’s ‘Where have all the Flowers Gone’ was based on words spoken by a group of Cossack girls in the novel ‘And Quiet Flows the Don’ by Mikhail Sholokhov, which Seeger was reading in 1955. Tatiana and Jon arranged Seeger’s tune to fit the original Russian words. Other highlights included ‘Tumbalalaika’ and ‘Kalinka’.

The evening was an uplifting pilgrimage through time and lands - beautiful music, beautifully sung and played, and allowed us to be re-acquainted with the good things of life.

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Write to us:    The Reverend Jane Wright, The Rectory, 29 Enstone Rd, Westcote Barton, Chipping Norton OX7 7AA

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