Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Hobbit Dwarf Song and Russian Choral Music






















In the interview below Richard Armitage talks about how he listened to a lot of Russian choral music to find the sound for Thorin's singing and for the sound he wanted for Misty Mountains Cold. 




I have no special knowledge of Russian choral music,  but Richard's answer reminded me of all the times in my childhood and youth that I went with my family to listen to the Russian Red Army Choir sing. Does the Russian Army still sing and have a choir?  

I was happy to find that YouTube had vids of the Russian Red Army Choir singing and below two songs that were my favorite and they always sang in their concerts. To me they fit what Richard was referring to in the interview.








While on YouTube I thought I would search for more Russian choral singing and here are two that I thought the dwarves would feel are kindred singers.








Update 1/27/13- Thanks to inspiration by my friend Dezmond's comments below, I looked for and found a video of 
Serbian Orthodox Church Music:









 Now for our own beautiful basso



 Thorin (Richard Armitage) and the Dwarves (the charming Hobbit cast) sing Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold 





11 comments:

  1. I'll admit to coming late to the party. Was that part about going to see the Red Army Choir explained in an earlier post?

    Russian sacred music is wonderful so I hope that was what Richard was listening to. Not that Russsian secular music is bad, just that the sacred is my preference.

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    1. Hello Kathie,

      Do I really need to explain why I'm familiar with Red Army Choir music? LOL! I don't think it has to do with why RA listened to Russian choral music :) though I find it very interesting that he did mention it. I would have hoped for more discussion with him about it, but of course there's hardly ever a follow up in any of these interviews. Going to see the Red Army Choir was part of my childhood/youth,my mother liked their music, so I went with her to see them for years. RA just triggered a memory that's all.

      I'm glad you said that about Russian sacred music, because I'm not that familiar with it, but listening to some, a bit, when I thought about this post, I do think it is beautiful and haunting.

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  2. it's similar to male choir singing in Serbian Orthodox churches too :)

    You know, I actually know the words to KALINKA and many other Russian songs and I can sing them too :P

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  3. I always liked Kalinka the best, still do. Need to explore choral music more, now that I'm inspired by RA. Will search for Serbian Orthodox church choir music.

    How wonderful that you can sing, I can't carry a tune at all.

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    1. I can sing them, but that doesn't mean I'm pleasant to listen to :P I'm actually extremely quiet and when I worked as a professor my students had problems actually hearing my Elven voice :)

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  4. Very interesting post! I'm really enjoying this music. It sounds quite familiar to me, but I've no idea where I might have heard it before.
    Once more I am so impressed with the amount of research RA puts into his roles. I idea of him experimenting with his voice so it would resonate in his belly is such a wonderful thing to imagine!
    I'm glad this brought back happy memories of time spent with your mother. :)

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    1. So glad you liked it and enjoyed the music. Do hope there's more singing in the next two films.

      I too love that he's so dedicated to his work and is willing to share with all of us some of his research and his process.

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  5. Wonderful post and examples. We in our (at that time only girls school-)choir once met up with a Russian Orthodox male choir visiting our town. Both choirs were to sing in a small, should I rather say tiny, little chapel.
    After the male choir started, I must admit, I am glad the more than 500 year old chapel still is standing. They were devastating, the emotionality of their singing so gripping, very similar to what RA did with his voice. You can't draw back, the singing just grips you totally.
    It still fascinates me, how much RA could embrace and assimilate that gripping way of singing and still developing his own very special style.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked my post :)
      Thank you for your wonderful story about the male choir and the old chapel. There is something ancient yet seductive about the voices. That RA was influenced in part by this in developing the singing voice for Thorin is fascinating as you say. I do hope for more singing in the next film, especially from Thorin.

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  6. for you

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSQwShYvAEE

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    1. This is beautiful - thank you for thinking of me and sharing.

      I don't know the correct terminology, but love the layering of the voices, and the deep bass voices that seem to be in the background, yet so dramatic. Also beautiful image.

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