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Composer Arkady Ostrovsky: “You can’t become a famous artist if your last name is Kobzon!”

Date: April 20, 2024 Time: 06:20:37

The 60s were the heyday of Arkady Ostrovsky.

Photo: TASS photo chronicle.


Arkady Ostrovsky’s father was a tuner of musical instruments and had the absolute tone necessary for this job. Which his son inherited: since he was little, following his father’s work, he guessed and named all the notes. At the age of five, he was surprised by the performance of a symphony orchestra that came to Syzran on tour (Arkady could only see the conductor from the hall and decided that he himself was using a baton to extract sounds from the air). . When the boy was seven years old, they began to teach him to play the piano. Then his mother got sick and the family moved to relatives in Leningrad (there were better doctors); There was little money and the young pianist had to study to be a blacksmith (!). But he couldn’t stand it for long and at the age of 16 he entered the Central School of Music.

In his youth he worked in many musical groups, traveled around the USSR with concerts and then, by chance, on a train, he met the jazz director Leonid Utesov. Arkady and his wife were returning from the south, where they had not paid him anything for the concert. There was no money even for food. The traveling companion fed them and left them some bills, Arkady played him some accordion on the way and a few days later he was assigned to Utesov as accordionist and second pianist.

For the 26-year-old musician it was a great success: Utesov was a superstar in those years. And Ostrovsky worked in his jazz orchestra for seven years, during the war he traveled to the fronts and gave concerts in front of the soldiers. And when the musicians were in the capital, they lived in the Moscow hotel. And in general, Utesov’s conditions were very comfortable: money, success, employment… But Ostrovsky felt overwhelmed by this comfort and decided to say goodbye to the jazz orchestra.

His son recalled: “It was a painful departure. There was no confidence in the success of an independent life as a composer with free bread. This is what he wrote to his mother; this letter was miraculously preserved: “They love me in the orchestra, they appreciate me, I have a good position, a solid income, in the end, this is our best orchestra and Utesov is Utesov!!! I am a pianist, accordionist, conductor, orchestra, I write fantasies, Utesov sings my songs: what else is needed, why should I go somewhere? I’m not a composer yet, what will we eat and drink, where will we be. do we live? And why can’t you continue writing songs with Utesov; By the way, he won’t let me go.”

However, Arkady Ilyich’s wife insisted: we must leave, even if it is nowhere. Because in a jazz orchestra there are no perspectives. Utesov was tearing and pulling, not wanting to let Ostrovsky go. Then when he left, he offered to come back. But it’s already too late: Arkady Ilyich had already written the composition “Over the Great River” and the song “Komsomol Members – Restless Hearts”, which won the competition for the best song about the Komsomol, held on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Komsomol . He was accepted into the Composers Union. And Utesov, many years later, calmly stated that he himself “showed Ostrovsky the way”, offered to go on a solo journey and “gave it to everyone” as a composer.

Composer Arkadi Ostrovsky


Ostrovsky was always jealous of his songs. Once she and composer Mark Fradkin were on vacation in Crimea, in different sanatoriums. Fradkin invited a friend to visit him. He and his wife went to see him on a boat. And he arrived unusually somber. Fradkin recalled: “I ask, “Arkasha, what’s wrong, what happened?” – “You understand, Matilda and I got on the boat, sailed, they turned on the speaker and all the way, only your Morse code and not a single song of mine.” He was offended and upset absolutely like a child. We barely consoled him and dinner helped. “That’s what he was all about.”

However, Ostrovsky did not have to worry too much: he wrote enough hits. In the early 60s, the whole country listened to the song cycle “And in our patio” (the first song, “And there is a girl in our patio”, was followed by several “sequels”: “And again in the patio”. , “I’ll wait for you”) ”, “Here is this patio again”, “Childhood has gone into the distance”…) It was like a dialogue between a young man and a girl in love, and Maya Kristalinskaya sang for the girl and Joseph Kobzon sang for the young man, for whom Ostrovsky on stage became his “godfather.”

As a student at the Gnessin school, the young singer really wanted to meet the already famous composer and called him at home: “Vocalist Kobzon is bothering him!” Ostrovsky’s wife, Matilda Efimovna, fought the young talent in every possible way, but in the end she got tired and called her husband on the phone… And as a result, she gave Kobzon and his friend, singer Viktor Kokhno , the song “Guys”.

And then Joseph Davydovich recalled: “Arkady Ilyich Ostrovsky first took me to the stage of the Hall of Columns and announced: “And now my songs will be performed by young and talented artists, but not yet, but by students of Gnessin. Viktor Kokhno and Yuri Zlatov Institute. I look at the stage and I don’t understand what to do. Ostrovsky correctly announced Victor Kokhno, but he forgot my name or confused me with someone else. And he shows, they say, why you are frozen: he goes on stage. We went out. The singing. Backstage I approached the composer: “Arkady Ilyich, have you forgotten my last name?” – “What are you talking about! I congratulate you! I just thought of a nickname for you. You will be Yuri Zlatov.” – “Arkady Ilyich, this is not fair. How can I look my mother in the eyes? And How can I tell him that you changed the name he gave me at birth? – “You’re taking a risk. With this name you will never be a famous artist. Never!…”But Kobzon did not give up and kept his surname.

Another hit for Ostrovsky was the song “Tired Toys Are Sleeping”, which since 1964 has been heard in all episodes of the program “Good night, children.” The text was written by actress Zoya Petrova, who did not consider herself a professional poet, but she wrote excellent poems in her free time. Ostrovsky was a friend of hers and offered to write some lines for a children’s program (he composed the melody literally in five minutes, in a hurry). In the 80s, Petrova added another verse to the text: “In a fairy tale you can travel on the moon…”, because director Alexander Tatarsky made an animated plasticine screensaver for the show, and it turned out to be too long. .

The 60s were the heyday of Arkady Ostrovsky. “May there always be sun”, “The song remains in the man”, “How do they say goodbye to the steamboats? They are nothing like trains…” (the composer himself added to Konstantin Vanshenkin’s text the refrain “Water, water, water everywhere”, after which Vanshenkin said: “The poems of this song are mine and the water is Ostrovsky’s!” Finally, he wrote for Eduard Gil’s vocalization “I’m very happy, because I’m finally coming home”, which several decades later thundered on the Internet as “Trololo”.

In 1967, he also wrote the song “Give me a moonstone, give me moonlight” for Khil, which became one of his last hits. As his son, Mikhail Ostrovsky, wrote, in the 60s Arkady Ilyich lived to the nines. “As he told me later [композитор Серафим] Tulikov: “Arkasha had no self-preservation instinct.” My father’s popularity grew. The phone was ringing non-stop. Excursions. Concerts. Radio. One TV. My father had difficulty reaching the piano. And all this in the context of a growing illness that my father did not want to notice…”

Arkady Ilyich suffered from a stomach ulcer, but, despite the aggravation, he decided to go to Sochi for the Red Carnation festival (after all, this festival is named after his song!) And in Sochi the ulcer pierced, causing an internal bleeding. Local doctors tried to save him and a team from the capital came to his aid. But they didn’t have time to save. Arkady Ostrovsky died on September 18, 1967, at the age of only 53 years.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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