Happy feast of Saint Nicholas (on the old calendar, today is the sixth of December)!
The Saint Nicholas Center mentions that, among many other things, Nicholas is one of the patron saints of soldiers. He is also one of the patrons of Moscow. So, allow me quite tangentially to celebrate his feast day by presenting you Lermontov’s “Бородино,” sung at Duke University by the alumni of the Yale Russian Chorus.
I do not know where Russian soldiers found the tune to which they sang Lermontov’s poem, but it works well. The Russians can sing. I wonder if such was true before they converted. Were they musical pagans, as I imagine the Irish to have been?
Indulging in my Russophilia, I also present Bondarchuk’s War and Peace (Война и мир). My brother Adam should appreciate the indirect homage to his favorite writer. Bondarchuk’s film is evidently the most expensive film ever to be made, at seven hundred million of today’s dollars. That makes Avatar look reasonably priced.
Enjoy Saint Nicholas’ Day!