“Why do you wander, restless?
Why stare, unable to breathe?
Surely you understand, our two
Souls have been welded as one.”
Anna Akhmatova would write these lines in 1921 after the death of Nikolay Gumilyov. Today, we remember the tragic events of a hundred years ago, which radically changed the life of Russia and the world. However, not only in revolutionary battles and political upheavals that the tables of history stand frozen. The life and destiny, love and inspiration of artists who came to the world in “its fatal moments” — that’s what, first of all, remain in the memory of generations and shakes the souls of descendants, distant and close…
Anna Akhmatova and Nikolay Gumilyov … The history of their union and love, full of suffering and self-denial, brief moments of happiness and long, painful disappointments. Perhaps, the tragedy of Russia at the turn of the 20th century is reflected in this fatal novel like in no other novel.
“But we are remembering so far
Though might leave behind and deny
The time we kept love in the heart,
When we had been able to fly”
For many years, the painfully impressionable young man sought to obtain the reciprocity of this cold beauty “from another world”, although his image sank deep into her heart in the first years of acquaintance… He proposed marriage to her three times but painfully experienced rejections, which led him contemplate committing suicide… Finally, consent, hopes for a fusion of souls — and a deep disappointment with routine everyday life… Both experienced turbulent romances and returned to each other as repentant sinners; but the war and the revolution seemed to break through an unbreakable gap in the fragile alliance of the two poets. They parted ways in 1918. “To you my feelings will stay warm,
For letting a stranger into your home”, — Akhmatova would write, while parting ways with her husband. However, when Gumilyov was arrested and executed on false denunciation, he would forever occupy a place in her heart. Her long life full of rigorous tests, Akhmatova kept Gumilyov’s archive, called herself his widow.
“Let love become the gravestone
That lies upon my life…”
This evening, the poems of Anna Akhmatova and Nikolay Gumilyov will be accompanied by the works of Andrei Eshpai, one of the greatest masters of Russian music of the 20th century. Died in 2015, Andrei Eshpai was the author of numerous romances and pop songs for poems of poets of the 20th century. However, he first of all entered the history of music as a symphonist, an author of orchestral and concert compositions. It is Andrei Eshpai’s symphonic music transcribed for piano four hands that will be heard in this musical-poetic evening.
Performing Andrei Eshpai’s works will be winners of international competitions — Ksenia Bashmet and the composer’s granddaughter, Maria Eshpai. The poems of Anna Akhmatova and Nikolai Gumilyov will be performed by Yevgeniya Simonova, an outstanding theatre and film actress, winner of the USSR State Prize, and the People’s Artist of Russia.
YEVGENIYA SIMONOVA — artistic expression
MARIA ESHPAI — piano
KSENIA BASHMET — piano