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Russian Varganist Aleksandr Danilov (1950-1999)

         Uprising of the Pokrovskiy's band in1973 influenced development of interest to folk music in our country fundamentally. The talented and extraordinary leader creating his own band managed to combine the efforts of folklore researchers and of young talented singers. Aleksandr Danilov was one of them.
         In course of time Aleksandr Danilov grasped a new instrument for him - the vargan. And he learned to play it highly-skilled. His rousing improvisations got a great tornado of applause. And they stuck in memory of many people who visited the concerts of this band in 70s and 80s, and it caused increase of popularity of this instrument. Despite the fact that the Pokrovskiy's band always carried out experiments courageously and related to folk music like to alive music, they based their own musical material only on thorough examination of folkloristic tradition. That is why the Danilov's vargan style of play can be considered as an authorial reconstruction of the Russian style.
         Well the national belonging of his music can be easily determined if to listen to the track №14 of the album "Faces of Russia" (it is noted 00060 14)

          Played A.Danilov. 1988г.

         Now there are controversies between vargan lovers about creation or reconstruction of national play this instrument. The present folk tunes are an excellent basis for starting this work. As far as I know there are no earlier recordings of Russian varganists. An archived videorecording of the A.Danilov's play in 1997.

         Thanks a lot to Maria Nefyodova, the musical chief of the Pokrovskiy's band who conveyed photos, video and information about А. Danilov. Individual thanks to Aksentiy Beskrovniy for help in в material determination.

© Vladimir Markov 2009, this article translated by Natalia Ivanitsa