Suliko (Tsereteli)

This arrangement of Stalin’s favorite song might just become your favorite!

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Suliko (Georgian: სულიკო) is a Georgian female and male name meaning “soul.” Akaki Tsereteli’s poem of the same name was set to music by the poet’s sister Varinka in 1895, the same year the poem was written.

It became famous in Russia during the Soviet era, performed frequently on radio when Joseph Stalin was Premier, because it was thought to be his favorite piece of music.

This arrangement retains the bittersweet quality of the major key melody, in keeping with the lyrics about a man wondering if there will be a time when he can see his deceased soulmate once again, and a nightingale comforts him with words of encouragement. This piece will help students develop a good sense for dynamic shading.

Key: C major

Mood: sweet, sad, a little optimistic

Pedagogy: dynamics, 1st/2nd endings, fermata, ritardando.


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