The story of one masterpiece. Romance by Vadim Kozin "Autumn. A Serene morning"

There is a unique chamber genre in musical art – a romance, which became very popular from the moment of its appearance. It reflected all significant processes taking place in the life of society. Nowadays, nobody can answer the question of when "romance" came to Russia. Nevertheless, musicologists assume that it happened in the second half of the 18th century. It is reliably known that romance came to our country from France, since originally the term "romance" referred to a vocal work with lyrical content written to a poetic text in French. Having taken root on the fertile soil "romance" began to merge quickly with the  Russian culture, and soon this name was given to lyrical, sensual, love songs that were created not only by professional composers, but by amateur musicians as well. Along with the classical romance, which was divided into various genre versions – elegies, ballads and gondola songs (barcarolles); romannce varieties, such as urban (household), "cruel" and gypsy, Cossack and White Guard, actors’ and salon, ironic romances and romance-response developed in Russia, the country with its own flourishing subculture.

Romances became most popular in the first quarter of the 20th century. After the October Revolution, they were banned in Russia and later in the USSR they were suppressed as works alien to the proletarian ideology, they were assumed as relics of the past. Famous performers of romances were persecuted and even repressed. The gradual justification and revival of a romance began in the years of the Great Patriotic War, but an upsurge of the genre was observed in the 1970s.

Today in the section "The Story of a Masterpiece" we will talk about the romance "Autumn. A Serene Morning."

A digitised recording of this romance composed by Vadim Kozin in creative alliance with the talented singer and poetess, author of many songs, Elizaveta Belogorskaya, is posted in the museum Sound Library. The romance is performed by the author.

Vadim Kozin was a talented Soviet singer and composer who experienced both – peaks of fame and a long period of oblivion in his creative career, and the rough post-war years of imprisonment, but he always remained a genuine artist. The melodious romance "Autumn. Serene Morning" in the rhythm of tango was destined to become “carte de visite” for Vadim Kozin. Later, the romance was successfully sung by Tamara Kravtsova, Nani Bregvadze, Alla Bayanova, and Josef Kobzon.

In the autumn of 1936, Vadim Kozin and a group of Moscow artists arrived in Donetsk (then Stalino) on tour and stayed at the  hotel "Donbass". Elizaveta Belogorskaya was among them. She was a well-known pop singer in the 1920-1930s and the author of lyrics to a number of popular songs, including the romance "You are nineteen years old", "Well, smile, my darling", "In the rays of the moon", etc. She was working together with Vadim Kozin in a touring-concert association. Elizaveta was constantly accompanied by the famous pop music composer Boris Fomin. A legend exists that he wrote the romance "Long Way" especially for her. However, there are many gaps in the biography of Elizaveta Belogorskaya – the exact date and place of birth are unknown, there is no information about her parents, personal life, the circumstances of her death in August 1942, in the occupied Kislovodsk, are rather vague.

In one of his latest television interviews, Vadim Kozin mentioned that on that very tour, Elizaveta Belogorskaya came to his hotel room in "Donbass" hotel and recited a poem "Autumn" that she had just wrote. Kozin immediately picked up the tune on the piano. A few days later, at one of the concerts, the romance "Autumn"  premiered. It became a part of the musical cycle composed by Vadim Kozin "Seasons"*. Three years later, in 1939, it was recorded on a gramophone record and immediately became popular. 

Autumn, a serene morning,
The sky is like a mist,
The distance of pearlescent tones,
The early cold sun.

Where is our first meeting?
Bright, sharp, secret,
On that memorable summer evening,
Sweetheart, as if by chance.

 Don't go away, I beg you,
I'll repeat the words of my love
Let autumn be at the door, I know it,
But don't go away, I tell you.

Our corner is never too small
When you're in it, spring blooms in it.

On the cover: Vase with the image of autumn landscape. Daum Freres manufactory. France, Nancy. 1900-1907


*V.Kozin composed a cycle of romances "Seasons" IN 1936Winter ("I saw you for the first time"), Spring ("Forgotten Tango"), Summer ("Your Name Breathes"), Autumn ("A Serene Morning")


Savchenko B. A. idols of forgotten pop music. - Moscow: Knowleddge, 1992