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Home » Style » Folklor (traditional) » - Scobelev Oleg «About Dobrynya bylina. Ancient epic songs of the Olonets province» (2010)

- Scobelev Oleg «About Dobrynya bylina. Ancient epic songs of the Olonets province» (2010)

Style: Folklor (traditional)
Region: Russia / Volga area / Urals
Label: Sketis Music
Source: CD

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Return to the roots - Russian folk revival at its best. 

Reviving the long forgotten art of Russian epic storytelling Sketis Music proudly presents to you this album made by the one of the last keepers of this ancient tradition. This CD is probably the thirst complete record of ancient Russian epic song - bylina, made in 21st century. From pre-Christian times to the end of 19st century bylinas (songs about the life and adventures of legendary Russian heroes) were the core parts of Russian traditional culture. Bylina "About Dobrynya" is a reconstruction of authentic bylina made by folklorist Oleg Skobelev on the basis of old sound record of famous Karelian narrator & folklore singer Ivan Terentievich Fofanov (1873-1943). This record like a open window to the hidden source, that feeds the living roots of mysterious Russian soul.

Dear listeners! You hold a disco with the record of “About Dobrynya” bylina, probably the first complete record of the bylina made in the 21st century. It is a reconstruction because bylinas were last recorded in traditional environment in the 1950s. Since that time  performing of bylinas by native folk singers has completely stopped. This bylina was reconstructed on the basis of the old sound record of Ivan Terentievich Fofanov the famous narrator (1873-1943) who dictated the text of this bylina.

   Bylina is a Russian ancient epic song. The plot of bylina is some heroic event or a remarkable episode from the Russian history. The term “bylina” was first used by I.P Saharov, folklorist (1807-1863) in the 1840s.

   The first bylinas appeared probably before the Baptism of Russia (988) and they had features of very ancient pagan epic songs, which were later “Christianized”. According to the place of their origin bylinas are divided into Kiev and Novgorodian, and later All-Russian ones. The peculiar poetic language of bylinas and the way to perform them had developed for many centuries. It is considered that in old time narrators performed bylinas playing the gusli, later their performance was a type of cantillation.  The basis of the special bylina’s accentual verse is commensurability of lines and stresses that result in rhythmic uniformity. Although the narrators used only few melodies they enriched them with various intonations and also they changed their timbre.

Bylina of Fofanov I.T. is performed by Scobelev O.A.

1. Dobrynya’s packing for hunting and his unsuccessful hunt at the blue sea.
2. Dobrynya’s meeting the Raven, his destroying Oleshka’s tent and his sound sleep.
3. Dobrynya’s fight with Olesha. Their conciliation with Ilya Muromets.
4. Dobrynya goes to an overseas king to play chess. Oleshka wooes Dobrynya’s wife Nastasia,
5. Dobrynya plays chess with the overseas king. Six years later Nastasia agrees to marry Olesha.
6. Dobrynya finds out of his wife’s wedding. Dobrynya hastes home and meets his   mother.
7. Dobrynya goes to his wife’s feast and entertains the guests by playing gusli (lyre).
8. Nastasia recognizes Dobrynya as her husband and repents her weakness. Dobrynya punishes Oleshka and Oleshka leaves for Asia in disgrace.


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