Echoes of a Red Empire [ORIGINAL RECORDINGS REMASTERED] Historically, the people of Russia have been no stranger to tyranny. However trampled was the spirit of the Russian people during the miseries of Communism, it did produce some very stirring and tuneful music, often based on traditional folk melodies, sometimes operatically inspired. It was also the Communist way to encourage the people to sing about its great triumphs, of which obviously the Great Revolution in 1917 was foremost, followed by the Great Patriotic War, which is how Soviet Russia named its part in the Second World War. Even in the greatest depths of the Cold War, cultural exchanges took place between East and West, led by Moscow s prestigious Bolshoi Ballet. Perhaps surprisingly, also popular in the West was the Russian Army Ensemble; whilst doubtless its ranks contained an appropriate number of KGB agents, it was essentially a large singing and dancing group, and very exuberant and entertaining it was too. This collection evokes memories of visits and recordings by the Russian Army Ensemble and others, and although the subject matter is often very serious and sometimes comical by Western tastes, no one can doubt the tunefulness, vigour and sincerity of the result.