Saturday, 16 April 2011

"Gorby 80"

User maraeincognitum61 has uploaded the whole gala concert celebrating Mikhail Gorbachev's 80th birthday (with Russian translation) to YouTube. I'm also being told that it will be available on Medici TV; that would be in English. There was no operatic singing, as Dmitri Hvorostovsky only sang one song. No, not one of the beautiful Russian romances or old songs, but one by Igor Krutoy called Vecchie illusioni. It's quite nice, and no, it's not the one with the slightly erotic video-clip. Katherine Jenkins was worse than usual, no matter if you thought possible or not. The rest is pop, rock and talking.

As much as I dislike such events, I must say that I quite enjoyed some performers - the classical rock bands were good. On the other hand, I'm not really sure what a Spice Girl had to do at Gorby's birthday, or why the final song had to be so kitschy. ("He sacrificed so others could survive"? Really? You are aware that he's not Jesus, right?). I don't know, sure these events must be quite mixed bags, but could they be more of carefully mixed cocktails that mix flavours with a certain idea in mind, rather than packs of names without any connection?

Part one: Intro; 1:30 hosts Sharon Stone and Kevin Spacey enter; 4:50 Gorbachev speaks, Mikhail Gorbachev award "The Man Who Changed the World"; 8:45 profiles of Ted Turner, Steven Spielberg and Bono; 10:15 Ted Turner accepts the award; 12:30 The Scorpions.

Part two: Most of The Scorpions; 5:47 message from Sting; 6:40 the British ambassador to the Russian Federation Dame Anne Pringle; 8:40 Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Igor Krutoy.

Part three: Israeli president Shimon Peres; 2:40 profiles of Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google), Jürgen Habermas (sociologist and philosopher) and Evans Wadongo (Kenyan engineer); 3:55 Evans Wadongo accepts the award; 4:45 Katherine Jenkins; 8:15 Arnold Schwarzenegger speaks; 10:00 Andrey Makarevich and the Time Machine.

Part four: Rest of Makarevich; 3:15 Gorbachev sings a song for his wife; 5:25 Lara Fabian and Igor Krutoy; 10:00 Shirley Bassey; 13:35 Melanie C enters.

Part five: Melanie C sings; 3:05 Lech Walesa; 4:30 Milla Jovovich; 6:40 profiles of Sir Timothy Berners-Lee (inventor of the World Wide Web), Martin Cooper (inventor of the mobile telephone) and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; 8:10 Mike Berners-Lee accepts the award in his brother's stead, message from Sir Timothy; 11:30 Choir of Michail Turetsky.

Part six: More of Choir of Michail Turetsky; 4:40 a message from Bill Clinton; 6:10 Bryan Ferry.

Part seven: Paul Anka; 7:40 a message from Bono; 8:25 end speech of the hosts; 9:50 EVERYBODY singing Paul Anka's and Andrey Makarevich's "Changing the World For Us All"; 13:24 "Happy Birthday to You"


  1. Thanks frufruj for doing all this!! But I have to say, apart from Dmitri's bit, I was literally unable to sit through it. About 10 minutes of all that grandiose self-congratulation was all I could take. If this is from the Russian TV version - a lot was cut out - maybe the Medici TV version will show different bits...

  2. I wouldn't say it was self-congratulation, would you? That would make it even less palatable.

    When I remember how I (and musical critics) whined through something similar for our President Václav Havel - but that had some musical level (top Czech mostly classical musicians) and was prepared as a gift from his wife. I assume this was a gift from people close to MG, too, don't you think?

  3. Self-congratulation may not be the best term. I mean - as in the Oscars where all the film stars congratulate and big-note each other. Here the politicians and VIPs are all telling each other how wonderful they are.

  4. One-another-congratulation? :D

    Well, to be fair, it was his 80th birthday, and he [arguably] did something great. But that it would go beyond the border of good taste was clear from the website :-/

  5. Co tam Dmitri přesně zpíval?

  6. @asperias: Píšu to v článku i s odkazem na videoklip, jmenuje se to Vecchie ilusioni, je to od toho Igora Krutého.

  7. aha, to já letěla k tomu obsahu videa (které tam už není, ale za to nemůžete:-)) ), nevím, jestli tam vůbec Dmitriho pořádně moc lidí ocenilo:-(, na takovéhle akci, měli by být nadšení všichni, včetně Gorbačova,ale kdoví...