КАТЮША

KATYUSHA

Sung in 1982 in Hope, New Jersey by my Great Aunt Virginia. This is the only recording in the Song Quilts project I did not make myself, but I have many memories of Aunt Virginia singing this song. Virginia Bartow was a semi-professional light opera singer who spent decades of her life in a long relationship with Russian composer and arranger Andrei Salama. After coming to America with La Chauve-Souris, a Russian theater revue forced out of Moscow after the revolution, Salama bought a "dacha" above the Delaware Water Gap and named it Salamovka. In the summers it would fill with dancers, composers, painters, costume designers, actors, and singers. In his ailing years, Virginia kept Salamovka going, and after his death, she received all of his papers, stacks of handwritten folk songs from his youth, original songs, and arrangements from the days of the Chauve-Souris. I now have those papers. They are treasures. 

This Song Quilt is an exact transcription of how she sang Katyusha. The "root" color of this song is a brilliant red inspired by traditional Muscovite dresses.The quilting design is based on the weaving patterns found in those same dresses. It was quilted on my home machine. The backing fabric is a Kaffe Fasset rose pattern, inspired by how often I saw rose fabric on the chest pieces of those same dresses. 

Virginia Bartow in 1981 with me and my father Charles Hardy at her farm in Hope New Jersey.

Andrei Salama, with Virginia and her son Nevett Bartow (also a composer). In the shadows you can see Andrei's wife Nina.

Salamovka summer guests 1926.

Salama's handwritten transcription of Katyusha. You can hear Virginia playing this same piano arrangement in the recording for the quilt. Her handwriting is in red, writing a few english words out over the melody. 

The beautiful Kaffe Fasset roses with some quilt detail. 

One of Virginia's press photos from her singing days. 

The brochure for the weekly rates to summer at Salamovka. (Note the names have been anglicized.)

My studio. Getting ready to cut and sew! 

The weaving patterns on this Muscovite dress inspired my quilting. I took this photo at the Museum of Decorative-Applied and Folk Art, in Moscow 2017.