Svyatoslav Belza:
Born to Music

    There are many stars on the pop music stage nowadays. However, it has been known for a long time that stars differ in their fame.

    Sir Lawrence Olivier said, "In the past, actors tried hard to become stars. Today, "stars" are trying to become actors."

    When applying this statement to show business, one can interpret it like this: many pop stars of today would dream of becoming singers. Too many singers burst upon the stage like blazing stars, only to fizzle out like fallen stars.

    The best example of a True Singer who has become the brightest Superstar, is Muslim Magomaev. His brilliant and genuine talent stands out among the "tinsel show" of those who try to attract the public in concert halls and on TV screens.

    There are no singers in the former USSR  who can compete in popularity  with Muslim Magomaev whose magnificent baritone, serious pursuit of excellence, and charismatic appeal have had a profound effect on three generations of admirers.

   The range of his talents is extremely wide -from opera arias to musicals, from Neapolitan songs to vocal compositions of Russian and Azerbaijan composers.

   Muslim Magomaev became famous at the age of 19, after a great performance at the Youth Festival in Helsinki.

   For more than 4 decades he has stood the test of the fame and has remained the idol of millions admirers.

   Gustav Flober once warned, "You shouldn't touch celebrities since their gold covering may stick to your hands."  However, Muslim Magomaev is an amazing exception. You only benefit when you get to know him better as a person, and there is no risk of any tinsel getting stuck to your hands.

    In my opinion, there are many people who think that Muslim Magomaev is much older than he really is. This is because his name has been very famous for such a long period of time .

    Moscow heard this name for the first time in the spring of 1963. On March, 30th,  newspapers were full of articles telling about his incredible success while performing in the Kremlin Palace of Congresses. His fantastic vocal skills and brilliant technique convinced everybody that a very talented young singer appeared on the operatic stage.

     In 1963 he also appeared in the famous Tchaikovsky Concert Hall for his first recital.  A very popular singer K. Shulzhenko wrote later, "The moment Muslim appeared, it became a huge event. He is greater than all the other singers. Everybody adores him."

    A very important stage in mastering vocals skills was his further training in the Milan Opera Theater "La Scala".  Muslim's stay in Italy, the country of innumerable art treasures, the "Home" of belcanto, in the mid. 60-s was not only beneficial for his singing, but also affected his inner world. Muslim Magomaev remained forever a supporter of the Italian singing school, admiring such great singers as Beniamino Gigli, Gino Bechi, Tito Gobbi, Mario del Monaco

    Muslim Magomaev  himself splendidly sang the arias of Figaro, Scarpia, Mephisto, Onegin.

    However, astonishing success in popular music interfered  with his operatic career. It was very similar to what happened to Mario Lanza, Muslim's favorite singer, about whom he wrote a book and made radio and TV programs. It also happened that Hollywood "stole" Mario Lanza from the operatic  stage.

   1969 brought MM a victory in the Song Contest in Sopot, Poland and also  brought him the First "Golden Disc" in the Cannes  Festival as 4.5 million of his records were sold out.

   Hardly 30 years old, he was awarded the highest artistic title, "People's Artist of the USSR".

   "I attended many of Muslim's concerts but there has never been even one when the presenter managed to announce his whole name. Usually there was such a thunderous ovation after his first name that even despite the most powerful loud speakers, there was no chance to hear the presentation to the end. Everybody is used to it; like everybody is used to the fact that his name has become the symbol of Art in the Soviet Union.

   Besides, people are used to the fact that any aria, any song he sings is always like long-awaited magic", a famous  poet Robert Rozdestvensky   wrote in 1980 . Many song lyrics were written by him, including songs, composed by Muslim Magomaev  himself.

  The Singer has never tried to be fashionable or never flirted with the audience, but his talent and his special charisma conquered millions of hearts with astonishing force.

  Singing to sold-out audiences at all times, he was always faced with police cordons, a "sea" of flowers, stories and gossip around him, a car "kissed" by women fans -Muslim Magomaev saw all this over and over during the years.

  Nevertheless, he has never become presumptuous. He has preserved real modesty, combining true dignity with soberness of mind and self- appraisal.

  These qualities, for example, didn't allow him to accept the offer to star in the movie "Anna Karenina" as Vronsky, a role that was offered to him by the famous movie director Alexander Zarhi.

  However, later Muslim Magomaev played the role of Nizami in the movie directed by Eldar Kuliev.

 As it often happens with the most gifted people, Muslim Magomaev is multitalented. He is not only a Singer and an Actor, he also composes music for movies and drama theaters, writes songs, he also paints and has a talent for writing literature.

I should also mention his amazing ability to  manage modern electronic technology.

A very famous and talented actor I. Smoktunovsky once praised Muslim Magomaev like this, "Muslim gained his immediate popularity, immense popularity that has lasted to the present.

 I am always waiting for his performances, looking forward to listening to his songs, wondering what else this exceptionally talented singer will bring to millions of admirers each and every time."

 I must add that he doesn't stop making the effort, working on his self-improvement.

  Today, he performs only on occasions, which can be explained by the excessive demands he places on himself. He is used to giving his all.

  From time to time he makes his admirers happy by appearing on the stage. He keeps contacts with them through the Internet.

 He also likes to spend hours in his home studio, where he is working on new recordings and improving the old ones.

  For his Jubilee in 2002 a collection of his 14 finest discs was released. It gives us the idea of his immeasurable contribution to both opera and popular music.

    Svyatoslav Belza.

   Dear friends!

I'd like to thank Svyatoslav Belza for this preface.

I am glad to welcome you to the pages of my Personal Site. Here you can find recordings made at different times: arias, songs. You can also see photos, paintings, videos.

In "Improvisations" section you can listen to various musical compositions.

With the time, new items will be added.

Sincerely yours,

Muslim Magomaev

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