I began to appreciate Russian folk songs many years ago, when I was in the first class of High School. As I listened to them I would be moved to say, "What I am studying, the deep source of all our culture, is expressed precissely in these songs of lands so far away." The conductor of the choir in those first records that I owned was Aleksandr Sveshnikov, surely the richest and best interpreter of all those I have heard. The ingenious aspect of this master is his humanity: his execution is not the product of a theoretical plan, but the stirring of a humanity before an event (whether or not it is aware); for this reason it is a novelty.
The Russian folk songs in my view are amongst the greatest in the world because they are full of nostalgia and expectation, expressing the tension to satisfy the needs of every man. Every need we have is positive: it is the expectation of something that will come.
(Excerpt from the introduction by Luigi Giussani to the booklet enclosed in the CD)