Russian classical singer turned Irish country singer-songwriter, Larissa Tormey, has released a special dual-language version of Silent Night, one of her favourite seasonal numbers.
The record is available to request on all radio stations nationwide and has been on all digital platforms since Friday, November 26th.
Speaking following the release, Larissa – who is married to a Westmeath farmer – said:
“I think for most people, hearing or singing Silent Night is as much a part of it being Christmas as putting up a tree, or building snowmen, or writing letters to Santa.”
“It’s a song that feels like it’s been around forever and feels like it belongs to the entire world. I remember as a child myself how enchanting and peaceful it always was to hear this song.”
“So I’ve always wanted to record it someday, and share my version of it with fans and anyone else who might come to hear it and hopefully like it.”
Written as a Christmas carol by Franz Gruber in 1818, to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg in Austria, the most famous rendition of the Silent Night, and perhaps the definitive one belongs to the American crooner and film star Bing Crosby.
His 1935 version – at last count – had amassed a whopping ten million sales as a single.
While Bing’s achievement seems sure to stand the test of time for a few more winters yet, Larissa has added her personal stamp of originality to her take.
UNESCO declared the song “an intangible cultural heritage” back in 2011.
What always proves to be one of the most popular songs in her set-list is her beguiling dual-language offering of Danny Boy, singing the old Irish classic in both English and her native Russian. And that is a treatment that she has now applied to Silent Night as well.
“People have always loved hearing Danny Boy performed in both English and Russian. I think it adds another dimension to the song and its beauty.”
“Even when you might not understand the words, you can still really feel what the song is about through the music.”
“And it seemed to me that Silent Night also shares that same sense of magic. It will find its way to your heart all by itself. All you have to do is listen.”
Produced by Glen Flynn, the idea for Larissa to finally go ahead and take her version of Silent Night into the recording studio was sparked by Hot Country TV founder and host, Hugh O’ Brien.
The Corkman suggested it to Larissa for last year’s Hot Country Christmas Concert, which will be repeated this year.
Having heard and seen peoples’ reactions to Larissa’s version of Danny Boy, O’ Brien encouraged her to follow the same path with Silent Night, something for which Larissa “remains grateful”.
“Hugh has always been a great supporter of my music since I came to Ireland. He is a great man for ideas and ways to put a little twist on things.”
Special virtual Christmas concert
For fans who would like to hear Larissa sing her version of Silent Night, there is a chance coming their way on December 17th.
She will perform a special online Christmas concert at 4 pm via her official Facebook and YouTube accounts.
All donations from the event will go to charity. Larissa will reveal all details about that shortly on her social media channels and website.