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December 25   -   Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

Confirmed: Red Army Ensemble has perished in Black Sea air crash

Major-General Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman of the Russian defence ministry, has told Reuters in the past hour that none of the 92 people on a Syria-bound plane has survived the crash into the Black Sea. Passengers on the military plane included 62 singers, instrumentalists and dancers of the Alexandrov Ensemble, formerly the Red Army Ensemble, Russia’s most celebrated performing troupe. This is a musical catastrophe without parallel. A tremendous ensemble has been destroyed in an instant.

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