In an interview, he spoke about the urgent need for a social program in Russia, about how many rulers he survived, shared his thoughts about contemporary artists, and also explained why he drinks cognac according to a special recipe by Françoise Sagan.
About social evil and social program
I believe that you have no right to live a thousand times better than your people do.
You must at least do something to help.
I receive letters, some pierce them completely... I still remember how my grandmother from Ryazan wrote to me about eight years ago. She writes, you know, Lev Valerianovich, I know that your mother was from Ryazan - well, she read my biography somewhere - and now, you know, I am raising my grandson alone, I have the following request: he has sneakers, which he wraps in cellophane and goes to school like that in autumn and winter...
Do we really have no social sphere... After all, it is just a social evil if people do not fulfill their duties. If they don't look at people who are now disadvantaged, who need help...
We have, you know, all some kind of global projects... An institute that deals with cancer problems is poured in (money)... But we have thousands of people with thousands of little things that can be simply eliminated... The roof is leaking, well, Lord, 15,000 are needed there - 20,000 rubles, well, make opportunities for small loans.
Give small loans to people. The bank will not become impoverished even if it is not returned! Well, help people!
When will someone announce a social program with us! This year we have - or four years, as it was before - a social program! We are lowering utility rates, lowering prices for gasoline, for food... Social program! Well, name it after all, here's the idea we're looking for all the time!
Despair arises, letters arise only when a person has nowhere to go. "Forgive me for writing to you, but this is the situation...". And many artists receive such letters and help, it is just not customary to advertise it.
Once I read a note in which a guy took 14 people out of a burning village on his tractor. His house burned down, the tractor too, he was left without a livelihood. But he was proud and said: "Well, nothing, I'll do it".
Then I called my administrator and said, "Find this guy and buy him a tractor." And nowhere was it advertised. Then, on television, this guy mentioned what I gave.
The fact that Nagiyev gave 10 million to health care is not said about it. The fact that Alla Borisovna has given money now for a monument to Shainsky, to whom the state cannot put up, to the person who determined our entire childhood, saturated with real music.
I understand that the state has no opportunities, but we have a huge number of people who have earned colossal money - engage in charity, specific charity.
We're getting stale. This is the principle of the so-called existence: here I am - this is me, and as for how society lives, this no longer worries anyone.
I rarely talk about it, but at the time when I was growing up and was a child, no one could leave me.
My neighbor fed me soup, and at school they saw me off. And once at night the police could see me off, a child. It was a completely different life.
It's very difficult to explain it... The feature films that are being made, they somehow fly by unnoticed, but I'm talking about real things...
On the "early maturity" of contemporary art and creativity
…Everyone wants everything at once, but it doesn't happen. But this is today's lifestyle. Because people who have gone through some kind of school, have accumulated experience, knowledge and so on, they understand that nothing happens quickly.
We, those who have already accumulated vast experience, all this is visible, all the possibilities are clear, the finale of all this is already visible, people want to immediately quickly get what is some kind of idea that a person strives for. The idea of being rich, healthy, successful and so on... But we, our generation, have passed a huge stretch, a long road, before we achieved something, got something.
As my wife says, everything modern, as far as the art of modern, contemporary creativity is concerned, is like early ripening products: it quickly passed, they were used, it dissolved and disappeared somewhere.
And, I think that if a hare is taught to play a drum, then you can teach a person to use two or three chords, to express some primitive words and present it as a modern modern product.
Music today is not even music, it is today's so-called show business, which used to be called, I would say, mass culture, but it was still a high-level mass culture! Because professional composers, poets, professional singers worked in it, who studied singing for more than six months; musicians who studied at schools, conservatories.
Anecdotal story, but in fact, it is. I am not talking, in this case, about those who did achieve something, I mean the same Morgenstern, the same Buzova, relatively speaking, of our now popular medials.
About school of life and education
I sometimes asked people who work in the show business and television industry: “Who is this? Is she a singer, or a dancer, or is she a poetess, or a composer?". “No”, they say, “this is a media face”, do you understand? This means that now there is a new symbol or a new designation - the medial face.
And these guys are followed by young people. Why? Because young people are the bearer of everything new, and it is clear that their desire to listen is different from what it was yesterday, what they already know, what they acquired in their family or at school, they want to go further, they want to develop.
But this is the trouble, because there is no classical education. And it turns out that "tum-boom-tum" and two words that can be interpreted as you like. “I loved and you loved, you and I were together…”, - and these, by the way, atr the good lines.
You cannot become Smoktunovsky or Alla Borisovna Pugacheva, or, say, composer David Tukhmanov without going through some kind of huge school and without accumulating your experience.
The school of life is necessarily projected onto creativity. This can be seen in the selection of the repertoire, in the comprehension of the events that they are trying to describe, in the perception of the world and in a kind of comparison of what you knew and what comes today.
This is very important, from this some moral factors are born, and a person's attitude to true freedom and justice. This cannot be done without learning anything.
... If now the world computer is accidentally turned off, then we will have just half a country of illiterate people. They will only figure out whether it is Chanel or Lagerfeld.
On corruption in the USSR
Now a lot of words are being said about the fact that the Soviet Union was a corrupt state - nothing of the kind.
I know all these people who died, they were put in suits, in which there was only dust and nothing else.
I know this because I have survived nine rulers.
I have lived so long that I saw Joseph Vissarionovich in the box, I knew what Nikita Sergeevich was, lived in the Brezhnev era for 18 years, communicated with his family, then lived in the era of Gorbachev, Yeltsin, Putin...
I have the opportunity to speak honestly and to orient myself, to choose a position from which I will never be turned off in my life.
About life during a pandemic
This terrible pandemic has given us a little bit of our own selves. I read and looked - I can tell something about Morgenstern, or about the same Oxxxymiron, or about Grechka, or about Klava, I listened to them...
I understand that this is necessary for me as a teacher. I don't teach now, but, in any case, journalists sometimes ask me: "How do you feel about this music?", - I have to be in the material.
And since I still consider myself a cultured person, I try to keep in the focus of attention such things that I, as a professional, need.
About the benefits of cognac according to Françoise Sagan's recipe
“We entered a restaurant with my friend, he says, and the French were sitting and drinking cognac diluted with water”, - a line from her novel.
And I drew attention to this phrase and then I remembered that one laryngologist who taught me said: “Lyova, you never drink strong drinks, it badly affects the ligaments. Try to dilute cognac with water, and you will feel that both aroma and taste are preserved, and the mood comes the same. You can drink much more, but with a lower concentration. " And since then I have put all my friends on it.