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Ex Libris ft. Dianne van Giersbergen release Chapter 2: Anastasia Romanova of Russia of the Ann Trilogy

In the second part of the Ann trilogy, Dianne talks about of the tragic tale of Anastasia Romanova, the youngest daughter of the last Tsar from Russia at the start of the 20th century.

IMM: This is second of three about Anna’s related to royalty? And there will be a third Ann release by the end of the year?

Dianne: Yes, that’s correct this is the second and by the end of summer or beginning of fall we will release the third chapter.

IMM: And after the third release the band will work on original music for a new album?

Dianne: Well, we want to release a CD which features all three Ann’s and were going to simply call it Ann (Laughter). What we’re doing after that I don’t know because this is taking up so much of my time and energy as we don’t have third parties or labels helping us out.

IMM:  Explain how this Ann was chosen for Chapter 2?

Dianne: Well Chapter one was about Ann Boleyn which I chose and this one is about Anastasia Romanova which was chosen by our keyboard player who is into the Russian folklore. And he said if we’re doing stories about Ann then we should one about Anastasia who has a tragic story that we should tell. So I looked her up and said yes and this is perfect material writing songs about. I think it is a perfect match to the music we made and there is so much character that she has and to put her story into our music and let her come to life again for a little bit so people can learn about her or remember her.

IMM: So she was born into the Russian royalty andthe fourth grand duchess was named for the fourth-century martyr St. Anastasia.

Dianne: Oh wow! You did your research and yes correct. That was the complete intention on writing about historical figures that is not just about music and entertainment but also educating (Laughter) and have people find a fun way into history and we can learn a lot from history and we repeat ourselves too often.

IMM: Yeah, but that is a cycle that will never change. Russia is category into itself. Was she killed by her family?

Dianne: She wasn’t killed by her family. But it is true and their relatives, her mother of the Tsar Nicholas II, the last sovereign of Imperial Russia, and his wife, Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna  kind of abandon their daughters and son to Grigori Rasputin a Russian peasant and wandering starets or “holy man” which is what the second song is about. Of course the family falling apart like that didn’t help the revolution or for them to have chances to survive the revolution not directly but yes indirectly they are part guilty of the execution.  Also in the song,  Anastasia is wondering what Rasputin is doing there because he such a stretch figure to  be in close quarters to the royal family. It was reported the four grand Duchesses were upset that he was murdered and put a lot of tension on the family of his death.

IMM: In his memoirs, A. A. Mordvinov reported that the four grand duchesses appeared “cold and visibly terribly upset” by Rasputin’s death, and recalled that the young women were in a gloomy mood and seemed to sense the political upheaval that was about to be unleashed.

Dianne: Most defiantly yes. They saw him as their healer and murdered in a plot not completely but partially by their relatives that one who would be saving them got murder who was close to them and mourn Rasputin himself and of course the betrayal of their family.

IMM: Which leads up to WW1 and the Russian revolution where Anastasia and her sister visited wounded soldiers at a private hospital in the grounds at Tsarskoye Selo. So now you can explain Chapter three.

Dianne: (Laughter) That is true and there is so much more details and for this hospital we didn’t use because there is so much more details and we only did three songs and had to leave some parts out. We outlined the three events that are important to her as a thirteen year old. What is on the family’s mind then was a disease on her younger brother Alexei Nikolaevich,  of the Románova dynasty who is the only heir to the throne has hemophilia and the duchess can’t be the heir only he can but he won’t live very long.  A part from than that they want to keep that hidden from the nation that the Románova’s are mortal thus only seen the family appointed by god and not appear weak. It is a complete struggle keeping up the ceremonies, keeping up the smiles to the outside world and on the other side the devastating worry how this young boy should ever survive.

So that is song number one. Is the family life and to the outside world. Song two we briefly discussed is about Rasputin making his entry into the family and at first being very welcomed and Anastasia has her doubts about him. Then he gets murdered and the family panics because they don’t have a healer for Alexei anymore bit have this big task to keep him alive for the Románova dynasty which leads into song number three.

Where the revolution has caught up with them and has been under house arrest for five months at Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye and one year later move to Tobolsk, Siberia where they are executed. Song number three is chaotic where I am sure represents their panic and horror up till the very end because it takes the listener to the very end which ends this album.

IMM: You had to condense with so much information. And plans to release all three Anna’s as book with three discs, one for each Ann?

Dianne: Of course, and we looked into making a audio book but are too expensive to press and wouldn’t be fun anymore because we have to sell them for such a high price and nobody would want them. Eventually when all separate chapters are sold we will come up with one disc with all three chapters.

IMM: Any plans for videos these Ann’s?

Dianne:  Of course we had a video for the first chapter and wanted to do a video for this chapter and went pretty far on organizing that but sadly we had issues with the other party so we are in the phase of fixing those issues, so for this one is to do a whole video.

IMM: Any live performances planned?

Dianne: We are looking going live and love the idea of bringing these on to the stage. And we won’t do an extensive tour and do some exclusive shows at the Netherlands.

IMM: Is always good talking to you.

Dianne:  Thank so much for the support.

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