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Russian music - The University of Texas at Austin

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Liturgical music
Dmitrii Shostakovich:
The Man, his Music, and his Times
? Music of the Byzantine church:
? no instruments, only voices (choral)
? no polyphony or harmony (plainsong, monadic)
? Renaissance brought polyphony from Poland
Russian 330
Fall 2006
Lecture 2: A selective survey of the history
of Russian music
? no women
? Minimal dynamic variation (same loudness)
? melody formed by small steps
? Two examples of the Nicene Creed
(veruju `I believe?)
? Monadic
? Polyphonic (non-diatonic)
4
Russian art music of 19th-early 20th centuries
Sources of Russian art music
? Predecessors of Shostakovich
? Glinka (1804-57), `Father of Russian (art) music?
? The Might Five (могучая кучка), the Russian nationalist school
? Folk music
? Liturgical music
? Art music from Western Europe
?
?
?
?
?
Alexander Borodin (1833-87)
Cesar Kjui (1835-1918)
Mily Balakirev (1837-1910), the `leader? of the school
Modest Musorgskii (1839-1881)
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
? Piotr Il?ich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
? Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936).
Student of Rimsky?s. Professor, then director of Petersburg
Conservatory, including when Shostakovich studied there
? Skriabin (1872-1915)
BUT, keep in mind that each of these traditions is a dynamic entity, a
moving target, itself influenced by a variety of sources, including
those of high culture.
? Older contemporaries of Shostakovich:
? Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
? Stravinsky (1882-1971)
? Prokof?ev (1891-1953)
2
5
Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857)
Folk music
? Instruments:
?
?
?
?
?
Gusli (plucked)
Domra (also plucked stringed instrument)
Balalaika (invented in 18th century!)
Accordion and bayan (similar, but with a keyboard
instead of buttons)
? Various small reed and horn instruments
?
?
?
Recognized as `Father of 19th century Russian nationalist music?.
Heard folksongs as a young from his nurse (a COMMON story!) and
utilized them, and their style, in his work.
Born into a family of nobility near Smolensk.
Travelled to Western Europe 1830-4 and 1844-7
Major works:
? Two operas are his major works:
? A Life for the Tsar (Ivan Susanin) (1836). About Time of Troubles
and establishment of Romanov dynasty. Conservative ideology of
preserving autocracy. The welfare of the state is the source of
personal happiness. Introduced Leitmotifs (as in Wagner) and
eliminated all spoken dialogue. Considered the first real Russian
opera.
? Ruslan and Ljudmila (1842). Based on Pushkin?s poem, but Pushkin
died before he could write libretto!
? Symphonic fantasy: Kamarinskaya. Written in Warsaw in 1848.
? Over 80 romances and arias (for voice and piano).
? Examples:
? Utushka lugovaya `The meadow duckling?
(Liudmila Zykina)
? Play, Skomoroshek
(Pokrovsky Ensemble, tr. 1)
3
6
1
Borodin and Orientalism
Opera: Prince Igor?
Excerpts from works by Glinka
? Kamarinskaya. Folk sources. Based on
two themes.
? A wedding song (iz-za gor `From beyond the
mountains)
? A dance song (kamarinskaya), more of a `riff?:
repeated about 75 times!
? Polovtsian dances, as the Russians and
(Mongolian) Tatars gather and chill out in
between fighting
? Ivan Susanin/A Life for the Czar
7
10
Modest Musorgskij (1839-81)
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
?
?
?
?
Undisciplined
Poorly educated in music
Alcoholic.
Oh, I forgot to mention: a
musical genius!
? Major works:
? Specially attracted to folklore and fairy tales
? Expert orchestrator. Finished many works by others
(e.g., Borodin, Musorgsky)
? Joined faculty of Petersburg Conservatory in 1871,
despite little formal musical education. Highly influential.
? Later teacher of Glazunov, Stravinsky and Prokof?ev.
? His son-in-law was Shostakovich?s composition teacher.
? Scherezade, a symphonic suite (1888). Orientalism,
based on 1001 Nights.
? Russian Easter Overture
? 15 operas on historical and literary themes
? Tsar Saltan ... First opera Shostakovich ever saw
? Excerpt from the Golden Cockerel
8
Aleksandr Borodin (1833-87)
? Illegitimate son of an elderly nobleman (Luka
Gedionishvili) and a 24-year old woman. As was typical,
was registered as the legitimate son of one of father?s
serfs: Porfiry Borodin.
? Learned German, Italian, French, and English early, as
well as mathematics and the sciences.
? Entered the Medical/Surgical academy in Moscow and
fell in love with chemistry. Studied medicinal properties
of mineral waters. Travelled in Europe 1859-62 and
joined the faculty of his academy on his return
? Particularly supportive of university education for
women.
? Major works:
? Opera Prince Igor?. He worked on it for over 18 years, but didn?t
have time to complete it. Finished by Rimsky-Korsakov and
Glazunov in 1890. We will watch excerpts.
? Symphonic tableau: ?On the Steppes of Central Asia?
? Symphonies
? String Quartets
? Romances
9
? Operas (completed by RimskyKorsakov):
? Boris Godunov (1872)
? Xovanshchina (1883)
? Pictures at an Exhibition for piano
(1863)
? Symphonic fantasy: Night on
Bare Mountain: St. John?s Eve
(1867)
? Romances
Portrait by Repin
11
Musorgsky
? Excerpts from Boris Godunov
? Coronation scene: The Czar is weighed down
with guilt because he got where he is by
killing the son of the last czar, DMitrii.
? Boris encounters the Jurodivyj (юродивый),
`Fool in Christ? who offhandedly accuses him
of killing Dmitii; instead of having him killed,
Boris asks the fool to pray for him.
12
2
Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840-93)
? Outside the circle of the `Mighty
Handful?, but the greatest talent.
? Most Western oriented
? Son of mining engineer and factory
manager
? Saw Glinka?s opera A Life for the
Czar when 10, which enchanted him.
? Worked as a clerk in the Ministry of
Justice before devoting himself to
music full time
? Studied at the Moscow Conservatory
1863-66.
? Taught there 1866-77.
?
?
13
Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840-93)
Written in 1880 for the Consecration of
the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in
Moscow; premiered in 1882 at Moscow
Exhibition
?
http://web.ku.edu/~russcult/culture/handouts/chaikovskii.html
?
Four cellos playing Russian hymn `Oh
God, Preserve Thy People?.
Supplication to God for help..
? Falling melody in oboe, then violin.
Worry.
? Horn fanfare introduces preparation of
the Russian army
? Agitated, syncopated violins introduce
theme of battle
? Marseillaise in horns and trumpets
interspersed into battle
? Hope theme interlude introduced in
violins (major key)
? Woodwinds play folk theme (minor
key).
? `Development?, snippets of themes
and rhythmic figures heard so far
? Marseillaise and cannon shots
? Full orchestra returns to opening hymn
(with carillons simulating bells)
? Anthem of the Roman dynasty:
`God Save the Czar? (with cannons)
1812 Overture
16
Major works
? Six symphonies
? String quartets
? Numerous ballets:
?
?
?
?
Swan Lake
Sleeping Beauty
Nutcracker
Romeo and Juliet
Finit!
? Operas, including:
? Eugene Onegin (1878). First opera Shostakovich heard (at home).
? Queen of Spades (1890)
? Some liturgical music
? Songs
? Overtures and light classical music.
? Did somebody say `overture??
Built to
commemorate the
victory over
Napoleon in 1812;
structure built
1839-60, and
frescos took 20
years. consecrated
in 1883; destroyed
by Stalin in 1931;
rebuilt from
scratch 19951999.
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Cathedral of
Christ the Savior
15
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