By Stuart Campbell

ISBN-10: 0511065868

ISBN-13: 9780511065866

ISBN-10: 0521590973

ISBN-13: 9780521590976

This anthology of Russian tune feedback unearths the reactions of prime critics to new Russian track within the interval 1880-1917. Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin have been of their leading, and a number of other new generations emerged: Rachmaninoff and Skryabin, Stravinsky and Prokoviev. Works reviewed diversity from within the Steppes of significant Asia and the Path?tique Symphony to The Golden Cockerel and The ceremony of Spring.

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Additional resources for Russians on Russian Music, 1880-1917: An Anthology

Example text

That is not in fact how we Russians listen to operas: we follow the events on the stage as well as the singing, and the orchestra too, from the first bar to the last. But in Italy, so it is said, the people in the boxes play cards (or did so until very recently) during the performance and forsake the card-table at once for a ‘favourite’ number. What in Bellini is not only pardonable but gives an impression of being perfectly legitimate and reasonable, in a Russian composer of our day, though it be altered in form, though passed through the crucible of Meyerbeer and Schumann, Glinka and Dargom¨ızhsky, is startling in its lack of inner truth.

With Tchaikovsky there is never that abstract, indifferent music exemplified by many superb contrapuntal workings. There is no impersonal, mercilessly logical architecture of sound combinations in which the subject vanishes. On the contrary everything is warmed by feeling, the pulse of lyrical life beats everywhere; but between the feeling in the musician’s soul and the idea expressed in the poet’s verses, no connection is achieved. In a newspaper column I do not wish to cite a long series of individual examples, so I shall restrict myself to two.

Kashkin: The Queen of Spades. Opera in three acts and seven scenes. Subject taken from the story by Pushkin. Libretto by Modest Tchaikovsky, music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Russian Review, December 1890, no. 12, pp. 780–93. Kashkin/Tchaikovsky, pp. 129–47 At first sight Pushkin’s The Queen of Spades does not by any means offer particularly suitable material for an opera libretto; it may perhaps be termed a psychological study, the main figure in which, Herman, is incapable of rousing any special feelings of sympathy.

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Russians on Russian Music, 1880-1917: An Anthology by Stuart Campbell

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