Russian Music

Russian Music

Russian music, term for the music of the Great Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians.

The beginnings of Russian folk and church music go back to the prehistory and early history of the Slavic population of this area; until the 17th century it developed without any significant connection to occidental art music. The varied repertoire of folk music form i.a. Utility songs and dances (Chorowody), lyrical and epic songs (Starinen and Bylinen), joke songs (Tschastuschki) and historical songs. Their tonal and melodic peculiarity is based on the ancient church modes and on the pentatonic, on the asymmetrical time signature and occasionally on free polyphony (Podgolossok). The instrumental folklore was v. a. run by the skomorochi (traveling musicians and actors). Under the influence of vocal polyphony, playing with several voices on various folk instruments also developed. B. Gudok (string instrument), Bandura, Domra, Balalaika, Gusli, wind instruments and others. the duda.

Church music

According to Youremailverifier, church music in ancient Russia was initially tied to the Greek and the Old Church Slavonic or Old Bulgarian language. In early history it was shaped by the Byzantine and Old Slavic liturgy. It remained unanimous until the 17th century; Concerning tonality and melody, the old Greek modes and melodic formulas of the Old Slavonic church chant were used. With the translation of the liturgical texts into the vulgar language, national elements gradually gained acceptance. The first musical monuments from Kiev (12th century) already show Russian neumes (kryuki). Important for the artistic development of Russian church music was the inclusion of western polyphony and later the vocal instrumental forms of the Italian baroque and pre-classical music, among others. in works by D. S. Bortnjanski. The Russian romantics (P. I. Tchaikovsky, N. A. Rimski-Korsakow, S. W. Rachmaninov) and I. Stravinsky later followed up on this tradition.

Art music

In its beginnings, Russian art music was closely linked to the activities of foreign musicians. After Western European musicians were brought into the country in the early 17th century and occasional performances of German music took place (such as the lost ballet “Orpheus und Euridike” by H. Schütz in 1673), the music of the aristocracy and their serf bands and opera troupes had been around since Peter the great one completely under German, French and Italian influence. In Saint Petersburg, Italian composers such as Francesco Araja (* 1709, † 1770), B. Galuppi, T. Traetta, G. Sarti, G. Paisiello, D. Cimarosa dominated, Catterino Cavos (* 1775, † 1840) the opera up to the 19th century (works partly on Russian texts); in addition, Vasily A. Paschkewitsch (* around 1742, † 1797) and Evstigni I. Fomin (* 1761, † 1800) made attempts at Russian opera in the 18th century; Bortnjanski was more under Western influence.

National Russian art music began with M. I. Glinka’s operas (“Life for the Tsar”, 1836; “Ruslan and Lyudmila”, 1842). He found a successor in A. S. Dargomyschski, who in “Russalka” (1856) and “Der steinerne Gast” (1866–68; completed by Z. A. Kjuiand N. A. Rimski-Korsakow , premiered in 1872) adapted his music to the tone of the Russian language. In contrast, the Wagner friend Alexander Nikolajewitsch Serow (* 1820, † 1871) and A. G. Rubinstein oriented themselves towards Western music. The national efforts have been since 1862 by the group Mighty Heap around M. A. Balakirew  - who also published a collection of folk songs – continued: A. P. Borodin, ZA Kjui, M. P. Mussorgski and NA Rimski-Korsakow; With “Boris Godunow” (1874) MP Mussorgsky created one of the great music-dramatic works of his time. NA Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the first Russian symphony and became the teacher of a whole generation of composers in St. Petersburg: A. K. Lyadow, A. S. Arensky, A. T. Gretschaninow, A. K. Glazunov, N. N. Tscherepnin, N. J. Myaskovsky and IF Stravinsky .

In Tchaikovsky’s music, which received the greatest recognition in Western Europe, the national element recedes in favor of Western romantic expressiveness. In Tchaikovsky’s successor his disciple were S. I. Taneyev  - a master of counterpoint – and Rachmaninoff . Starting with F. Chopin, A. N. Scriabin turned to an expressive mysticism that inspired modernism around 1910. AN Scriabin mastered Russian music until about 1930. He found numerous imitators; only N. A. Roslawez developed his tonal language independently. IF Stravinsky took up impressionistic impulses early on in the neo-romantic tradition (“Feuervogel”, 1910), S. S. Prokofjew took up classicistic stylistic devices; The latter later became a representative representative of moderate modernity.

After the October Revolution (1917), there was initially a preference for western European modernism and a general joy in experimenting, turning away from 19th century Russian music, which was perceived as bourgeois. Since 1932 in particular, New Music has been rejected as formalistic and an optimistic, for the masses understandable and impressively heroic music demanded (socialist realism). This led to recourse to folk music, to traditional harmony and symphonies of the 19th century, and to public reprimands by important composers whose works deviated from the prescribed type. Of the older composers, among others. AK Glasunow, R. M. Glière, NJ Mjaskowski and Maximilian Ossejewitsch Steinberg (* 1883, † 1946)also played a role during this period. As the most important young composer – v. a. with symphonies – D. D. Shostakovich, next to him A. I. Chatschaturjan became internationally known, while J. A. Shaporin, W. J. Schebalin, D. B. Kabalewski and I. I. Dzerzhinsky could not work beyond the national borders.

Since the mid-1980s, the official cultural-political stance towards avant-garde music endeavors has become increasingly liberal. The preoccupation with twelve-tone technique, serial music, collage techniques and others, including experimental ways of composing, was tolerated and no longer condemned the “formalistic art of decay”. In the meantime, the connection to western modernism is sought and cultivated and an independent new music is strived for. W. W. Silwestrow is an important representative of avant-garde music. The experimental music, which is available in an experimental studio in Moscow, turned inter alia. E. W. Denissow, Sofia A. Gubajdulina (* 1931), who has lived in Germany since 1992, A. G. Schnittke and JO Firsowa too. Prominent composers with a conservative character are T. N. Chrennikow, Georgi W. Swiridow (* 1915, † 1998), Andrei J. Eschpaj (* 1925, † 2015), Alexander N. Cholminow (* 1925, † 2015), Boris Tschajkowski (* 1925, † 1996),Andrei P. Petrow (* 1930, † 2006), Sergei M. Slonimski (* 1932), R. K. Shtschedrin, AM Volkonsky and Boris I. Tishchenko (* 1939, † 2010).

Russian Music