TWO RUSSIAN NATIONALISTIC IDIOMS IN THE COMPOSI TION OF ROMANSI : A GRADUATE LECTURE RECITAL LINDSAY NUESCA, MEZZO SOPRANO By LINDSAY NUESCA SUPERVISORY COMMETTEE: ELIZABETH GRAHAM, CHAIR ANTHONY OFFERLE, MEMBER JENNIFER THOMAS, MEMBER ALEXANDER BURAK, SPECIAL MEMBER A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF MUSIC UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
Summary of Performance Option in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the College of Fine Arts of the University of Florida In Par tial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Music TWO RUSSIAN NATIONALISTIC IDIOMS IN THE COMPOSISTION OF ROMANSI : A GRADUATE LECTURE RECITAL LINDSAY NUESCA, MEZZO SOPRANO By Lindsay Nuesca August 2012 Chair: Dr. Elizabeth Graham Member: Dr. Anthony Offerle Member: Dr. Jennifer Thomas Member: Dr. Alexander Burak Major: Music The lecture and recital explain and illustrate the appropriation of certain musical devices as constructions of nationalist culture in the romansi or art s ongs, of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Modeste Musorgsky, and Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov. Russians have struggled to establish a national identity and culture throughout their history. But in nineteenth century Russia, the Russian offensive, was propelled into creating a unique collection of literature, music, and intellectualizing directed toward discovering and assimilating their Russian roots. Consequently, the nineteenth century witnessed the first full flowering of nat ionalist rhetoric and culture in Russia. Marina Frolova Walker has identified two deliberately crafted paradigms of Russian nationalism in Art literary nationalism and musical nationalism. Late nineteenth century composers combined literary and musical nat ionalistic idioms in song, where literature and music merge. The genesis of nationalism, the evolution of the concept of nationalism in Russia, four key events from Russian history, Russian nationalist intellectuals (individuals who spearheaded
the cultiv ation of national culture in Russia), and exoticism in music are discussed leading into the two constructions of nationalism, a literary construction and a musical construction. Literary nationalism is more commonly known and relies on melancholy and trage dy as its main characteristics. Musical nationalism draws on folk celebration materials and embodies hope in the future. Russian romansi occupy a unique place in nationalistic culture. Music and literature combine to form a dual voiced medium that uses ele ments of both constructions to create a more These three composers each took a very different approach to the same problem of establishing a national culture. Musorgsky explored two very different styles before his death cut short his creativity. Tchaikovsky sought to inject something Russian into the existing European canon. Rimsky Korsakov illustrates the life of one who lived in extremes, first embracing the limits of musical nationalism, and then rejecting those premises, though not escaping them. Ultimately, Russian nationalism was a movement by and for the nineteenth century Francophile Russian elite, constructed to grant themselves a new identity. Romansi combine the intimacy of singing with expressions of iden tity, exercising all the tools of both the literary convention of melancholy and the musical convention that includes folk celebratory materials. The Kuchkist composers and Tchaikovsky used nationalist tools and European tools to differing extents, but for the same ends: to create Russian culture.
BIOGRAPHY Lindsay Johnson Nuesca was born and raised in Idaho Falls, ID. She began voice lessons in high school and attended Ricks College for an AA in Voice, completing her BA in Vocal Performance at the Un iversity of Florida in 2005. She then taught choir and drama before moving to Siberia as a missionary in 2006. Upon returning to Gainesville in 2008, Lindsay spent three semesters in post baccalaureate Russian studies before starting her MM in Vocal Perfor mance with a Secondary Concentration in Music History and Literature. She specializes in the romansi or art songs, of the major Russian composers, and is dedicated to increasing the popularity and accessibility of Russian art song in both her performance and academic futures. Lindsay is a mezzo soprano currently preparing to sing the role of Third Lady in the The Magic Flute She was most recently Savitri and as t he Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Other roles include Second Lady in The Magic Flute, Elijah, La Maestra delle Novizie in Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein, and Just Je anette in Too Many Sopranos by Edwin Penhorwood. high school. Since then, she has had the opportunity to sing with the Choral Arts Society of Washington under Nor man Scribner, performing in conjunction with the National Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin. She participated in the 2002 Opening Ceremonies of the Paralympics with the Utah State University Choir, and was a soloist for the USU choir and symphonic b and at the College Band Directors National Association convention in Reno. As part of the University of Florida Chamber Singers, she has sung with the Louisiana Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, and the Kronos Quartet Choir. Lindsay and her husband Jon athan live in Gainesville, Florida.
College of Fine Arts School of Music Presents Two Russian Nationalistic Idioms in the Composition of Romansi : A Graduate Lecture Recital Lindsay Nuesca, Mezzo Soprano Assisted by: Katherine Plympton, Piano Saturda y, 14 April, 2012 5:30 PM Music Building, Room 101 BIOGRAPHY Mezzo A New Creation July pr oduction of Mozart's The Magic Flute She was most recently seen in the title role of Savitri as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and as alto soloist for the Messiah. Other roles include Second Lady in The Magic Flute, La Maestra delle Novizie in Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini, Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein, and Just Jeanette in Too Many Sopranos Ms. Nuesca discovered her love for Russian music as a missionary in Siberia, and is pa ssionate about increasing the popularity and accessibility of Russian art song as she finishes a Master's degree in vocal performance with a concentration in music history at the University of Florida. PROGRAM From the Song Cycle, "Youthful Years" : Mod este Musorgsky 2. The Merry Hour A drinking song (1839 1881) 1. Where are You, Little Star? 1a. Where are You, Little Star? (second orchestral version) 13a. Night Fantasia (second version) N ikolai Rimsky Korsakov (1844 1908) In the Dark Grove, the Nightingale Fell Silent [Op. 4 No. 3] Whispering, Timid Breathing [Op. 42 No. 1]
My Genius, My Angel, My Friend [song without opus] Pyotr Tchaikovsk y On this Moonlit Night [Op. 73 No. 3] (1840 1893) If Only I had Known [Op. 47 No. 1] None But the Lonely Heart [Op. 6 No. 6] +++++ This recital is in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Secondary C oncentration in Music History and Literature Ms. Nuesca is in the vocal studio of Dr. Elizabeth Graham. RECITAL HANDOUT Every Russian, listening to this or that piece of music, has more than once had a chance to say: "Ah, this is something Russian!" Vladimir Odoyevsky Regarding Russian nati onal character, we think that contradictoriness is its dominant feature. Major Sources: Marina Frolova Walker, author of Russian Music and Nationalism: From Glinka to Stalin London: Yale University Press, 2007. USSR born, graduate of the Moscow Conservat oire. Senior lecturer in music at University of Cambridge, fellow of Clare College. o Two constructions of Russian nationalism in Art, literary and musical o Literary is based on melancholy o Musical is based on folk celebration materials Benjamin Curtis, Ph.D., author of Music Makes the Nation: Nationalist Composers and Nation Building in Nineteenth Century Europe New York: Cambria Press, 2008. Assistant Professor in the o Genesis of nationalism as a concept o Nineteenth century nationalism based on fallacies of primordialism, fixation on folk tunes, an obsession with stylistics, the role of the nationalist composer as a conduit for immutable national identity, and the reception of music. Ralph Locke, author of Musical Exoticism: Images and Reflections Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Professor of Musicology at Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester. o Five binarisms: then/now, self/other, nearness/distance, the real/the fictive, and musical /extramusical signs and indicators Important names: Balakirev, Mily (1837 1910). Amateur composer and pedagogue, leader of the Kuchka, founder of Free Russian School [of music]. Was a chemist by trade. Bonaparte, Napoleon (1769 1821). Emperor of France, invaded Russia in 1812. Chaadayev, Pyotr (1794 1856). Nationalist Intellectual, Philosopher, Westernizer. Author of and deprived of most liberties and free
Chekhov, Anton Pavelovich (1860 1904). Author and Playwright, The Cherry Orchard Uncle Vanya various short stories. Russian Nationalist Intellectual. Diaghilev, Sergei (1872 1929). Russian choreographer, well known for his collaboration with Stravinsky on Firebird Petrushka and others. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor Mikhailovich (1821 1881). Author, Crime & Punishment The Brothers Karamazov and others. Russian Nationalist Intellectual. Glinka, Mik hail Ivanovich (1804 1857). Composer, Considered father of Russian Music. Golyenishchev Kutuzov, Count Arseniy Arkadyevich (1848 1913). Friend and roommate of offeri Herder, Johann Gottfried von (1744 1803). Volksgeist Khans. Leaders of the Mongols, ruled Russia 12 37 1480. Kireyevsky, Ivan (1806 1856), and Alexei Khomyakov (1804 1860). Published founding documents of Slavophilism in 1845. Mighty Kuchka. Commonly known as the Mighty Five: Mily Balakirev, leader; Borodin, Cui, Musorgsky, Rimsky Korsakov, members. o Ofte n called Kuchkists Musorgsky, Modeste Petrovich (1839 1881). Secret Lyricist Peter the Great (1682 1725). Tsar of Russia. Forced modernization and Westernization of Russia o Pre Petrine Russia: Russia before the reign of Peter. Used often in discussing the purity of Russian folk sources before Western elements entered high culture. Rimsky Korsakov, Nikolai Andreyevich (1844 1908). Master of Compromise Rubinstein, Anton Grigoryevich (1829 1894). Composer, Director of St. Petersburg Conservatory, Conductor. W Stasov, Vladimir (1824 1906). Music critic closely associated with the Kuchka. Coined their moniker and was relentless in promoting the realist Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich (1850 1 893). Practical Nationalist. Tolstoy, Lev Nikolayevich (1828 1910). Author, War & Peace and many others. Russian Nationalist Intellectual. Vladimir, Prince (958 1015). Forced the conversion of Russia to Byzantine Christianity in 988. Was sainted for this. Glossary Bogatiri heroes of epic poems. Ilya Muromets, Dobrynia Nikitych, and Alyosha Popovich were the heroes of Kievan Russia. Bylini Iliad and Odyssey Passed by oral tradition. Declamatory style using only one note for one syllable Melisma attaching more than one note to a sung syllable Nationalist intellectuals politically minded members of the elite who concern themselves with creating a culture to unite disparate peoples. Plagal do fa or fa do movem ent, especially in a cadence Primordialism Protyazhnaya long slow folk songs of ancient Russia with elaborate melodies, generally me lancholy in nature.
TRANSLITERATIONS AND ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF RUSSIAN ROMANCES 1. Musorgsky From the song cycle Youthful Years : 2. The Merry Hour, A Drinking Song. Dajte bokali Dajte vina! Give us glasses, give us wine! Radost' mgnoven'e; pejt e do dna! Joy is but an instant; bottoms up! Gromkie pesni gryan'te, druz'ya! Burst forth in to loud songs, friends! Pust' nas vesyolykh vidit zarya! Let the dawn see us in high spirits! Ninye piruyem yunost' na chas, Now we celebrate with feasting beca use youth is fleeting, Ninche vesyol'ye, radost' u nas! Now we are happy, we have joy! Zavtra, shto budyet znayu l', druz'ya? Tomorrow, what will be do I know, friends? Pust' nas vesyolikh vidit zarya! Let the dawn see us in high spirits! Pust' nas v esyolikh vidit zarya! Let the dawn see us in high spirits! Dajte bokali Dajte vina! Give us glasses, give us wine! Radost' mgnoven'ye; pejte do dna! Joy is but an instant; bottoms up! Gromkiye pesni gryan'te, druz'ya! Burst forth in to loud songs, frie nds! Pust' nas vesyolikh vidit zarya! Let the dawn see us in high spirits! Shumno, razgul'no pojte, druz'ya! Loudly, with abandon, sing, friends! Lejte v bokaly bol'she vina! Pour in the glasses more wine! Nu te zh, vsye razom vyp'yem do dna! Come on g uys, all together down the hatch! Pust' nas vesyelykh vidit zarya! Let the dawn see us in high spirits! Dajte zh bokali, dajte vina! Give us glasses, give us wine! Radost' mgnoven'ye; pejte do dna! Joy is but an instant; bottoms up! Gromkie pesni grya n'te, druz'ya! Burst forth in to loud songs, friends! Pust' nas vesyolikh vidit zarya! Let the dawn see us in high spirits!
2. Musorgsky From the song cycle Youthful Years : 1. Where are you little star? Version one. Gde ti, zvyozdochka? Akh, gde t i, yasnaya? Where are you, little star? O, where are you, bright one? Il' zatmilasya tuchej chyornoyu, Have you (star) become overcast with a black cloud? Tuchej chyornoyu, tuchej groznoyu? A black cloud, an ominous cloud? Gde ti, devitsa, gde ti krasna ya? Where are you, maiden, where are you beautiful? Il' pokinula druga milovo? Or have you abandoned your tender friend? Druga milovo nenaglyadnovo? Your tender beloved friend? Tucha chyornaya skrila zvyozdochku, A black storm cloud eclipsed the star, Zemla khladnaya vzyala devitsu. The cold earth took the maiden. 3. Musorgsky From the song cycle Youthful Years : 1a. Where are you little star? Version two. Gde ti, zvyozdochka? Akh, gde ti, yasnaya? Where are you, little star? O, where are you, brigh t one? Il' zatmilasya tuchej chyornoyu, tuchej mrachnoyu. Have you (star) become overcast with a black cloud, a dismal cloud. Gde ty, devitsa, gde ty krasnaya? Where are you, maiden, where are you beautiful? Il' pokinula druga milovo? Or have you abando ned your tender friend? I ya s goryesti, solyutoj toski, And I out of grief, because of this overwhelming anguish, Pojdu vo pole, pole chistoye; Will go in the field, the wide open field; Ne uvizhuli yasnoj zvyozdochki, On the off chance of seeing the b right star, Nepovstrechuli krasnoj devitsy, krasnoj devitsy. In the hope that maybe I'll see the fair maiden. Tucha chyornaya skrila zvyozdochku, A black storm cloud eclipsed the star, Zemlya khladnaya vzyala devitsu. The cold earth took the maiden. 4. Musorgsky From the song cycle Youthful Years : 13a. Night Fantasia (second version) Tvoj obraz laskovij tak poln ocharovan'ya Your image endearing so full of charm, Tak manit k sebye, tak obol'shchaet, How it lures me to itself, how it seduces, Tre vozha son moj tikhij v chas polnochi bezmolvnoj... Disturbing my quiet dream at silent midnight...
I mnitsa, shepchesh' ti. And it seems, you whisper. Tvoi slova, slivayas' I zhurcha chistoj strujkoj, Your words, merging and murmuring like a little stre am, Nado mnoyu v nochnoj tishi igrayut, Above me in the quiet night, your words are playing, Polni lyubvi, polni otradi, Full of love, full of delight, Polni vsej sily char volshebnoj negi i zabven'ya Full of the power of the spells of the magic bliss a nd oblivion Vo t'me nochnoj, v polnochnij chas, In the darkness of night, in the midnight hour, Tvoi glaza blistayut predo mnoj. Your eyes shine before me. slishu ya: sou nds I hear: Moj drug, moj nezhnij drug! My love, my tender love! Lyublyu tebya, tvoya, tvoya. I love you, I'm yours, I'm yours. 5. Rimsky Korsakov Plenivshis' rozoj, solovej Captivated by the rose, the night ingale i den' i noch' poyot nad nyej; Both day and night sings to her; No roza molcha pyesnyam vnemlyet... Na lire tak pevets inoj On a lyre some young lover in this way Poyot dlya devi molodoj; Sings for a youn g maiden; A deva milaya ne znayet, But the fair maiden doesn't know, Komu poyot i otchego For whom he is singing or why Pechal ni pesni tak yego His song is so sad. 6. Rimsky Korsakov Zvonche zhavaronka pen'ye, Loude r the lark's singing seems, Yarche veshniye tsveti, The spring flowers are brighter, Serdtse polno vdokhnoven'ya, The heart is full of hope, Nebo polno krasoti The heaven is full of beauty. Razorvav toski okovi, Having torn asunder the fetters of angu ish, Tsepi poshliye razbiv, The hated chains having smashed,
Nabegayet zhizni novoj A celebratory surge Torzhestvuyushchij priliv, Of a new life begins to engulf, i zvuchit svezho i yuno And sounds fresh and young Novikh sil moguchij stroj, The way t he new powerful forces are tuned, Kak natyanutiye struni Like taut strings Mezhdu nebom i zemlyoj Between heaven and earth, Kak natyautiye struni Like taut strings Mezhdu nebom i zemyoj Between heaven and earth. 7. Rimsky Korsakov In the Dark Gr ove, the Nightingale Fell Silent... V tyomnoj roshche zamolk solovej, In the dark grove, fell silent the nightingale, Prokatilas po nebu zvyezda ; The star moved across the sky; Mesyats smotrit skvoz' chashchu vetvej, The moon watches through the thicket of the branches, Zazhigayet rosu na trave. Ignites the dew on the grass. Kak pri mesyatse krotok i tikh How in the moonlight meek and quiet U tebya milij ocherk litsa! You have a tender contour of your face! Etu noch', polnij gryoz zolotikh This night full of golden dreams Ya b prodlil bez kontsa, bez kontsa! I would prolong without end, without end! 8. Rimsky Korsakov Whispering, Timid Breathing Shyopot, robkoye dikhan'ye. Whispering, timid breathing. Treli solov'ya. Warbling of the nightingale Serebro i kolikhan'ye The silver and rippling Sonnogo ruch'ya. Of a dreamy babbling brook. Svet nochnoj. Light of the night. Nochniye teni, Nighttime shadows, Teni bez kontsa Shadows without end. Ryad volshebnikh izmenenij A series of magical tran sformations Milogo litsa. Of the beloved face.
V dimnikh tuchkakh purpur rozi, In smoky clouds deep red of the rose, Otblesk yantarya, Gleam of amber, i lobzaniya, And of kissing, i slyozi i zarya, zarya! And tears and dawn, dawn! 9. Tchaikovsky M y genius, my angel, my friend. Nye zdes' li ti lyogkoyu ten'yu, Are you not here as a gossamer shadow, Moj genij, moj angel, moj drug, My genius, my angel, my friend, Beseduesh' tikho so mnoyu Do you not converse quietly with me I tikho letaesh vokrug ? And quietly hover all around? I robkim darish' vdokhnoven'yem, And give timid inspiration, I sladkij vrachuyesh' nedug, And doctor the sweet ailment, I tikhim darish' snoviden'yem, And give quiet dreams, Moj genij, moj angel, moj drug... My genius, my angel, my friend... Moj genij! Moj angel! Moj drug! My genius! my angel! my friend! 10. Tchaikovsky On this moonlit night V etu lunnuyu noch ', On this moonlit night V etu lunnuyu noch ', On this moonlit night V etot mig blagodatnij svidan'ya, In thi s blessed meeting O moj drug All my love Ya nye v silakh lyubvi prevozmoch' I have no power to overcome love Uderzhat' ya nye v silakh priznan'ya! I have no power to refrain from a declaration of love V serebre chut' kolishetsya ozera glad'... The si lver surface of the lake ripples a little Naklonyas' zasheptalisya ivi... The Willows having bowed themselves and having No bessilni slova Words are powerless! Kak tebye peredat How to you to convey Istomlyonnogo serdtsa porivi? The yearnings of an exhausted heart? Noch' ne zhdyot, noch' letit...
Zakatilas' luna... Zaalelo v tainstvennoj dali ... Dorogaya, prosti! My dear, forgive me! Snova zhiz ni volna Again the wave of life Nam nesyot den' toski i pechali! To us brings a day of anguish and deep sadness! 11. Tchaikovsky If only I had known Kabi znala ya, kabi vedala, If only I had known, If only I knew Nye smotryela by iz okoshechka I woul d not have watched from the window Ya na molodtsa razudalogo I [would not have watched] the dashing, bold young man Kak on yekhal po nashej ulitse, How he rode down our street, Nabekren' zalomivshi murmolku, Wearing his hat at a rakish angle, Kak lik hogo konya bulanogo, How of the dashing sorrel horse, Zvonkonogogo, dolgogrivogo Loud stepped, long maned Suprotiv okon na dibi vzdimal! Outside my window on his hind legs reared! Kabi znala ya, kabi vedala, If only I had known, if only I knew, Dlya ne go bi ya nye ryadilasya, For him I would not have dressed up, S zolotoj kajmoj lentu aluyu With crimson ribbon fringed in golden thread V kosu dlinuyu nye vplyetala by, Into a long braid I would not have plaited my hair, Rano do svetu nye vstavala by, E arly in the morning I would not have risen, Za okolitsu nye speshila by, Beyond the outskirts I would not have rushed, V rosye nozhen'ki nye mochila by, My tender young feet I would not have moistened, Na prosyolok tot nye glyadela by, Down the country road on the outskirts I would not have gazed, Nye proyedet li tem prosyolkom on, To see if he would pass this country road, Na rukye derzha pyostra sokola? On his arm holding a motley falcon? Kabi znala ya, kabi vedala! If only I had known, if only I kn ew! Kabi znala ya, kabi vedala, If only I had known, if only I knew, Nye sidyela by pozdnim vecherom, I would not have sat late at night,
Prigoryunivshis na zavalinye Feeling sad on the mound outside the house, Na zavalinye bliz kolodezya On the mo und, near the well, Podzhidayuchi, dagadayuchi, Waiting, guessing, Ne pridyot li on, nenaglyadnij moj, Whether he'll come, my beloved, Ne pridyot li on, nenaglyadnij moj! Whether he'll come, my beloved, Akh! Nye pridyot li on, nenaglyadnij moj, Ah! Whe ther he'll come, my beloved, Napoit' konya studyenoj vodoj! To water his horse in the pool of refreshing water! Kabi znala ya, kabi vedala! If only I had known, if only I knew! Kabi znala ya! Kabi vedala! Akh! If only I had known! If only I knew! Akh! 12. Tchaikovsky None but the lonely heart Nyet, tol'ko tot, kto znal svidan'ya zhazhdu, No, only he, who has known the thirst of anticipating a lover's meeting, Pojmyot, kak ya stradal i kak ya strazhdu. Understands, how I suffered and how I suffer. my eye is growing dime... Akh, kto menya lyubil I znal -dalyoko! Ah, who loved and knew me is so far away! Akh, tol'ko tot, kto znal svidan'ya zhazhdu, Ah, on ly he, who has known the thirst of anticipating a lover's meeting, Pojmyot, kak ya stradal i kak ya strazhdu. Understands, how I suffered and how I suffer. Pojmyot, kak ya stradal i kak ya strazhdu. Understands, how I suffered and how I suffer. Vsya gru the thirst of anticipating a lover's meeting, Pojmyot, kak ya stradal i kak ya strazhdu. Understands, how I suffered and how I suffer.
LECTURE Two Russian Nationalistic Idioms in the Composition of Romansi Introduction Who, and what, is Russian? Russian national character embodies the essence of east and west, yet persistently struggles to reconcile the two within its borders and culture. In nineteenth century Russia, N aristocracy that produced waves of literature, music, and intellectualizing which continue to polarize to the present day. Consequently, the nineteenth century witnessed the first full f lowering of nationalist rhetoric and culture in Russia. Marina Frolova Walker has identified two deliberately crafted paradigms of Russian nationalism in Art literary nationalism and musical nationalism. Late nineteenth century composers combined literary and musical nationalistic recommendation by Russian opera singer Olga Ionova, and then narrowed down through analysis and suitability to my voice. The Genesis of Nation alism Nationalist intellectuals politically minded people of the intelligentsia fashion the d then propagate their ideas 1 Nationalist composers create national culture, which is essential to the creation of a nation. According to twentieth century philosoph 1 Benjamin Curtis, Music Makes the Nation: Nationalist C omposers and Nation building in Nineteenth Century Europe (Amherst: Cambria Press, 2008), 21, italics in original.
2 National culture grants identity Curtis emphasizes, s 3 Nineteenth century nationalists relied on a primordialist theory of the nation drawing from the work of eighteenth century writers like Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744 1803). The 4 Volksgeist 5 While primordialism cannot be proven empirically, it dominated the consciousness and theories of nineteenth century nationalists. In 6 defined the keys of nineteenth century Russian ideals s urrounding national culture creation. 7 Nationalism in Nineteenth Century Russia Background Marina Frolova Walker divides Russian nationalism in music from nationalism in in the music constructed in literature, were five fold: 1) formless and unkempt, 2) gloomy, 3) crudely realistic, 4) morbid and hysterical, and 5) mystical. 8 Howev er, the Mighty Kuchka, (commonly known as the Mighty Five) presented a nationalist style which abandoned literary conceptions of the tragic Russian soul in favor of music that drew upon multiple folk song genres to create a 2 Ernest Gellner, as quoted in Curtis, Music Makes, 25. 3 Curtis, 26. 4 Curtis, 20. 5 Curtis, 28. 6 Curtis, 27. 7 Marina Frolova Walker, Russ ian Music and Nationalism from Glinka to Stalin (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2007), 29. 8 Frolova Walker, 1.
sound that was far more festive than gloomy. It was exotic, brilliant, and focused on the Slavophile notion of an idealized pre Petrine Russian purity rather than reality. 9 Four critical points in Russian history reveal the difference between the literary and Kuchkist conceptions of the Russian soul. Lessons from Russian History In 988, Prince Vladimir formally adopted Byzantine Christianity as the official religion stronger ideological basis, urging the unity of the country and at the same time emphasizing its 10 After the Great Schism in 11 The Mongols, led by the Khans, conquered and ruled Russia from 1237 until 1480. The Khans levied intensely oppressive taxes, isolating Russia from both Byzantium and Europe, impoverishing the people to the point of cultural regression. 12 But once they conquered the Russians, the Mongols never proceeded into the rest of Europe. During this long period of domination, Russia suffered and regressed while Europe progress ed; from this condition world and the future by sacrificing herself. Peter the Great (1682 1725) forcibly modernized and Westernized every aspect of Russian life from the calendar to the clothing style, from commerce to the military. For a hundred years the Petrine reforms held sway, and by the end of the eighteenth century, the 9 Frolova Walker, 1. 10 Nicholas V. Riasanovsky and Mark D. Steinberg, A History of Russia 7 th ed. (New York: Oxford University Pr ess, 2005), 32. 11 Riasanovsky, 33. 12 Riasanovsky, 68.
aristocracy had adopted all things French, so that many could not even speak their na tive language. 13 When Napoleon Bonaparte invaded in 1812, the Francophile aristocracy felt the deepest betrayal, suddenly rejecting all things French and their own adopted identity, seeking to ely in Russian language and 14 that they might learn to be Russians. They began to imagine themselves brothers with the peasants, who had supposedly never been sullied by outside influences. However self deceptive, their opposition to the W est and its accompanying inward search for identity laid the the present day. Russian Nationalist Intellectuals The search for Russian national identity polar ized the intelligentsia into two major written in 1829, can be called the first treatise of a Westernizer. He disparages Russia to a point that even modern read 15 He completely discounts the Russian idea of their backwards superiority, and claims, in Frolova were undoubtedly positive 16 The backlash was ruthless. His subsequent country without a 17 Further, he claimed that instead of a pure Russian culture existing before Peter the Great, there was NO culture before Peter the 13 Riasanovsky, 197 222. 14 Frolova Walker, 2. 15 Frolova Walker, 6. 16 Frolova Walker, 7, italics in original. 17 Frolova Walker, 8.
Great, and that their geographical location set them apart from Europe, apart from the East, 18 In 1845 Ivan Kireyevsky and Alexei Khomyakov published the founding documents of Slavoph ilism. The Slavophiles first protested against Westernization, including any kind of larger world. It is not until the 1840s that the rhetoric surrounding the idea of national the Russian national character was motivated by economic and political factors, and in turn 19 Concer ning Exoticism them on the periphery of Western music. The issue facing s canonical rank, but with it he co 20 Ralph Locke advocates a broader definition of exoticism that neatly embodies the crux of the Russian identity dilemma. Who is born, French trained, nineteenth century Russian aristocracy foun were not French, they did not belong to the past, but they were out of place in the present. And traits becomes 18 As quoted by Frolova Walker, 9. 19 Frolova Walker, 11. 20 Ralph Locke, Mu sical Exoticism: Images and Reflections (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 77 78.
anchored by concrete references to a place that really exists (or once existed) on which we can then project our wildest scenarios, however atypical they may be of, or ev en how impossible they would be in, 21 Locke is referring to dramatic staged works, but the concept applies to the real life identity dilemma of nineteenth century Russian aristocrats, and hinges on the will of the creator, wh ich in this case is the composer. The will of the composer can be divined through a process that extends beyond the common assumption is that somehow the pitches and rhythms in a piece will convey to a listener all the necessary data or messages, 22 Understanding the context of music is essential. The context includes musical signs (notes, rhythms, harmonies) and extramusical the social norms of his time, and his compositional philosophy. Nationalism in Ninet eenth Century Russia Literature Turning then to the two different constructions of nationalism in Art, the construction of national character in literature was effectively disseminated, cementing the Russian essence, or soul, in the annals of prose. Its f oundation can be gathered under the umbrella of a strict rejection of everything in the West: Western rationality, creative energy and industriousness were so grossly misshapen in the distorting mirrors of caricature that they began to appear pathological, while the proposed Russian negations intuition, contemplation and underachievement were offered as the essentials of a healthy culture. 23 21 Locke, 69. 22 Locke, 83. 23 Frolova Walker, 12.
By virtue of this demand for a strict purge of all things Western in their culture, Russians essentially threw th e baby out with the bathwater, yet managed to make it seem, thanks to Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and Chekhov, that the baby was evil, the mother right in purging herself nd (admirably) communal peasantry into a messianic complex wherein virtuous, young, fresh Russia would unite and save all other peoples and nations. 24 However, any minor study of Russian history will uncover a bloody trail of cruelty in contrast to the idea of a meek, peaceful, and benevolent people, a contradiction that they embraced as a part of their greatness: Russia is the most anarchic, yet also the most bureaucratic of states; it is the least chauvinistic and yet the most nationalistic; it is a natio n both submissive and arrogant; it enjoys great freedom of spirit, and great oppression. It is the opposition between West and East, the two worlds which messianic Russia would bring together and reconcile. 25 Nationalism in Nineteenth Century Russia Glinka and the Mighty Kuchka In the first half of the nineteenth century, primordialist nationalist intellectuals established melancholy protyazhnaya 26 as the remaining font of pre Petrine cultural purit y. They were incorporated into art song and opera to soothe the conscience of the Russian nobleman who had shared a culture with the invading French. It was in this atmosphere that Glinka composed a Russian nationalistic opera, A Life for the Tsar : [Glink confirm[s] his belief in Russian melancholy. Contemporary audiences made no distinction between folksong adaptations and salon romance, 27 and so they perceived the opera as homog 24 Frolova Walker, 17. 25 N.A. Berdyayev, in his 1918 collection of essays, The Destiny of Russia from i (Moscow: Sovetskiy as summarized in Frolova Walker, 28. 26 Frolova Walker, 30. 27 This would indicate that salon romansi are a reflection of the literary nationalistic trope, and that they are specifically for the edification of the gentry despite evidence that the peasantry had access to and incorporated salon romans lyrics or melodies into their own mediums; there is no evidence suggesting that the gentry were actively propagating any kind of music among the peasantry, only procuring it.
contemporaries agreed that A Life for the Tsar successfully encapsulated the notion of musical Russianness current at that time. 28 Ruslan and Ludmilla (1842), repla ced the protyazhnaya and its melancholy with fantasy and oriental elements, fairy tales and bylini (epic poems) with their heroes, the bogatiri; Glinka opted for this different version of the idealized innocence of pre Petrine Russia, still reflecting the Slavophile fantasy of a pure Russian cultural source, but omitting the use of protyazhnaya which by the 1840s were considered to be contaminated. For (speculatively) to b 29 The Kuchkists took Ruslan as a point of departure for their nationalist efforts, 30 but the 31 The Kuchka therefore fell back on European idioms for greater expressivity in their music, even though their basic ideals still stemmed from a rejection of the West. They also reached to the East: [Vladimir] Stasov and [Mily] Balakirev both believed that the Russians shared a common a ncestor with the peoples of the East. This is crucial to our understanding of Balakirev, and to some extent the other members of the Kuchka Balakirev did not see the Oriental style as means for representing a separate, alien people, an Other, in curr ent parlance, but as an essential component of musical Russianness; the easiest way to assert a distinct, non European identity. 32 His thinking was not dominated by Orientalist binary oppositions. 33 Despite the advocacy of the Kuchkists, it was not until choreographer Sergei Diaghilev took the music to Paris in 1907 that their music received international attention, near or past the end of the lives of the Five. Primordialism and folk songs provided ample inspiration, supplying 28 Frolova Walker, 41 42, bold emphasis added. 29 Frolova Walker, 43. 30 Frolova Walker, 42. 31 Frolova Walker, 43. 32 Frolova Wal k er, 153. 33 Frolova Walker, 154.
Russia and her com posers with an effective ideology and lasting material stuck somewhere between truth and fantasy, reality and illusion, Western structure and Eastern exoticism even if the result was a marginalization of Russian music and her composers. Secret Lyricism Modeste Musorgsky, a distinct follower in the Mighty Kuchka, led a double life. His friends and colleagues were polarized over his compositional strengths, with Count Arseniy Golenishchev Kutuzov and Rimsky Korsakov supporting his lyrici sm, and Stasov and Balakirev pushing him towards the stark realism for which he is typically known. 34 survival of any of his music. However, Mus advocacy. 35 Youthful Years a collection of lyrical songs written over a period of fourteen years. 36 image of a wailing mourner. The pian o exploits mediant and plagal harmonies, anticipating Kuchkist compositional philosophy. The opening theme anticipates the rhythm of the vocal line, employing a flattened seventh scale degree and the melodic minor scale played on a dudka, a folk reed pipe. The pre Kuchka Musorgsky already had wonderful compositional intuition. In contrast, the second version is a new student The opening theme is homogenized rhythmically, melodically, and instrumentally, usin g triplets 34 Musorgsky: Eight Essays and an Epilogue (Prin ceton, Princeton University Press, 1993), 3 37. 35 13. 36 Alexandra Orlova, Musorgsky's Days and Works: A Biography in Documents trans. and ed. by Roy J. Guenther (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1983), 60, 61, 66.
instead of the varied rhythms of the first, removing the use of melodic minor, and changing the instrument to English horn: Figure 1. Little Star, Version one, opening theme for dudka: Figure 2. Little Star, Version two, opening theme for En glish horn: The vocal line is similarly homogenized with triplet melismas, attenuating the mourning, but moving closer to the declamatory style his realist works would be known for. Additionally, the following melodic adjustment is awkward, changing a s mooth melody to an unsupported, modulating, jaunting arpeggiation: Figure 3. Little Star, Version One Figure 4. Little Star, Version two The piano maintains the use of mediant and plagal harmonies, but version two interjects a verse in first person i nto the center of the song, further disrupting the mournful feeling. It seems an attempt to inject a moment of despairing hope, in the musical nationalist tradition, but fails. on into
peasant drinking song as a celebration of youth, friendship, and brotherhood. It illustrates an early version of the Kuchkist compositional philosophy, in that it uses dominant tonic and subdominant tonic relationships almost equally instead of relying primarily on the plagal relationship. plagal and chromatic harmonies, hovering between keys of close and distant relation. He introduces the flattened seventh scale degree, Neapolitan sixths, and ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth chord 37 The nearly delirious, and plays into a mature demonstration of the musical nationalist t radition. However, this song is a masterful blend of musical and literary idioms: behind the effusive delight, the Russian text carries the heartbreaking implication that she is delusional; her love is gone, and either by death or choice, the vision is all she has. Pyotr Tchaikovsky might seem an odd addition to a paper on musical nationalism. Tchaikovsky was concerned with creating uniquely Russian music, but took a more pragmatic approach, working from a base of European tec hniques. In spite of the popular notion that Tchaikovsky and the Five were musical nemeses, in the late 1860s and early 70s Balakirev tutored young 38 Still, Tchaikovs Taneyev, he writes: 37 38 Edward Garden, "The Influence of Balakirev on Tchaikovsky." Proceedings of the Royal Musical Association 107 (1980 1981), under article title, pp. 86 100. http://www.jstor.org/stable/766117 (accessed March 3, 2012).
. I value highly the richness of material which the mas ses create, but you have to go a painfully long way to get away from Europe. European music is in my view a treasure house to which every nation contributes for the general good. We cannot get away from the European garden, for our seed [fell] upon ground cultivated before us by the Europeans; I would like to see Russian music stand on its own feet and infuse a fresh spirit into music. 39 Throughout his life, Tchaikovsky composed songs either for hi s own enjoyment or for money, 40 but it is unrealistic to discount contemporary philosophies in his song composition. His earliest surviving romans Balakirev by almost a decade, and fits neatly into the literary conception of Russian nationalism. He was only seventeen when he set the hushed query of a poem by Afanasy Fet, a schoolmate. 41 Its c minor conveys a mournfully plaintive quality underlining the message that the muse figure brings inspira tion as well as relief from mortal heartache. The steady heartbeat chords that underline the melody undulate between a c minor triad and a d half diminished seventh chord for most of the song, adding to the feeling that the muse is hovering on beating wing s like a guardian angel. 39 Alexandra Orlova. Tc haikovsky: A Self Portrait trans. R. M. Davidson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 204 6, italics in original. 40 Orlova, self portrait, 111, 401, and Richard D. Sylvester, : A Companion with Texts and Translations (India napolis: Indiana University Press, 2002), 25. 41 Sylvester, 1 2.
typical of the early relationship between Balakirev and Tchaikovsky, which reveals that Balakirev is the master, f earlessly criticizing, urging Tchaikovsky to give of his best, upbraiding him for banality, adjuring him to be more self critical; but at all times having faith in him, giving him a feeling that he had the capacity to write music of first class quality. 42 This song illustrates just how early in his development that Tchaikovsky, under the heavy hand of Balakirev, formed his own philosophies of nationalism and composition, embracing the subtleties of the Russian language and the practices of the Romantic per iod in creating brilliant vocal lines and harmonic tension to rend the Russian heart strings. Here, the first climax avoids the tonic so that the moment of silence before the voice re enters for the coda steals the breath: Figure 6. None But the Lonely Hea rt. choice of poem by Aleksei Tolstoy; with characteristic dramatic flair, Tchaikovsky illustrates a in he uses an unstable undulation agitated declamatory vocal line: 42 Garden, 87.
Figure 7. If Only I Had Known The poetic evocation of the folk and a plagal final cadence also place this song firmly in the musical nationalist tradition. idiom in its choice of poem by a minor Russian poet, declamatory vocal line, and effusive character. spending coveted moments in the moonlight: Figure 8. On This Moonlit Night day 43 This song also provides a precedent for Rimsky century harmonic practices with extensive use of non functional seventh c hords of all types. 43 Sylvester, 275
Tchaikovsky marched to the beat of his own drum, but his Russian soul also yearned for the Nikolai Rimsky ompromise Rimsky Korsakov is my favorite composer of the Kuchkists, someho w embodying Russia in his unwitting position as a bridge between the Kuchka and Tchaikovsky the bridge between intuition and education. Balakirev began teaching Rimsky Korsakov in 1861 or 62. His first songs were composed to imitate and please his mentor. He was an intuitive composer and navy. 44 Korsakov accepted a teaching position at the St. Petersburg Conservatory In his memoir, he admits to being inadequate to the task of a professional teaching position, having never studied theory at all. 45 H is professional ignorance spurred him to study harmony and counterpoint in earnest, using, among other resources, Tchaikov myself acquiring systematic knowledge even in elementary theory." 46 He eventually rejected the Rimsky under Rimsky 47 It is unclear how much of the published vers ion was from Rimsky 44 Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky Korsakov, My Musical Life 3 rd ed., trans. J. A. Joffe (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1942), 22. 45 Rimsky Korsakov, 117. 46 Rimsky Korsa kov, 150. 47 Rimsky Korsakov, 68.
This use of augmented second and 16 th note rhythm evokes an Arabian scene, reinforced by the Figure 9. Captivated by the Rose. The unaccompanied vocal line matches the accents of the Russian words with strong beats while continuing with Arabian melodic traits, exoticising the characters in the poem, a nightingale and a rose, who seem foreign in an Arabian landscape. The closing F# major chord lends a little hope that the sad song of the nightingale will be answered by the rose somehow, subverting the melancholy of the literary nationalist idiom. th note as well as harmonies in augmented second relationship, but robs them of their context, and therefore their exotic imagery: Figure 10. In the Dark Grove.
The use of exotic elements in neutral contexts is characteristic of the musical nationalist idiom 48 Instead, the rhythm is transformed into a mirror of a clumsy, yet sincere young suitor who, with his youthful jitters, step step step trip tumbl es over tree roots as he jabbers. His theme is alternated with a slightly nervous, syncopated rhythm that reflects the blossoming, yet inexperienced, fair maiden: Figure 11. In the Dark Grove. shy smile. This is one of few songs that employ only the musical nationalist idiom. in 1897, reflect Rimsky ection of Kuchkist principles and a mastery of his formal education. These songs employ more involved accompaniments and sweeping, dramatic vocal lines. Both brief songs have unexpected endings that seem, if not awkward, then at least unsophisticated, givi ng an impression of a backward nod to folk song and subsequently, primordialism. mastered, also shows that he had not fully rejected the principles of the Kuchka, even if he di sparaged them, by using chords built on the flattened seventh scale degree, a poem by a minor 48 Frolova Walker, 153.
Russian poet, and embracing a celebratory demeanor. The accompaniment resembles Figure 12. Whispering, Timid Breathing. Korsakov, like Tchaikovsky, while unable to completely abandon the Russian musical nationalist idiom, was actively turning to Europe and seeking ad vanced compositional devices. In the following measure, he combines functional V7 i movement in the right hand and vocal line with an arpeggiated major III chord in the left hand, effecting use of mediant related keys, as composers like Wolf and Strauss di d: Conclusion These three composers each took a very different approach to the same problem of establishing a national culture. Musorgsky explored two very different styles before his death cut
short his creativity Tchaikovsky sought to inject something Russian into the existing European canon. Rimsky Korsakov illustrates the life of one who lived in extremes, first embracing the limits of musical nationalism, and then rejecting those premises, though not escaping them. Ultimately, Russian nationalism was a movement by and for the nineteenth century Francophile Russian elite, constructed to grant themselves a new identity. Romansi combine the intimacy of singing with expressions of identity, exercising all the tools of both the literary convention of melancholy and the musical convention that includes folk celebratory materials. The Kuchkist composers and Tchaikovsky used nationalist tools and European tools to differing extents, but for the same ends: to create Russ ian culture.
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