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Russian Music Studies

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Russian Music Studies

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Anton Rubinstein

A Life in Music

Philip S. Taylor

The first modern biography in English of Russian composer-pianist Anton Rubinstein, this book places Rubinstein within the context of Russian and western European musical culture during the late 19th century, exploring his rise to international fame from humble origins in Bessarabia, as well as his subsequent rapid decline and marginalization in later musical culture. Taylor provides a balanced account of Rubinstein's life and his career as a piano virtuoso, conductor, composer, and as the founder of Russia's first conservatory. Widely considered the virtuosic heir to Liszt, and recognized internationally as an equivalent cultural icon, he performed with most leading musicians of the day, including Liszt himself, Joachim, Clara Schumann, Vieuxtemps, Wieniawski, Saint-Saens, and Ysaÿe.

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Jascha Heifetz

Early Years in Russia

Translated and edited by Dario Sarlo and Alexandra Sarlo. Galina Kopytova

Notoriously reticent about his early years, violinist Jascha Heifetz famously reduced the story of his childhood to "Born in Russia. First lessons at 3. Debut in Russia at 7. Debut in Carnegie Hall at 17. That's all there is to say." Tracing his little-known upbringing, Jascha Heifetz: Early Years in Russia uncovers the events and experiences that shaped one of the modern era's most unique talents and enigmatic personalities. Using previously unstudied archival materials and interviews with family and friends, this biography explores Heifetz's meteoric rise in the Russian music world—from his first violin lessons with his father, to his studies at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with the well-known pedagogue Leopold Auer, to his tours throughout Russia and Europe. Spotlighting Auer’s close-knit circle of musicians, Galina Kopytova underscores the lives of artists in Russia’s "Silver Age"—an explosion of artistic activity amid the rapid social and political changes of the early 20th century.

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Mamontov's Private Opera

The Search for Modernism in Russian Theater

Olga Haldey

The Moscow Private Opera, founded, sponsored, and directed by Savva Mamontov (1841--1918), was one of Russia's most important theatrical institutions at the dawn of the age of modernism. It presented the Moscow premieres of Lohengrin, La Bohème, and Khovanshchina, among others; launched the career of Feodor Chaliapin; gave Sergei Rachmaninov his first conducting job; employed Vasily Polenov, Victor Vasnetsov, Valentin Serov, Konstantin Korovin, and Mikhail Vrubel as set designers; and served as a model for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Part commercial enterprise, part experimental studio, Mamontov's company revolutionized opera directing and design, and trained a generation of opera singers. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished primary sources and evidence from art and theater history, Olga Haldey paints a fascinating portrait of a railway tycoon turned artiste and his pioneering opera company.

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Musical Cultures in Seventeenth-Century Russia

Claudia R. Jensen

Claudia R. Jensen presents the first unified study of musical culture in the court and church of Muscovite Russia. Spanning the period from the installation of Patriarch Iov in 1589 to the beginning of Peter the Great's reign in 1694, her book offers detailed accounts of the celebratory musical performances for Russia's first patriarch -- events that were important displays of Russian piety and power. Jensen emphasizes music's varied roles in Muscovite society and the equally varied opinions and influences surrounding it. In an attempt to demystify what has previously been an enigma to Western readers, she paints a clear picture of the dazzling splendor of musical performances and the ways in which 17th-century Muscovites employed music for spiritual enlightenment as well as entertainment.

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Rachmaninoff's Complete Songs

A Companion with Texts and Translations

Richard D. Sylvester

Sergei Rachmaninoff--the last great Russian romantic and arguably the finest pianist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries--wrote 83 songs, which are performed and beloved throughout the world. Like German Lieder and French mélodies, the songs were composed for one singer, accompanied by a piano. In this complete collection, Richard D. Sylvester provides English translations of the songs, along with accurate transliterations of the original texts and detailed commentary. Since Rachmaninoff viewed these "romances" primarily as performances and painstakingly annotated the scores, this volume will be especially valuable for students, scholars, and practitioners of voice and piano.

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A Schnittke Reader

Alfred Schnittke. Edited by Alexander Ivashkin.. Translated by John Goodliffe.. Foreword by Mstislav Rostropovich.

This compilation assembles previously published and unpublished essays by Schnittke and supplements them with an interview with cellist and scholar Alexander Ivashkin. The book is illustrated with musical examples, many of them in Schnittke's own hand. In A Schnittke Reader, the composer speaks of his life, his works, other composers, performers, and a broad range of topics in 20th-century music. The volume is rounded out with reflections by some of Schnittke's contemporaries.

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Shostakovich's Music for Piano Solo

Interpretation and Performance

Sofia Moshevich

The piano works of Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) are among the most treasured musical compositions of the twentieth century. In this volume, pianist and Russian music scholar Sofia Moshevich provides detailed interpretive analyses of the ten major piano solo works by Shostakovich, carefully noting important stylistic details and specific ways to overcome the numerous musical and technical challenges presented by the music. Each piece is introduced with a brief historic and structural description, followed by an examination of such interpretive aspects as tempo, phrasing, dynamics, voice balance, pedaling, and fingering. This book will be an invaluable resource for students, pedagogues, and performers of Shostakovich's piano solos.

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