2015 ¹ 12
In this issue of the journal, special attention is paid to the musical theatre of the late 19th and the first third of the 20th century (expressionist opera and unknown excerpts from Shostakovich’s The Nose) and to the Moscow cultural life seen through the texts by two outstanding professors of the Moscow Conservatoire, Sergey Evseyev and Konstantin Kuznetsov. The publications of their texts are supplemented with essays on their many-sided creative activities. The essay by a well-known Israeli musicologist on the phenomenon of tradition in folk music is published in the rubric ‘Fragments of Future Monographs’.
The article explores the evolution of one-act opera in Germany and Austria-Hungary at the turn of the 20th century. It discusses the main characteristics of this opera form and investigates its relationship to the aesthetics of expressionism. Richard Strauss’s Salome and Elektra, Arnold Schönberg’s Erwartung and Die glückliche Hand are in the focus of interest. These works are presented against a wide cultural background, in interrelation with contemporary musical composition, philosophy, dramaturgy, painting.
The article, based on archival materials, is devoted to several unknown compositions by the famous Russian musicologist S.V. Evseyev (Yevseyev, 1894–1956). As composer, he is nowadays all but forgotten. His sacred and secular scores give rise to reflections on the development of the great Russian tradition of choral singing, on the relationship between Moscow ‘Synodal’ and ‘Conservatoire’ schools, and on the transformations of their features as applied to the ‘social commission’ of Stalin’s era.
EXCERPTS FROM BOOKS IN PROGRESS
The present text is an introduction to the forthcoming book Sonic Ruins of Modernity: Folksongs in the Post-Tradition Era by Israeli musicologist Edwin Seroussi. The author comments on the substantial changes in the concept of tradition in the 20th century and suggests his own approach to the folk song tradition in the modern era, i. e. hypothesis of viewing a folksong as a place, a site of ruins that is visited and revisited during any utterance of and exposure to it. Taking folksongs in Judeo-Spanish as a case study, Seroussi proposes a methodology that was created to explore the interactions of the minute interplay of the individual memories, artistic initiatives, political manipulations, media policies, and scholarly undertakings that shape the ‘cosmic game of tradition’ (Richard Taruskin) in the 20th century.
FROM THE HISTORY OF MUSICOLOGY
The article deals with the history of collaboration of the outstanding Russian musicologist Konstantin Kuznetsov with the American-Soviet printed media project Moscow News. The analysis of his numerous articles and reviews written in English adds new facts to his bi-ography and throws new light on his activities, as well as on his personality. The article is supplemented with lists of Kuznetsov’s publications in Moscow News and Moscow Daily News, as well as with original English texts of some of his writings (see Publi-cations).
A selection of articles written by the outstanding musicologist Konstantin Kuznetsov (1883–1953) in English for the weekly Moscow News and the Moscow Daily News in the mid-1930s and lists of publications is presented.
The notebooks of the outstanding music theorist Sergey Evseyev are of great interest as a document of the Soviet era, evoking many pages of the history of the Moscow Conservatoire, of the capital’s opera and dramatic theatre, and of the everyday life of the musical community during a turbulent decade in the history of the Russian musical culture. Introductory article, publication and commentaries by Olesya Bobrik.
Among the manuscript materials pertaining to Shostakovich’s opera The Nose, kept at the Russian State Archive of Literature and Arts and at the Shostakovich Archives, several previously unknown excerpts have been found: entr’actes between the 3rd and 4th scenes of Act I and between the 1st and 2nd scenes of Act II, as well as a version of the beginning of Act III. The autograph manuscripts and authorized fair copies are described; they will be published in the New Collected Works by Shostakovich (Moscow: DSCH publishers).