Russian classical music of the XVIII century

Very long, half a century of accumulation of new auditory experience, aesthetic tastes and musical performing skills led finally to a qualitative leap in the 1760s. Since that time, began to form the Russian school of composers in artistic style which combined the national traditions with the modern achievements of Western music.

As often happens in the history of culture, certain stylistic gains are committed not only in the works of one author. It happened at the beginning of the Russian classical music at the origins of which three were the same age, born in the 1740s, Maxim Berezovsky, Ivan and Vasily Pashkevich Khandoshkin. In different areas opened their gifts: Berezovsky-mostly choral, Khandoshkin-a violin, Pashkevich-in the opera. But all of them were highly educated and national identity of the musicians.

Like the creative result many have contributed to the conditions of their musical education, and the time for which they had to be creative and spiritual formation.

All of them have started to learn from childhood, and adolescent and early adulthood has served as court musicians, constantly participating in the musical life of the capital. Everything they owned a violin-it was the norm training, Berezovsky and Pashkevych studied and vocal. As artists they have won a lot of European opera, cantatas, oratorios and instrumental repertoire, brought into the Russian. However, the scope of traditional and urban songs in the home and in the concerts have not yet been separated from the academic genres that barrier that emerged a century later. Hence, it has grown natural, sincere and relevant to its roots, which defined the national identity and the value of their music.

Vasily Pashkevich, who began to serve as the court choir singing, constantly involved not only in the church service, but also in the musical entertainments of the yard. Songbirds sing Italian arias, folk songs, played instruments and participated in opera performances. Maxim Berezovsky and Ivan Khandoshkin in the 1750s began a musical career at the court of the Grand Duke Peter Fedorovich (the future Emperor Peter III) in Oranienbaum.

Khandoshkin I.

The Emperor was a music lover. With J. Staehelin, who was his teacher, and later as a librarian, reader, in general, a close confidant and, above all, a lover and connoisseur of music, he gathered around him a German, Italian and Russian artists. A special treat to the Grand Duke brought a private violin playing.

J. Staehelin derisively described it: "This sovereign pastime for some Italians have learned to play the violin so he could play in the symphony, ritornello to Italian arias, etc. And as the Italians, even when he is out of tune or jumped over a hard place , it is always interrupted by shouts of "Bravo, Your Grace, bravo," he thought, with his piercing bow shock that he plays with the same regularity and beauty, which demanded, indeed, his musical taste.

When the Grand Duke's court in the winter took place once a week full of concerts from 4 to 9:00 pm. They sang and played not only in the service and maintenance of the Grand Duke ... two German singer ... very fine violinist Caselli of Bologna and a little inferior to him in a solo game young Russian from St. Petersburg Ohnesorg, strong traversist (ie flutist who plays the Flute) Fire, cute Yubersher accompanying cellist and a significant number of Italians, Russian and Germans to fill the remaining votes .. . and all Italian musicians of the Imperial kamerkapelly. Even the great prince always played first violin concerto from the beginning to the end, and for the sake of His Imperial Highness the court gentlemen, officers and other ranks in the amateurs played on the instruments for which they were trained, so that the show rarely included less than 40 or 50 participants. .. According to his wishes in the orchestra played and noble amateurs brothers Naryshkin, Olsufiev, warm, Staehelin ... "(Staehelin J. Proceedings of the music in Russia.-P. 93-94)

These details Oranienbaum musical life would not have been so important to us, if they have not discovered that the world of music, which brought Maxim Berezovsky, in the near future, a great composer-the first Russian professional training and universal global scale, and Ivan Khandoshkin-violin virtuoso and composer.

As to the time when the talents of the first of them, Berezovsky-the 1760s-that it was favorable.

1762 marked the beginning of the reign of Catherine II, the era of enlightened absolutism in Russia. An attempt to revive the spirit of Peter's reforms largely unsuccessful. Politics, economics, science and culture regained impetus to development. Expanded international relations. Resumed the practice of training the most talented scientists and artists abroad.

Taken place in the 1760s to change the styles in choral art, which by virtue of their old traditions were the first to embark on a new path, clearly shows this dependence. When the famous Italian composer Baldassare Galuppi, arrived in 1765 at the court service to St. Petersburg, he heard a new choral music performed by the court chapel, he is extremely surprised and said: "This magnificent choir I ever heard in Italy"-wrote J. Staehelin .

Chapel Choir, who sang a beautiful sacred music in a new style, really represented an outstanding artistic phenomenon. Here's how it shows the same pattern J. Staehelin: "... In the long holidays are always, without exception, the psalms of praise songs and other texts executed in the form of the present church concerts, composed as Italian Kapellmeister, somehow Manfredini, the venerable Galuppi and Ukrainian composers, singers before former courtiers. Among the latter, the court came to the fore now comprising a chamber musician Maxim Berezovsky, who has an outstanding talent, taste and skill in the composition of church works fine style. In the latter he is so adept that he knows how to happily combine fiery Italian melody with a gentle Greek. For several years he wrote for the court chapel superb church concerts with such an outstanding taste and harmonization that their performance delighted the connoisseurs and the approval of the court ...

Who has not heard himself, he can not imagine how such a rich and pompous church music performed by numerous, trained, selective choir. Galuppi eloquent testimony of the famous praise ... "(Staehelin J. Proceedings of the music in Russia, p. 60)

What exactly is and how there was this new choral style that replaced the polyphonic? What he drew his contemporaries, that in a few years not only taken root in the court, but in many cities across the country, both in churches and in small circles of music lovers from different ranks of youth?

It probably will not ever have the charm of novelty and fashion, if its formation occurred gradually and progressively in partesnogo style. After all, polyphonic, and the new style of the 1760s belong to one genre-choral intended for the same form of musical life-semispirit-polusvetskoy. Finally, its main performer was one and the same group-the court choir. Why did he suddenly appeared, after so many years of apparent obsolescence, rigidity of partesnogo singing that for all its updating in the time of Peter still basically belonged to the XVII century? Why all the new sound reality Elizabethan pores with its Italian opera, minuets and songs not affected choral singing, but singing, it would seem, have not been isolated from everything quite well and were able to perform Italian arias?

And this has helped to answer the question Staehelin, having mentioned in passing that Elizabeth, herself being a connoisseur and performer of polyphonic compositions, did not allow penetration into church composition of the new Italian style, "so beloved by her in other music." You can only deeply regret that in the middle of the XVIII century, when the church had no impact on the court art, including its spiritual and ritual sphere, the oppression of its age-old taboos and fear of "heresy" and "paganism" continued to operate through prejudice and hypocrisy of the Empress. In this sense, Catherine II, indifferent to the music, was the unwitting liberator of Russian artists in their creative search. That's why in the early 1760s, broke a long time hindered the enthusiasm of choral music authors to update her style alive and beautiful intonations that would be touched and warmed the hearts of his contemporaries, and brought them to the aesthetic pleasure.

His desire for renewal concert Russian masters embodied in different ways. To do this, little was purely choral, partesnogo professionalism and familiarity with new popular music. You had a serious education in the modern Western music. And it is something at first and did not have enough. Kept separate experiments provincial, apparently, Yaroslavl, artists, where they are seen sincere but naive attempts to introduce a style of choral techniques of contemporary instrumental music.

Capital master including Berezovsky were in a better position. They could learn from foreign musicians in St. Petersburg, which was a lot. Berezovsky is believed to have studied at one of the court of Italian bandmasters F. Tsoplisa.

Who are the musicians and the contribution made to the formation of a new style, is unknown. But the fact that none of them was equal to Berezovsky, quite obviously. His impeccable craftsmanship has been subordinated to artistic images of exceptional strength.

Let us dwell on the biography of the composer's more. Life Sozontovicha Maxim Berezovsky (c. 1741-1777) was short-he lived for about 35 years. But not all the facts of his biography are clear. According to the documents, it can be traced for sixteen years-from 1758 to 1774.

Berezovsky M.

His first receipt for the salary in 1758 as a chorister in the Oranienbaum expenditure book of Peter Fedorovich-at first in chronological biographical document. The whole life of Berezovsky before, including the date and place of birth, origin, covered with uncertainty. Only sustained legend that it was brought from the Ukraine Hetman Razumovsky (which was close to the court of the Grand Duke), gives direction to the reconstruction of his biography. According to the same biographical legend Razumovsky Berezovsky took from the Kiev Theological Academy. But in certain documents Academy M. Berezovsky's name is missing (there is his namesakes). It is more likely the way to the capital city of Berezovsky through the same chapel of the hetman, and that galaxy of artists' Cephalus and Procris. " Lack of Berezovsky among them, probably due to a period of breaking vote. Be that as it may, it is known that in 1759 and 1760, Berezovsky men sang the title roles in two Italian operas were staged in Oranienbaum. The first of them-"Alexander in India" by F. Araya, the second-"Learn Semiramide" Vincenzo Manfredini, a young Italian composer. The above snippet of "Izvestia" Staehelin gives the opportunity to present a world of music, which brought Berezovsky, while only being a chorister.

Berezovsky has remained in that position in the first half of the 1760s, which came to power when Catherine II made an audit of the court staff and enrolled him "singing Italian company." "Songbirds" it was a special nominal decree of 17 August 1763 are allowed to marry, "tantsovalnoy girl" Francine Ibersher-daughter of a court of Frederick Ibershera horn player.

But, looking at the next three years, in-camera furersky magazine for 1766, we learn that on August 22 in Tsarskoye Selo Palace Amber Room "... for the trial court chanter pet concert was composed by musician Berezovsky".

During this short newsreel message worth very much. First of all, Berezovsky during this time he learned of the composition. Then the genre-a choral concert in which he worked. It is also noteworthy that the scope of application of his work-the court situation with which he was associated for life. But the main thing is quite another-the fact mention Berezovsky camera-furerskom magazine. For all of 1760-1770-s the only name of the Russian composer.

Music in general has not been given special attention. But if anyone honored to be marked in this chronicle, it was the famous Italian composer Baldassare Galuppi. Having decided, after long negotiations to accept the invitation of the Russian empress, Galuppi arrived in Russia in 1765 and spent three years contract. Not who loved music and nothing in it is important to understand the reign of Catherine II was only the name of the celebrity world. A Galuppi's opera did go to different countries in Europe. The prestige of the court demanded that his statement here and made a great luxury.

Baldassare Galuppi

Against this background, the direction of the court musical life references are not singing, and "musician Berezovsky" looks particularly remarkable. It is possible that similar attention Berezovsky was awarded after he heard the singing of Galuppi court chapel, which is performed as time, apparently, it works.

Unfortunately, our time has come very few works Berezovsky, including the choir. If the surviving lists of about 40, then those that currently have the researchers, there are perhaps less than half. Many of them are very different to each other, revealing a wide range of creative search website. Yet through a variety of scientific methods-from music style analysis to the study of watermarks on paper and certificates of contemporaries-can reconstruct a part of the composer's career, to understand the laws of its development.

The first choral works Berezovsky-The mass and several concerts, shows a close relationship with his style polyphonic tradition. They heard the epic slow pace and restrained lyrics, holiday gimnichnost and sincere folk songs. Although in the tones of his music Berezovsky hardly goes beyond the usual vocabulary partesnogo concerts, to harmonize it is much bolder and more modern, uses the classic Western European harmony in polyphonic style does not use. Moreover, in these works the composer uses and classical polyphony-a way of complexly organized compositions, which had previously been used in polyphonic works only partially.

Surprising, however, is not itself attempt to connect the previously alien spheres (such attempts were made, and in addition to Berezovsky), and then, with what skill, artistic tact and taste, the composer did.

The culmination of creative pursuit of Berezovsky in choral genre represents a famous concert "Do not reject me in the time of old age", written probably in the second half of the 1760s. This concert was seen as the pinnacle during the life of the composer, with whom he entered the history of Russian music. And to show our contemporaries makes a compelling impact. This is one of the few indisputably recognized as an example of genuine and deep national high art Russian XVIII century.

Extremely limited means of the composer creates a monumental canvas that reveals the inexhaustible wealth of emotions a man who lived life, and to know the depth of grief and frustration. Expressed in the words of the psalm initial plea and remains in words, but in music. In the folk-song theme on which they are based, rather manly, philosophical reflection with muted pain than the complaint or petition. The main theme is the image pronounced poluraspevom-polugovorom, without the slightest affectation, intimately, muffled and hard, as has been suggested furtive and anxious, fearful sound aloud. Slowly and reluctantly, as if springing from the depths of bass, it rises, passing successively from voice to voice up to the treble. And only stretched over the whole field of the register, is declared as a powerful sound throughout the choral masses, as if penetrating cold of doom.

A four-song concert broad and not easy on the drama, as befits a model for the development of baroque style. But not for a moment does not weaken the listener's attention absorbed by the rich polyphonic interweaving of voices and vivid contrasts of dynamic colors. A powerful protest against evil and injustice sounds finale concert at the text: "Let them be confounded and consumed that oklevetayuschii my soul." His energetic tokkatnaya instrumental theme, by the way, which grew out of the original theme of the concert is still in the auditory and emotional memory as an image or symbol of an unbroken human dignity.

From the point of view of historical Berezovsky great merit is that he combined in his choral works of the modern experience of Western European musical culture with strong national tradition of choral art. This combination of Russian national was on European and later by a progressive condition in which the next century art has grown Glinka and Tchaikovsky. But if Glinka and Tchaikovsky, it was realized in the higher genres of opera and symphonic music, which prepared the ground for the XVIII century, then in the XVIII century, a qualitative leap could only happen in a genre that has had its traditions. And so then there was only choir.

As a derivation of the formula greatness Glinka, researcher, critic and writer Odoevskii said Glinka exalted folk melody before the tragedy. He was referring to the establishment of high operatic genre of tragedy on a national story and drawing on Russian folk song.

This formula can be reasonably extended to M. Berezovsky, bearing in mind that the only genre of Russian high time it was a choral concert.

The contrast between the style and the style of polyphonic Berezovsky concerts in its strikingly inferior to the contrast between the polyphonic concert of Russian and early forms of polyphony. Berezovsky has made this leap with their creativity for a few years in the mid 1760s. And his contemporaries is, of course, understood. Otherwise unlikely Berezovsky would have been among the first Russian musicians who were sent to study abroad or developed.

But if you go back to the composer's biography, we see that the living reality of the artist's fate is closely intertwined with many seemingly far away events.


In April 1769 Livonia crossed the border ... "Courier Maxim Berezovsky", heading to Vienna to the Minister Plenipotentiary of Prince Dmitry Golitsyn. In autumn of the same year, the Russian chamber-musician Maxim Berezovsky settled in Bologna (at the same time as Mozart and Myslivechkom), where he successfully engaged in counterpoint with an outstanding musician, theorist of his time, Padre Martini.

Given that there is no information about the reports that are sent from Italy Berezovsky and other "seniors" as they called rode to study in the "foreign land" on state funds, yet found many documents about their stay abroad. This is mainly correspondence Elagina, always interested in their wards with their teachers and the Russian ambassador in Venice Marquis Marutstsi. So, from the published in 1963 in Bologna Elagina correspondence with martini we learn that the February 12, 1770 Elagin expressed the hope that under the leadership of an outstanding scientist young musician Berezovsky achieve great success. In its response dated April 24 of that year, James B. Martin said uncommon talent and diligence of the young composer.

A year after that, Martin found success Berezovsky sufficient for the level of member Bologna Philharmonic Academy. This was the basis for Berezovsky's request to the leadership of the Bologna Academy admit it to the exam on a high rank.

Preserved as a petition Berezovsky and minutes of the Board of the Academy May 15, 1771. Can be seen from the minutes (copy it there at the State Museum of Musical Culture. Glinka, the script is in Italy), which, in the unanimous decision of the Council by secret ballot Bologna Philharmonic Academy of Berezovsky has among its members academicians composers. It was one of the most prestigious titles in Europe at that time. Such a certificate would add significantly to composers chances of getting a court kapelmeysterskoy post. Apparently, this counted and Berezovsky. In this era, when art was viewed primarily as a service, it is a means of livelihood, and then as a way to express the personality of the artist, composers were much more pragmatic than their counterparts romance XIX century.

After graduation, Berezovsky had time to stay in Italy as a "senior citizen." It was considered good form to another establishment and execution of the works in the country music-Italy.

The remaining time he spent probably the Count Alexei Orlov, who in these years due to the Russian-Turkish war was in Italy and commanded the Russian fleet based in Livorno. Count's residence was in Pisa and Livorno. The presence there of Berezovsky we learn from his writings. "Pisa, 1772"-marked the manuscript violin sonata Berezovsky, recently discovered in Paris and edited by the Soviet researcher MB Stepanenko. A February 27, 1773 Leghorn newspaper "News of the World" wrote: "Among the performances given during the last carnival, especially noteworthy opera, with music composed by Signor Maxim Berezovsky, the Russian conductor in the service of Her Majesty the Empress of All Russia, which connects the liveliness and good taste with possession of musical science. "

Sonata for violin and harpsichord was remarkable product. Written in 1772, it showed that Berezovsky was at the forefront of artistic quest of the leading composers of his contemporaries. But along with the general instrumentalism for those years and the funds in the Sonata has a page providing more than individual traits. A true gem-the second part, which resembles a beautiful Cantilena best examples of Italian opera arias, but there lurking and "romantic" revelation mature classicism.

As for the opera, it was an opera with a libretto by the famous playwright of the XVIII century by Pietro Metastasio "Demofont," written in the genre of opera seria. [2]

Of all the opera survived only four arias that were unknown paths in the library of Florence Conservatory. They show that the praises Livorno newspapers were not exaggerated. Operatic style Berezovsky owned no worse than a choral or instrumental.

Rate these fragments in terms of psychological subtlety and musical incarnation can only know the nuances of a complicated intrigue libretto. Not being able to enter these details here, we note that two of the arias written in heroic style. Third-aria Demophon king of the Thracian Chersonese, condemned to the death of his imaginary son and tortured by the secret sorrow-amazingly combines the usual confidence and hard question. And all of this is enclosed in a perfect shape, nobly beautiful cantilena. Fourth aria-who was sentenced to death Timanta, imaginary son Demophon. Its melody is a rare beauty and peaceful tranquility. These arias or duets-farewell to the life of the young heroes-typical opera seria as a kind of moral climax. It is written in the tradition of such well-known duo of Aida and Radames in Verdi's "Aida" emotional system which can give an idea of ​​the aria from the opera Timanta Berezovsky.

Representing a perfect specimen of the genre, which was a measure of maturity and skill of the composer, "Demofont" and at the same time was the first work of this genre, written by Russian author. In the triad of "composer-performer-the listener" this time, 18 years after the opera Araya-Sumarokova "Cephalus and Procris," the first link-composer-filled with domestic name, although in this case, in contrast to previous performers and listeners were Italians.

Under the terms of the time the operator to be supplied, should be ordered and financed. It is possible that this involved Count Orlov. In any case, the legend lives on Berezovsky recorded some connection between the production of "Demophon" and the name of the graph. But in a highly distorted and arbitrary form.

To name Orlov and Berezovsky legend annexed Princess Tarakanov, whose kidnapping-one of those cases that Count Alexei Orlov made history. This makes it even more romantic biography. The production of "Demophon" was treated as part of the celebration of camouflage-operation in the abduction of Princess. But the documents say otherwise. Judging by the post Livorno newspaper premiere took place before 27 February 1773. In the fall of that year, Berezovsky went home. As for the capture of Princess Tarakanova, it took only two years after the premiere-in February 1775.

What was the reality of Russian music of the 1770s, which met Berezovsky on his return from Italy?

If you start with the principal court of the genre of the XVIII century-serious opera, then from 1768 to 1775 in Russia, it was the responsibility of chief conductor-a prominent Italian composer Tomaso Traetta that took place after it Galuppi. He actually wrote and directed several operas, but the years spent in Russia coincided with difficult circumstances such as the Russian-Turkish war, the peasant war led by Pugachev and the plague in Moscow. All this, taken together, did not contribute to the flourishing of art in the first half of the 1770s.

1775 was marked by grand celebrations in Moscow in connection with the Kucuk Kainarji and particularly important for the court and the nobility connotations associated with the bloody massacre of Pugachev and Pugachev. Has been eliminated and the threat of a "fake" Princess Tarakanova. The yard had fun. In Moscow on Khodynka blazed an unprecedented fireworks. In Red Square, blaring chorus of praise songs.

Berezovsky at this time, apparently, was irrelevant. Although there was, apparently, in Moscow, as well as all court musicians. Check out Traetty, it is possible to Berezovsky gave hope to receive the post of Kapellmeister. His professional esteem, creative versatility, and academic diploma were really good reasons for this according to all European standards. However, the composer, of course, knew for sure, through the same Elagina that, in connection with the departure of Traetty already negotiated with other European celebrity-Niccolo Piccini, is not going to come, and then with Giovanni Paisiello.

Within two years of "interregnum" of Italian stars, when Berezovsky was quite possible to attract a large and interesting works-none of this happened, he was not booked any opera. It was quite obvious that the court need not so much the music itself as a prestigious name and the hype around them.

Loomed a ghost, but an attractive plan. Then all-powerful favorite Grigory Potemkin was engaged at the time of Yekaterinoslav basis. According to the ideals of the Enlightenment, he planned university there and Academy of Music. Director of the Academy was scheduled Berezovsky, and the band leader-who was then in the position of chamber-musician Ivan Evstafievich Khandoshkin. But nothing like that in those years was not achieved.

Unfortunately, we do not know the events in the life of Berezovsky these years. It is also unknown whether the writing, and if so, what kind of music? Judging by the fact that the composer died early-at the age of 35-36 years, the circumstances of his life were not easy. It is known that in 1774, retired from service in the court ballet, his wife-a supernumerary Francine Bereza. It was also found that all of these years, the composer was living in debt, although his salary of 500 rubles a year in those days was considerable.

With the stunning power of sound document drawn up after the death of Berezovsky. We are talking about a memo addressed to the treasurer of the Board of Imperial Theatres P. Lang:

"Mr. Lang.

Composer Maxim Berezovsky died this month, 24th day, deserved their salaries should used to this day and give out, but at his death was nothing left to bury the body and have nothing, then if you please, sir, to give out on the 1st of the Mayan his salaries court chanter Jacob Timchenko, writing in the flow with a receipt.

Ivan Yelagin March, the 25th day of 1777 »

Despite the persistent search for the researchers, as long as the note is the only document which referred to the death of Mr Berezovsky. It says nothing about the cause of death. In connection with this legitimate question: on what basis the first biographer of the composer Bolkhovitinov (Metropolitan Eugene) wrote in 1805-28 years after the incident: "But inasmuch as the intention of this not fulfilled (ie the intention of Potemkin" ... to have the music in Kremenchug the academy. "-MR), then Berezovsky was still in the Court of drops. The confluence of so and other unpleasant circumstances plunged him into hypochondria, by any way, vpadshi finally in fever and delirium, he killed himself in March 1777. "

It should be emphasized that all biography, outlined Bolkhovitinov overly stingy. It has no name, no middle name or place and time of birth of the composer. Incorrectly identify the place of service. It is difficult to treat it with full confidence. Many subsequent authors seem to doubt that from "hypochondria" can "fall into a fever," so someone introduced an amendment: fever called "white." And then began to appear expressions such as: ".. he sought solace in wine."

Analysis of a number of indirect data shows that while any illness, accompanied by high fever, called "fever", and this overarching diagnosis was 75% (!) In the statistics of causes of death.

It seems most likely that Berezovsky had died from a severe common cold or infection.


Mid-1770's, with all of its events, sharply delimited policy guidance on art. Eloquent statistics operas. If until 1775 for eight performances of operas seria had the same comic, after 1775 took place just one of the opera seria and 73-the comic!

Along with opera seria, in fact did not catch on at the Russian court, and even more so outside it, where you just did not have the conditions for its productions, obviously, have collapsed and interest to a different genre of high-choral concert in a style that created Berezovsky Galuppi (who wrote a series of concerts during his three-year service in Russia in the 1760s). Berezovsky could not see it and did not realize that was probably one of the main reasons for his "hypochondria", a condition which in the last period of his biographer.

Since the mid 70's clearly outlines the installation of court art to entertainment. Apparently, this is connected with a certain decline in the art of choral concert, where it feels for a more lightweight and available in a composite form and performing senses. More blossomed song and gradually began to penetrate into the domestic instrumental music. But the important thing is that matured over the years-it's Russian comic opera, which was destined to have evolved in the decades to become a solid basis of national musical theater. And here comes to the fore figure of the Russian musician, who served for many years in different parts of the court's musical life-a talented composer Vasily Alexeevich Pashkevich.

Russian comic opera-this phenomenon is not only music. She was born on the basis of Russian drama and theater as part of carrying the severity of its social impact. Not for simple mindless laughter called a wide audience in the theater and comedy Sumarokova Fonvizina, Knyazhnin and Kapnist, Griboyedov, Gogol, Ostrovsky.

The polemic, satire, epigram, parody-how many weapons from Russian literature in the fight against indolence and greed, laziness and careerism, covering its sticky web of love and goodness, purity and creativity!

It was during this period (70 years) created the prerequisites for revival after the comedy in Russia.

In 1767 Catherine II issued a "Mandate" and convened a commission drafting the new Code, proclaiming so-educational liberal direction, which promised a solution difficult social issues. Since 1769 began to leave the satirical magazine "Miscellaneous"-the official body that is edited by the Empress. There are translations of stories of Voltaire, Catherine started a correspondence with him. One after another appeared satirical magazines published by NI Novikov, FA Eminem, MD Chulkov and others.

However, in those same years, went all the new laws, worsening the situation of the people, especially the peasantry. In 1771, legalized the sale of serfs showers.

Reasons for the sharp social criticism became more and more. The controversy between the lacquered reality of "sundries" and the urgency of this issue of the Journal in the first place, "the drones" Novikov-became sharper. In 1774 the issue of the satirical magazine was discontinued. Only since the late 1780s the efforts of the same NI Novikov and young IAKrylov satirical journalism began to revive.

That's why at the turn of 1770-1780's center of literary and satirical thought was a comedy. The general spirit of freethinking Enlightenment drew feathers authors comedies. Moliere and Voltaire were dominant influences Russian writers.

Not always having the opportunity to castigate social vices as openly how journalism censored comedy began using music as a tool to enhance the impact of artistic images.

The music in the hands of a master who knows how to sharpen a subtle touch or character description, or give it a grotesque, parodic sense, up to a limit that can enhance the contrast between good and evil, pettiness and nobility-is a strong tool, which in the XVIII century composers have learned to use in all Europe.

Externally, the music seems like a simple comic operas. It is usually based on national or domestic intonations, not difficult for vocal performance, simple-minded in the orchestra. And of course, the comic operas of tens and hundreds of essays, meaningless and will not leave a trace in the culture of a kind. But it is in this genre was elaborated and perfected the system vibrant music characteristicness, caustic social pointed, flexible variation of musical and artistic images.

In the Russian art of fine examples of the genre were created V. Pashkevich.

Vasily A. Pashkevich

To actually composing art Vasily Pashkevich (c. 1742-1797) did not come immediately. His musical career has evolved largely in line with performing, first as a choir singing the court, then the court as a violinist Ballroom Orchestra. In the years 1773-1774 he also taught singing at the Academy of Arts, where he had music lessons. It is possible that this is where he had to try his hand at songwriting composition choral concerts especially for students of the Academy, as the available by the time the concerts Berezovsky, Galuppi and others were written in the calculation of the forces of the court choir, were too difficult for those who have been trained music from childhood on Partes as courtiers singing, and in adolescence and not as a major field of study. Choral works he wrote later. The mass retained its written very beautiful and peculiar: the composer managed to enter into it purely musical elements of stage.

It is possible that, as a violinist Ballroom Orchestra, and in fact his head, and said Pashkevych dance music (this assumption is expressed EM Levashov). In any case, appeared in 1779, his first opera, "The misfortune of the coach" has demonstrated a good knowledge of vocal and orchestral writing. Apparently, Pashkevich was well acquainted with the specifics of today, especially the French, comic opera, samples of which were in abundance on the Russian scene.

Pashkevich debut-and highly successful-in the genre of comic opera (set in the Hermitage) provided the impetus for the creative community of the composer with an outstanding actor of his time, Ivan Afanasyevitch Dmitrevsky who worked in "the Free Russian theater" and its director K. Knipper. The theater lasted five years-from 1779 to 1783. In 1780 it was headed Pashkevych. The success of this community and the general atmosphere rise of music in the early 1780s helped to create in the years three more comic operas Pashkevich: "The Miser," "St. Petersburg hotel courtyard, or how you live and proslyvesh" and "Tunisian Pasha" .

Birth of a national comic opera warmly welcomed in the circles of the Russian intelligentsia. The poet M. H Ants wrote gr. DI Khvostov: "We are having a little fun here Russian opera comic. You can not imagine with what joy obscheyu accepted at us these things the birth of a new spectacle: the seventh of this month was given for the first time a comic opera "The misfortune of the coach," an essay by Zel'dovich (Knyazhnina.-MR). Mr. Paszkiewicz, music writer, he was an actor in the theater. "

It is pointed out that the emergence of this opera was foreshadowed several samples throughout this decade. For example, in 1772 there was a comic opera "Annie" on the text Popova (Music is unknown). Especially vivid was set in January of the same in 1779 in Moscow opera "Miller-a sorcerer, a liar and a go-between" with music by Mikhail Sokolovsky text AO Ablesimova. The opera was extremely popular not only in time but also in the XIX century. Therefore the interpretation of "the misfortune of carriage" as the first sample of the Russian comic opera, if not entirely accurate, it is understandable and it is true because of the significance of its authors-Knyazhnin, the creator of the most radical for its time, and artistically vibrant dramatic works, and Pashkevich, which demonstrated a mature ownership modern operatic style.

Opera Pashkevich are original and fertile layer of Russian musical stage classics. Solving each in his spirit, and his plot and the key idea, they collectively represent a world of comic images, written out at the same time juicy and thin, with a national, universal color and features.

Here are a few goodies. And if there is, in the roles of victims, such as a soulless Gallomaniac Firyulina, which is seeking money to buy fashionable coach intends to give his peasant recruits in Lukian ("The misfortune of the coach"). Basically the same images of comic operas Pashkevich-people with staggered concepts of values, deceiving, sell, and despise those who hate others and themselves. These are all the characters in "arcade" and "Scoop."

komicheskaya opera

In order to create such a diverse number of images to be able to find each and funny and pathetic, to give not only the appearance overact portrait, but also to look into his soul-you need to have a true gift of musical dramatist.

Possessing all the techniques of vocal and instrumental writing, the composer uses them extremely resourceful and often on the principle of contrast, to achieve a comic effect. In this case, the material for the stage musical parody, it often provides the typical cliches of opera seria, such pathetic recitative or some orchestral techniques.

The basis of the musical vocabulary of comic operas Pashkevich serves primarily song-and-dance urban folklore, the music is the very third class, which is the hero of his writings. Riddled with witty recitative finds an area that is always in comic operas, especially developed. Subtle, skillful intonation and rhythmic strokes are drawn traffic and the overall appearance of the characteristic of a particular actor.

The researchers noted that the foreign direct depiction of specific characters in specific situations, VA Pashkevych rise to serious social and generalizations. Thus, the aforementioned Lukyan of "misfortune of the coach," being chained to return to the army, performs the aria "Among the hopes and fears and myatus hesitate," the value of which is beyond the scope of this action. Written in the style of heroic, noble arias of opera seria, it opens and heroically noble soul-serf. The position of the composer, which characterizes his hero in the spirit of educational beliefs-is obvious.

The first comic opera Pashkevich very popular and performed in many cities of Russia. However, the reputation of the Russian legislator opera-style comic turned to him and a few less pleasant side due to its subordinate position in the court. Deciding to use the popularity and power of influence of the Russian comic opera, Catherine conceived herself to write opera librettos psevdonarodnom in the spirit of his "sundries" and carry them through their patriarchal conciliatory ideas. Pashkevich as tested and loved in the country the author was asked to write music for them, and, on the other hand, he tried to make them musically exceptional, introducing them to the colorful folk music scene, interesting orchestral finds. One of these operas-"Fevey", another-"Fedul with children", written in collaboration with conductor V. Martin y Soler, and the third-not so much opera as music for the play by Catherine II «The initial management of Oleg," written together with G. Sarti and C. Cannobio. But all of these pieces of music emerged in the late 1780s-early 1790s, and in general for the development of Russian musical culture had no practical significance.

Opera creativity V. Pashkevich had at the time when the primary significance of the composer of this genre for his contemporaries became more evident. The author of the opera more often was called not a playwright and composer. A significant role was played by the opera V. Pashkevich decent base Russian music and the performing arts.

The fate of the Pashkevich after creating them his last opera there was difficult. It is not known why he was active and frequently encouraged by monetary rewards activity in the Directorate of the Imperial Theatres stopped, and he was back in the state Court Chapel (in an archival document verbatim written, "located in the chapel in the musician's position is made from a large court office the singing Vasily Pashkevich salary of 200. PORTIONS 100. Yeah bread for 15 pounds a year ...).

However, in a letter Bortnyansky, dated January 1797, Pashkevich named teacher of singing, and in the application of his widow Afimi Pashkevichevoy he named teacher of singing with young singers.

Whatever may be explained by movements Pashkevich in 90 years, they ended tragically, and now in what sequence.

On the first day of his reign, Emperor Paul I defined the place of the Chief Marshal of the richest man in Russia, "which could have dared to hope that he does not spend unnecessarily or mite"-wrote a contemporary. It was Count Nikolai Petrovich Sheremet. The new owner of the palace began in order to save the direct orders of the palace, close to his fiefdom. Only one refusal of the court and service providers transition to the acquisition of the right markets, he has made huge savings-200 thousand rubles a month! Unfortunately, one of his first moves was to claim the newly appointed managing director of the court choir singing Bortnyansky of staff reduction Chapel from 93 to 24 people. Bortnyansky advocated minimal state-72 singers and two teachers of singing. At first, he succeeded, but among the 19 people laid off one of the first victims Sheremetevskii reduction was honored musician and composer B. Paszkiewicz. He is, among other "unpromising" was dismissed in February 1797, probably during a serious illness. After a short time, March 9, 1797, Pashkevych died.


[1] To save money, the theater department head of its IP Elagin Berezovsky sent on an assignment of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Thus, the path from St. Petersburg via Riga to Vienna (with pouch) composer has done as a diplomatic courier. Available documents indicate that time, the prevalence of such measures of savings. Thus, the "retired", aimed to study in Italy, were ordered not to send their reports by mail, and a convenient opportunity. At the same time made clear that this requirement is dictated by the need to reduce costs.

[2] The opera seria-a serious (Italian). Set in Italy, the end of the XVII-XVIII centuries. genre of opera on the subject of ancient tragedies, myths and historical events. The plot is usually a moral conflict between love and duty. The musical style of opera seria different elevation and nobility. In opera seria reached its perfection bel canto vocal style and virtuoso technique of singing.

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