The music of rebellion. “A life for the Tsar” by Glinka was a slap in the face to all rules

The music of rebellion. “A life for the Tsar” by Glinka was a slap in the face to all rules

160 years ago, February 15, 1857 in Berlin’s house address: Franzoesische Strasse 8, dead Russian. The diagnosis — pneumonia.

A cold he contracted while returning from a triumphant performance of his Opera “life for the Tsar” at the Royal Palace. His name was Mikhail Glinka.

“The whole Russian symphonic school, just as the whole oak is in the acorn is enclosed in a Symphony of fantasy “Kamarinskaya” — these words of Peter Tchaikovsky sound in any material is about Glinka. Legend has it that the theme of “Kamarinskaya” Mikhail Glinka heard in Switzerland one countryman. He accidentally whistled a folksy tune and could not understand why a respected composer asks again and again to repeat the “ridiculous frippery”. Glinka did not calm down until you put on paper all the variants of this theme.

Mikhail Glinka – Kamarinskaya

Man or the king?

Folklorists have long ago established: the motive comes from the area called Kamareddine that in the area of the present town of Sevsk Bryansk region. Once it was home to the most notorious rebels who have served and false Dmitry, and the peasant leader Ivan Bolotnikov. In the years of the Troubles and was born dashing motif that inspired Glinka. It was frankly predatory, “Oh you son of a bitch, kamarinsky man does not want his master to serve!”.

Mischievous, rowdy, wildly fun, breaking all the “decent” templates and standards — such was the Russian classical music in the moment. And all this — thanks to Glinka.

Here that Russia has suffered and poured out in song. Here you hear the full expression of Russian hatred and love, sorrow and joy, dark and full of shining, serianni Mariafrancesca traveler

In a greater measure this applied to the Opera “a life for the Tsar”, which in itself was a revolt and a slap in the face if not the public taste, it is well-established canons — exactly.

In those days Opera was allowed to go to the heroes of antiquity — some Agamemnon or Artaxerxes, at the very least, the Barber Figaro. But someone on the scene brought Glinka? Sivolap men in sandals and leggings. The country rocked by Turmoil around the full-scale heroes and villains, and Ivan Susanin and the company the first action to decide the question: is now playing the wedding or the weather?

“A life for the Tsar”, the epilogue

The risk of failure was huge. However, Hlinka won. The Opera was a breakthrough. Triumph. Full and unconditional recognition. But just over the border. In Russia, opinions are divided. For example, Pushkin and his entourage after the premiere of 1836 was delighted. Tsar Nicholas I — is also and even gave the composer the diamond ring.

But other critics grumbled: “No one, perhaps, did not do such dishonor to our people as Glinka, putting through a brilliant music bravest meanest slave Susanin, faithful as the dog bounded as deaf owl or grouse”.

These words, like a political Manifesto addressed to the man of whom his contemporaries wrote: “Galoshes, umbrella and policy visitors Glinka had to leave outside the door”. However, clarification in the style of “who glorifies Glinka — the king or the man” lasted for decades. And every time the stumbling block was the text.

With him Hlinka no luck initially. The libretto took to write Russian German, Baron Yegor Rosen. The quality of his verse was mediocre.

In response to the claims of the composer, the author stated: “Ve do not understand. This is the most nailutshego poetry.”

However, the famous phrase “glory, glory to our Russian Tsar” questions. For the time being.

In step with the times

In February 1917 overthrew the Tsar. And Opera singer Alexander Gorodtsov, to flatter the Provisional government, proposed to replace the usual line on “glory, freedom and honest work!”. The Bolsheviks came easier Opera they banned all, and allowing it again in 1939, gave the same text to quite fit: “hail, hail, you, my Russia!”.

Such a metamorphosis would have amused a lot of the Glinka which its activities are treated with a pinch of irony: “he writes the Music, the people, and we, composers, only arrange it”.

However, in relation to fellow composers Glinka was strict, if not cruel. Of his contemporaries recognized only the Chopin from the classics — glitch.

About the rest, spoke thus: “playing Loudly. But dissonant”.

Even the great Franz Liszt, enchanted by the music of Glinka so that included in its repertoire March of Chernomor from the Opera “Ruslan and Lyudmila”, was awarded with a snide: “Face thin, hair long and blond. Sat, leaped, hall paralasa and many pregnant women throw out”.

Practicing wit about colleagues, Glinka was partly right. Their music changes little over time — if the current performers and bring some variation, that is negligible. But some things Glinka themselves to adjust to today’s realities. Noticed that his famous “travelling song”, which is “sing and rejoice all the people,” now playing much faster than in the composer’s lifetime. What’s the matter?

It was written on the occasion of the opening of the first Russian railway between St. Petersburg and Tsarskoye Selo. The locomotives then were slow. The song was also adapted their speed, but speed has increased over time, and here, if you please, the pace of execution of works of Glinka also increased.

We can assume that, when allowed some of the newest bullet trains, “Passing song” will fulfill all with machine-gun speed, but it will still be Glinka. The same Russian composer, the day and hour of birth which, according to family legend, in the garden of the family manor of Glinka’s Novospasskoye sang the Nightingale.