Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (Russian: Михаил Иванович Глинка[note 1], tr. Mikhaíl Ivánovich Glínka; 1 June [O.S. 20 May] 1804 – 15 February [O.S. 3 February] 1857) was the first Russian composer to gain wide recognition within his own country, and is often regarded as the fountainhead of Russian classical music. Glinka's compositions were an important influence on future Russian composers, notably the members of The Five, who took Glinka's lead and produced a distinctive Russian style of music.
Glinka was born in the village of Novospasskoye, not far from the Desna River in the Smolensk Governorate of the Russian Empire (now in the Yelninsky District of the Smolensk Oblast). His wealthy father had retired as an army captain, and the family had a strong tradition of loyalty and service to the tsars, while several members of his extended family had also developed a lively interest in culture. His great-great-grandfather was a Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth nobleman, Wiktoryn Władysław Glinka of the Trzaska coat of arms.
As a small child, Mikhail was reared by his over-protective and pampering paternal grandmother, who fed him sweets, wrapped him in furs, and confined him to her room, which was always to be kept at 25 °C (77 °F); accordingly, he developed a sickly disposition, later in his life retaining the services of numerous physicians, and often falling victim to a number of quacks. The only music he heard in his youthful confinement was the sounds of the village church bells and the folk songs of passing peasant choirs. The church bells were tuned to a dissonant chord and so his ears became used to strident harmony. While his nurse would sometimes sing folksongs, the peasant choirs who sang using the podgolosochnaya technique (an improvised style – literally under the voice – which uses improvised dissonant harmonies below the melody) influenced the way he later felt free to emancipate himself from the smooth progressions of Western harmony. After his grandmother's death, Glinka moved to his maternal uncle's estate some 10 kilometres (6 mi) away, and was able to hear his uncle's orchestra, whose repertoire included pieces by Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. At the age of about ten he heard them play a clarinet quartet by the Finnish composer Bernhard Henrik Crusell. It had a profound effect upon him. "Music is my soul", he wrote many years later, recalling this experience. While his governess taught him Russian, German, French, and geography, he also received instruction on the piano and the violin.
At the age of 13, Glinka went to the capital, Saint Petersburg, to study at a school for children of the nobility. Here he learned Latin, English, and Persian, studied mathematics and zoology, and considerably widened his musical experience. He had three piano lessons from John Field, the Irish composer of nocturnes, who spent some time in Saint Petersburg. He then continued his piano lessons with Charles Mayer and began composing.
When he left school his father wanted him to join the Foreign Office, and he was appointed assistant secretary of the Department of Public Highways. The work was light, which allowed Glinka to settle into the life of a musical dilettante, frequenting the drawing rooms and social gatherings of the city. He was already composing a large amount of music, such as melancholy romances which amused the rich amateurs. His songs are among the most interesting part of his output from this period.
In 1830, at the recommendation of a physician, Glinka decided to travel to Italy with the tenor Nikolai Kuzmich Ivanov. The journey took a leisurely pace, ambling uneventfully through Germany and Switzerland, before they settled in Milan. There, Glinka took lessons at the conservatory with Francesco Basili, although he struggled with counterpoint, which he found irksome. Although he spent his three years in Italy listening to singers of the day, romancing women with his music, and meeting many famous people including Mendelssohn and Berlioz, he became disenchanted with Italy. He realized that his mission in life was to return to Russia, write in a Russian manner, and do for Russian music what Donizetti and Bellini had done for Italian music. His return route took him through the Alps, and he stopped for a while in Vienna, where he heard the music of Franz Liszt. He stayed for another five months in Berlin, during which time he studied composition under the distinguished teacher Siegfried Dehn. A Capriccio on Russian themes for piano duet and an unfinished Symphony on two Russian themes were important products of this period.
When word reached Glinka of his father's death in 1834, he left Berlin and returned to Novospasskoye.
While in Berlin, Glinka had become enamored with a beautiful and talented singer, for whom he composed Six Studies for Contralto. He contrived a plan to return to her, but when his sister's German maid turned up without the necessary paperwork to cross to the border with him, he abandoned his plan as well as his love and turned north for Saint Petersburg. There he reunited with his mother, and made the acquaintance of Maria Petrovna Ivanova. After he courted her for a brief period, the two married. The marriage was short-lived, as Maria was tactless and uninterested in his music. Although his initial fondness for her was said to have inspired the trio in the first act of opera A Life for the Tsar (1836), his naturally sweet disposition coarsened under the constant nagging of his wife and her mother. After separating, she remarried. Glinka moved in with his mother, and later with his sister, Lyudmila Shestakova.
A Life for the Tsar was the first of Glinka's two great operas. It was originally entitled Ivan Susanin. Set in 1612, it tells the story of the Russian peasant and patriotic hero Ivan Susanin who sacrifices his life for the Tsar by leading astray a group of marauding Poles who were hunting him. The Tsar himself followed the work's progress with interest and suggested the change in the title. It was a great success at its premiere on 9 December 1836, under the direction of Catterino Cavos, who had written an opera on the same subject in Italy. Although the music is still more Italianate than Russian, Glinka shows superb handling of the recitative which binds the whole work, and the orchestration is masterly, foreshadowing the orchestral writing of later Russian composers. The Tsar rewarded Glinka for his work with a ring valued at 4,000 rubles. (During the Soviet era, the opera was staged under its original title Ivan Susanin).
In 1837, Glinka was installed as the instructor of the Imperial Chapel Choir, with a yearly salary of 25,000 rubles, and lodging at the court. In 1838, at the suggestion of the Tsar, he went off to Ukraine to gather new voices for the choir; the 19 new boys he found earned him another 1,500 rubles from the Tsar.
He soon embarked on his second opera: Ruslan and Lyudmila. The plot, based on the tale by Alexander Pushkin, was concocted in 15 minutes by Konstantin Bakhturin, a poet who was drunk at the time. Consequently, the opera is a dramatic muddle, yet the quality of Glinka's music is higher than in A Life for the Tsar. He uses a descending whole tone scale in the famous overture. This is associated with the villainous dwarf Chernomor who has abducted Lyudmila, daughter of the Prince of Kiev. There is much Italianate coloratura, and Act 3 contains several routine ballet numbers, but his great achievement in this opera lies in his use of folk melody which becomes thoroughly infused into the musical argument. Much of the borrowed folk material is oriental in origin. When it was first performed on 9 December 1842, it met with a cool reception, although it subsequently gained popularity.
Glinka went through a dejected year after the poor reception of Ruslan and Lyudmila. His spirits rose when he travelled to Paris and Spain. In Spain, Glinka met Don Pedro Fernández, who remained his secretary and companion for the last nine years of his life. In Paris, Hector Berlioz conducted some excerpts from Glinka’s operas and wrote an appreciative article about him. Glinka in turn admired Berlioz’s music and resolved to compose some fantasies pittoresques for orchestra. Another visit to Paris followed in 1852 where he spent two years, living quietly and making frequent visits to the botanical and zoological gardens. From there he moved to Berlin where, after five months, he died suddenly on 15 February 1857, following a cold. He was buried in Berlin but a few months later his body was taken to Saint Petersburg and re-interred in the cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
Glinka was the beginning of a new direction in the development of music in Russia. Musical culture arrived in Russia from Europe, and for the first time specifically Russian music began to appear, based on the European music culture, in the operas of the composer Mikhail Glinka. Different historical events were often used in the music, but for the first time they were presented in a realistic manner.
The first to note this new musical direction was Alexander Serov. He was then supported by his friend Vladimir Stasov, who became the theorist of this musical direction. This direction was developed later by composers of "The Five".
The modern Russian music critic Viktor Korshikov thus summed up: "There is not the development of Russian musical culture without...three operas – Ivan Soussanine, Ruslan and Ludmila and the Stone Guest have created Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin. Soussanine is an opera where the main character is the people, Ruslan is the mythical, deeply Russian intrigue, and in Guest, the drama dominates over the softness of the beauty of sound." Two of these operas – Ivan Soussanine and Ruslan and Ludmila – were composed by Glinka.
Since this time, the Russian culture began to occupy an increasingly prominent place in world culture.
In 1884, Mitrofan Belyayev founded the "Glinka Prize", which was awarded annually. In the first years the winners included Alexander Borodin, Mily Balakirev, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Cesar Cui and Anatoly Lyadov.
Outside Russia several of Glinka's orchestral works have been fairly popular in concerts and recordings. Besides the well-known overtures to the operas (especially the brilliantly energetic overture to Ruslan), his major orchestral works include the symphonic poem Kamarinskaya (1848), based on Russian folk tunes, and two Spanish works, A Night in Madrid (1848, 1851) and Jota Aragonesa (1845). Glinka also composed many art songs, many piano pieces, and some chamber music..
A lesser work that received attention in the last decade of the 20th century was Glinka's "The Patriotic Song", supposedly written for a contest for a national anthem in 1833. In 1990, Supreme Soviet of Russia adopted it as the anthem of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, which had been the only one of the Soviet republics without its own anthem. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the hymn was confirmed as the Russian national anthem in 1993; it remained until 2000.
Three Russian conservatories are named after Glinka:
A Life for the Tsar (Russian: "Жизнь за царя", Zhizn' za tsarya),
is a "patriotic-heroic tragic opera" in four acts with an epilogue by Mikhail Glinka.
During the Soviet era the opera was known under the name Ivan Susanin (Russian: "Иван Сусанин").
The original Russian libretto, based on historical events, was written by Nestor Kukolnik, Egor Fyodorovich (von) Rozen, Vladimir Sollogub and Vasily Zhukovsky. It premiered on 27 November 1836 OS (9 December NS) at the Bolshoi Kamenny Theatre in St. Petersburg. The historical basis of the plot involves Ivan Susanin, a patriotic hero of the early 17th century who gave his life in the expulsion of the invading Polish army for the newly elected Tsar Mikhail, the first of the Romanov dynasty, elected in 1613.Alexander Dargomyzhsky
Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Даргомы́жский) (14 February [O.S. 2 February] 1813 – 17 January [O.S. 5 January] 1869) was a 19th-century Russian composer. He bridged the gap in Russian opera composition between Mikhail Glinka and the later generation of The Five and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Dargomyzhsky was born in Troitsko village, Belyovsky District, Tula Governorate, and educated in Saint Petersburg. He was already known as a talented musical amateur when in 1833 he met Mikhail Glinka and was encouraged to devote himself to composition. His opera Esmeralda (libretto by composer, based on Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame) was composed in 1839 (performed 1847), and his Rusalka was performed in 1856; but he had little success or recognition either at home or abroad, except in Belgium, until the 1860s, when he became the elder statesman, but not a member, of The Five.
His last opera, The Stone Guest, is his most famous work, known as a pioneering effort in melodic recitative. With the orchestration and the end of the first scene left incomplete at his death, it was finished by César Cui and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and was much prized by The Five for what was perceived as its progressive approach to operatic expression. It was premiered in 1872, but never became a lasting standard operatic repertoire item.Dargomyzhsky also left some unfinished opera projects, among them an attempted setting of Pushkin's Poltava, from which a duet survives. Besides operas, his other compositions include numerous songs, piano pieces, and some orchestral works.He died in Saint Petersburg in 1869, aged 55.Alexander Garden (Saint Petersburg)
This park should not be confused with Alexander Park in St. Petersburg and Alexander Garden in Moscow.
The Alexander Garden (Александровский сад) lies along the south and west façades of the Russian Admiralty in St. Petersburg, parallel to the Neva River and Admiralty Quay, extending from Palace Square in the east to St. Isaac's Cathedral in the west. The English park is named after Alexander II of Russia who ordered some 52 species of trees to be planted there. It was formerly known as the Admiralty Boulevard, the Admiralty Meadow, and the Labourers Garden.
The garden was designed by Luigi Rusca in 1805. William Gould, an English-born gardener, was hired to raze the southern ramparts of the Admiralty Fortress, replacing them with four lime-tree alleys. The moat of the fortress was filled in 1819, making room for additional lanes. The garden was a traditional place for Easter and Maslenitsa revels. Three lanes leading from the Admiralty tower to Nevsky Avenue, Voznesensky Avenue and Gorokhovaya Street were designed by Ivan Fomin in 1923. This arrangement made the Admiralty Tower the focal point of the entire downtown.
By contrast with the Summer Garden, the Alexander Garden originally had no statuary. It was not until 1833 that Paolo Triscorni's marble copies of the Farnese Hercules and Farnese Flora appeared. A fountain was installed in front of the Admiralty tower in 1879. The Nikolai Przhevalsky monument and four busts (Mikhail Glinka, by Vladimir Pashchenko, and three by Vasily Kreitan; namely Nikolai Gogol, Mikhail Lermontov and Vasily Zhukovsky) date from the 1890s. Chancellor Gorchakov's statue was added in 1998.David Brown (musicologist)
David Clifford Brown (born Gravesend, 8 July 1929, died 20 June 2014) was an English musicologist, most noteworthy for his major study of Tchaikovsky’s life and works.
Brown attended Gravesend Grammar School and then studied English, Latin and music at the University of Sheffield, graduating in 1951, and took his MusB there (1952). During national service (1952-4) he studied Russian and was commissioned in the Intelligence Corps. He taught in secondary schools before becoming music librarian of the University of London, working at Senate House 1959–62. In 1962 he became a lecturer at the University of Southampton, becoming senior lecturer in 1970 and reader in 1975; he was awarded a doctorate for his book on Weelkes in 1971. His book on Mikhail Glinka (published 1974) was the first major study of the composer in English. This was surpassed by his four volume study of Tchaikovsky (published between 1978 and 1991), both a biography and in-depth analyses of Tchaikovsky’s works. He was also editor of the New Grove Russian Masters series, and served on the editorial committee of Musica Britannica, the national collection of British music. He retired as Professor of Musicology in 1989.
He died in Romsey, Hampshire aged 84 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease.Edgar Bastidas
Edgar Bastidas (born 23 August 1969 in Caracas, Distrito Capital) is a Venezuelan tenor.
He studied in the musical institute Mikhail Glinka in Dnipropetrovsk (now Dnipro) in Ukraine, with the teacher María E. Markina. He studied from 1991 to 1995 in the Kiev State Conservatory "Piotr I. Tchaikovsky" in Ukraine, with the Russian Professor Vladimir I. Timohin.
He began his career in the Opera Studio of the same Conservatory, as a soloist, interpreting Lensky in the opera Eugene Onegin, Alfredo in La Traviata, Almaviva in The Barber of Seville, and the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto.
He has worked with many distinguished conductors including Lev Gorvatenko, Ruslan Doroyivsky, Roman Koffman, Boris Velat, Jan Drietomsky, and Pablo Castellanos.
He has carried out presentations in European theaters interpreting leading roles such as Almaviva, Nemorino, Duca di Mantova, Gringoire and Alfredo.
Bastidas's repertoire encompasses lieder, Spanish Songs, Russian songs, Latin American songs, contemporary, Italian and Neapolitan songs.Fyodor Stellovsky
Fyodor Timofeyevich Stellovsky (Russian: Фёдор Тимофеевич Стелловский, 1826, Moscow, Imperial Russia, — 27 April 1875, Saint Petersburg) was a prominent Russian publisher and editor.
Among the composers whose music he has published, were Alexander Dargomyzhsky, Alexey Verstovsky, Alexander Serov, Alexander Varlamov, Ivan Khandoshkin and Mikhail Glinka, whose whole back catalogue he purchased in 1857. The popular works by several major foreign composers, including Mozart, Verdi and Weber have also came out through the Stellovsky Publishers for the first time in Russia.
In 1858—1860 Stellovsky edited and published Muzykalny i Teatralny Vestnik (Music and Theatre Herald), then the newspaper Russky Mir, the magazines Gudok and Yakor (Anchor), as well as the Music Album, a supplement to the Pantheon magazine. In 1860s Stellovsky moved into the literary publishing business too to launch the acclaimed series The Works by Russian Authors (Собрания сочинений русских авторов, 1861—1870). As part to it, the first major collections of several prominent Russian writers came out, including Lev Tolstoy (The Works of, parts 1 and 2, 1864), Alexey Pisemsky (vols. 1-4, 1861—1867) and Fyodor Dostoyevsky (vols. 1-4, 1865—1870).Glinka State Prize of the RSFSR
The Glinka State Prize of the RSFSR (Государственная премия РСФСР имени М.И. Глинки) was a prize awarded to musicians of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic from 1965-1990.
To be distinguished from the Glinka Award (of 500 rubles) won in 1900 by Scriabin (for his First Symphony), in 1904 by Rachmaninov, and three times by Reinhold Glière.
Both the prize and the award are named in honour of Russian composer Mikhail Glinka.Glinkovsky District
Glinkovsky District (Russian: Гли́нковский райо́н) is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the twenty-five in Smolensk Oblast, Russia. It lies in the center of the oblast and borders with Dorogobuzhsky District in the northeast, Yelninsky District in the southeast, Pochinkovsky District in the southwest, and with Kardymovsky District in the west. The area of the district is 1,225.74 square kilometers (473.26 sq mi). Its administrative center is the rural locality (a selo) of Glinka. Population: 4,948 (2010 Census); 6,149 (2002 Census); 7,866 (1989 Census).The population of Glinka accounts for 39.3% of the district's total population.
The settlement which became Glinka dates from 1898.
On 1 June 1907 the railway station was renamed Glinka in honour of the composer Mikhail Glinka
(died February 1857).Grazioso (ballet)
Grazioso is a ballet made on New York City Ballet by Peter Martins, its balletmaster-in-chief, to music by Mikhail Glinka. The premiere took place at City Ballet's fall gala on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at the New York State Theater, Lincoln Center.Kachanivka
Kachanivka Palace (Ukrainian: Качанівка; Kachanivka; Russian: Качановка; Kachanovka) is one of the many country estates built by Pyotr Rumyantsev, Catherine II's viceroy of Little Russia. It stands on the bank of the Smosh River near the village of Petrushivka in Ichnia Raion, Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine. Perhaps the best known Rumyantsev estate in the region is the Gomel Residence.
The Kachanivka residence was erected in the 1770s to Neoclassical designs by Karl Blank. The church, orangery, aviary, water tower and several other buildings date from the 19th century. After Nikolay Rumyantsev's death, the property passed to the Tarnovsky family. Vasily Tarnovsky was interested in the history of Ukraine and amassed a collection of weapons that had been owned by the hetmans of Ukraine. Among the 19th-century visitors to Kachanovka were Nikolai Gogol, Taras Shevchenko, Ilya Repin, Mikhail Vrubel, and Mikhail Glinka (who worked on his opera A Life for the Tsar in the summerhouse).Although the Soviets nationalized the palace for use as a penal colony and tuberculosis hospital, the manor, including the extensive English park and several subsidiary outbuildings, is exceptionally well preserved. It has been designated a national cultural preserve since 1982 and was selected as one of the Seven Wondrous Castles and Palaces of Ukraine.Kamarinskaya
Kamarinskaya (Russian: камаринская) is a Russian traditional folk dance, which is mostly known today as the Russian composer Mikhail Glinka's composition of the same name. Glinka's Kamarinskaya, written in 1848, was the first orchestral work based entirely on Russian folk song and to use the compositional principles of that genre to dictate the form of the music. It became a touchstone for the following generation of Russian composers ranging from the Western-oriented Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to the group of nationalists known collectively as The Five and was also lauded abroad, most notably by French composer Hector Berlioz.List of compositions by Mikhail Glinka
Below is a sortable list of compositions by Mikhail Glinka. The works are categorized by genre, date of composition and titles.Minsk State Musical College name after Mikhail Glinka
Minsk State Musical College name after Mikhail Glinka is a state musical
college in Belarus, among the oldest and most respectable culture colleges in the country.Nestor Kukolnik
Nestor Vasilievich Kukolnik (Russian: Нестор Васильевич Кукольник) (1809–1868) was a Russian playwright and prose writer of Carpatho-Rusyn origin. Immensely popular during the early part of his career, his works were subsequently dismissed as sententious and sentimental. Today, he is best remembered for having contributed to the libretto of the first Russian opera, A Life for the Tsar by Mikhail Glinka. Glinka also set many of his lyrics to music.Patrioticheskaya Pesnya
"The Patriotic Song" (Russian: Патриоти́ческая пе́сня, tr. Patrioticheskaya pesnya, IPA: [pətrʲɪɐˈtʲit͡ɕɪskəjə ˈpʲesʲnʲə]) was the national anthem of Russia from 1991 to 2000. It was previously the regional anthem of the Russian SFSR from 1990 until 1991, when its successor state the Russian Federation was constituted. Unlike most national anthems, it had no official lyrics (although unofficial ones written for it were proposed, they were not adopted).Ruslan and Lyudmila (opera)
Ruslan and Lyudmila (Russian: Руслан и Людмила, romanized: Ruslan i Lyudmila is an opera in five acts (eight tableaux) composed by Mikhail Glinka between 1837 and 1842. The opera is based on the 1820 poem of the same name by Alexander Pushkin. The Russian libretto was written by Valerian Shirkov, Nestor Kukolnik and N. A. Markevich, among others. Pushkin's death in the famous duel prevented him from writing the libretto himself as planned.
Today, the best-known music from the opera is its overture.Saint Petersburg Court Chapel
The Saint Petersburg Court Chapel (also: Capella, Kapella) (Russian: Императорская Придворная певческая капелла), now Academic Glinka Capella, is the oldest active Russian professional musical institution. It is based in the city of Saint Petersburg. The institution currently consists of a choir, an orchestra, and has its own concert hall. It also had an educational music college at one point, which is currently independent of the Court Capella.The Capella is associated with personalities such as Dmytro Bortnianskiy, Maksym Berezovskiy, Mikhail Glinka, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Anatoliy Lyadov.The Composer Glinka
Kompozitor Glinka (Russian: Композитор Глинка; English literal translation, Composer Glinka; American release title Man of Music) is a 1952 Soviet biographical film directed by Grigori Aleksandrov.The Great Glinka
The Great Glinka (Russian: Глинка) is a 1946 Soviet biopic film directed by Lev Arnshtam. The film is about Mikhail Glinka, a Russian composer of the 19th century. The film was awarded the Stalin Prize of II degree (1947) and it was entered into the 1946 Cannes Film Festival.