Taruskin’s Defining Russia Musically

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“The secular fine art of music came late to Russia. To all intents and purposes, its history there begins in 1735.”
This is basically the first sentence in Taruskin’s book Defining Russia Musically, and leaves it to the reader the reminiscence of the late establishment of what is known as Russia, historically and culturally.
Only in 18th century it was proclaimed as an Empire under Peter the Great, and he was the one to impose the Western customs to the Russians (literally speaking, even went as far as banning men to wear beards,and killing his own son for resisting the reforms). So it is only natural that Euterpe the muse –and here sisters– will need some time to start their influence.

Peter the Great wanted to make his court and military German like and the arts Italian. Later Catherine the Great wanted the French court style because of here adduction, she will try to convince Diderot to publish the Encyclopaedia in Russia under here protection. Musically speaking the real point of departure was A Life for the Tsar by Mikhail Glinka which was preformed in December 1836, this was the first (real) Russian opera,(comparing to the previous Singspiels) it’s effect was enormous on the Russian consciousness in the music realm. The first conservatory in Russia in Saint Petersburg was founded in 1862 by the Russian pianist and composer Anton Rubinstein. Hence all the previous musicians where either self-taught or purely dilettantes.
We must wait till Tchaikovsky (1840-1890) to witness the first professional musician who earned his living from only practising music composition, not even as a performer or a virtuoso. And the Russian law system only in 1860 recognised such a position as a (music composer).
Nevertheless the muse...

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... big black Labrador came charging across the lawn. With a twinkle in his eye, Vladimir said, 'Bigger, stronger, faster than Barney,’”…… Bush says he later told the story to the Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, who replied: "You're lucky he only showed you his dog."

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Calvocoressi, M.D., Abraham, G., Master Musicians Series: Mussorgsky, London: J.M.Dent & Sons, Ltd., 1946, pg. 178

E.-L. Malus de Mitry, L’Agenda de Malus: souvenirs de l’expédition d’Egypte, 1798–1801 (Paris, 1892), pp. 135–36.
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