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Title:Keys to a Russian national composer: An introduction to Georgy Sviridov
Author(s):Jermihov, Peter
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Johnston, Ben
Department / Program:Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Literature, Slavic and East European
Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:A national musical culture is defined by its traditions. Georgy Sviridov (b. 1915) is the strongest contemporary link to Russia's great musical heritage. The perennial Russian themes run through his work in abundant clarity and force: patriotism, depiction of nature and peasant life in all their rich and varied regional forms, reflection on the great religious topics--love and repentance, and a profound reliance on the word. He is the son of an era which witnessed the tragic failure of the last Christian government, claimed nearly one hundred million lives, and produced conflict of unbelievable proportions: old Russia was replaced by new Russia, Orthodox Christianity by Communism, the peasant and peasant life by the factory worker and the industrial military machine, and, ultimately, man's dignity by a seventy-four-year-old lie. As a true patriot, Sviridov ponders the meaning of his country's historical path, her predicament and her future; he longs to be of service to his country and her people. Her trials are his trials and her people's pain is his pain. By proclaiming himself the musical poet of Russia's catastrophic path and by embracing her cultural traditions, Sviridov linked himself to a line of distinguished predecessors and, in so doing, became a national composer with universal merit.
This thesis poses and attempts to answer a basic question: What forces are at work in this phenomenon? The search for an answer reveals three keys: a musical system that is rooted in peasant music, a music that is bound to the word, and a musical culture that grows out of a religion; the music, the composer and the culture form a homogeneous phenomenon. The order in which they appear in the dissertation reflects a prioritized sequence: Russian musical culture and Georgy Sviridov, poetry and music, and musical style. Chapter 2 delineates the various traditions that comprise Russia's musical heritage; special emphasis is placed on Russia's native religion as the source of a unified aesthetic system. Chapter 3 explores an artistic and historical kinship between Esenin and Sviridov; Poema In Memory Of Sergey Esenin is used as a reference work. Finally, Chapter 4 describes the musical roots of Sviridov's style over a backdrop of data formulated by Kastal'sky and Bartok; Kursk Songs are used to illustrate the points.
Issue Date:1992
Rights Information:Copyright 1992 Jermihov, Peter
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9236490
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9236490

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