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Beketova N.

Russian musical tragedy: from the methodological point of view

Russian musical tragedy is considered as a culture-historical phenomenon of the 19th – first quarter of the 20th century. Directly connected with the collisions of the Russian history of “the past and the present”, it is presented in the dynamics of the active development of various shapes and forms. The foundation of the author’s concept is the works of A. Losev, which addresse the problem of the tragic. The article shows that music can have universal cognitive qualities, as a result of which its history in the stated chronological period reflects the stages of the national identity development. Such qualities are derived from the ontological ability of music to be, according to Losev, “the number, symbol and the myth”, and, in this quality, to reflect the definitions of the consciousness and self-awareness. Russian musical tragedy, perceived as a historic act, is executed in harmonic and crisis-type forms, and, as the article shows, it corresponds to three mythological models of the national identity, manifested during the formative stages of the Russian classical music culture: harmonic musical myth of Transformation in Glinka’s “Life for the Tsar” (first half of the 19th century), crisis-type myth of the Russian world and soul’ Apocalypse in the music of Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky (second half of the 19th century), and – the result of the total decay – the totalitarian myth of a Werewolf (Shostakovich, first quarter of the 20th century). The identified mythological models match the three historical forms of the Russian musical tragedy: the ancient, religious-philosophical and tragedy-satire. All three forms denote the growth of the existential that culminates in the music of Mussorgsky, Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich in specifically Russian tragic form of existential tragedy of the national identity.

Key words

Russian musical tragedy, national identity, musical myth, existential tragedy, harmony, crisis, history, metaphysics.

For citation

Beketova N. Russian musical tragedy: from the methodological point of view // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2020. No. 3. Pp. 43–49.