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Meshcheryakova N.

P. Tchaikovsky on the vocal art of Italy and Russia

Among the important topics alucidateded by P. Tchaikovsky – the music critic, there were the general condition of vocal art in Russia og the 1870th and formation of national opera theatre. Therefore, Tchaikovsky, alongside the major representatives of Russian music criticism (V. Odoevsky, A. Serov, V. Stasov, C. Cui and others), devoted considerable attention to the relentless expansion of Italian style into the cultural life of the country. However, Tchaikovsky sought to emphasize the merits of classical traditions of Italian bel canto and enthusiastically commended outstanding vocalists – custodians of the tradition (A. Patti, E. Naudin, A. Cotogni and others). Equally, the critic felt compelled to support and guide an artistic search of young Russian vocalists (including, e.g. E. Lavrovskaya, E. Kadmina, A. Menshikova) and pregressively thinking vocal teachers (including A. Alexandrova-Kochetova, V. Kashperov), who aimed to distinctively translate all the advantages of bel canto to the Russian fundamental artistic and aesthetic principles of the opera and concert singing art. Among the pleasant phenomena of Russian cultural life Tchaikovsky also considered various enlightening initiatives concerning music that took place in the capital and the province – from the publicly available “private” students gatherings to “musical and literary pastimes” (concerts and lectures), that were organized by the enthusiasts of the Russian chamber of “The Slavonic Market” (1872). Entirely unacceptable for Tchaikovsky was only commercial focus of some events of the concert and music theatre life. Specific embodiment of such commercialisation was, according to the critical work of the Russian composer, the artistic activity of the “popular-ptint singer” D. Agrenev- Slavyansky.

Key words

P. Tchaikovsky, Russian vocal art of the 1870s, Italian opera of the 19th century, D. Agrenev-Slavyanskiy, “The Slavonic Market”.

For citation

Meshcheryakova N. P. Tchaikovsky on the vocal art of Italy and Russia // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2020. No. 4. P. 116–122.