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N. Beketova

Glinka – Mussorgsky: the harmony and crisis of the Russian historical state-of-the-art

The development of the Russian opera genre is examined in the context of the mythological models of the harmonic myth of Russian congregational consciousness (“Life for the Czar” by M. Glinka) and the crisis-type myth of the Russian turmoil (musical dramas by M. Mussorgsky). The author examines the historical context of the time that demanded particular type of musical imagery, the originality and boldness of the composer’s ideas on the path of creation of the Russian national opera model that did not have international analogues. The main value-oriented approach in the opera concept established the principle of the historical correlation between the “high” (the ideal model of the Sacred history) and the “low” – the sinful history of humanity. The works by Glinka (“how it should be”) and Mussorgsky (“how it is”) correlate in the same way. The Pushkin–Glinka epoch (“The Golden Age” of the Russian culture) has favored the appearance of the Russian classical opera, which fully expressed the whole system of the main national values. It is examined by the author from the point of view of the Soviet stereotypes concerning the excessive slavish pathos of the state myth of the “Life for the Czar”. The article offers documentary and literary records of the Glinka’s period collective psychology, which are characteristic of the sincere devotion of the Russian people to the sacred idea of the Czar, and states the necessity of the mythological approach chosen by the author, which helps to see the patterns in historical characteristics of the stages of the national self-consciousness of the Russian society. The idea of inevitable fragmentation, the loss of the Russian national idea, connected to the inability of the Russian world to hear «the Message », is prophetically stated in the religious mysteries by Mussorgsky. The heir of the principles of the Russian musical thought developed by Glinka, Mussorgsky adopts them creating the model of the crisis historical Russian state-of-the-art.

Key words

harmony and crisis myths, the history of the national self-consciousness, Russian national idea, musical-mythological creative work, the principles of liturgical symbolism.

For citation

Beketova N. Glinka – Mussorgsky: the harmony and crisis of the Russian historical state-of-the-art // South-Russian musical anthology. 2021. № 1. Pp. 55–62.