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N. Brazhnikova

Piano quintet in the work by Russian composers at the close of 18th – the first third of 19th centuries

The present article is devoted to the consideration of the initial stage of the formation of the piano quintet genre in the Russian musical culture, which is relatively little studied in the scientific literature. The author focuses on the works by D. Bortnyansky, A. Alyabiev and J. Field’s opus, which is practically unknown to research specialists and is being introduced into scientific circulation for the first time. The analysis of the works that became the first truly valuable examples of this genre in Russian music at the close of 18th – the first third of 19th centuries, precedes a brief excursion into its background. The interpretation of the genre of the piano quintet is considered by the author in the aspect of identifying the features of genre specificity, the principles of dramaturgy and ensemble setting that have developed in the works by Bortnyansky, Field and Alyabiev, as well as from the point of view of the originality of stylistic and compositional solutions. The analysis of the artistic peculiarity of these quintets is carried out taking into account the views of a number of researchers of chamber and instrumental genres with the participation of piano (in particular, N. Simonova, T. Voskresenskaya, L. Tsaregorodtseva). In Bortnyansky’s quintet the author reveals a more involved dramatic idea of the cycle than is commonly believed. The deepening of its content was achieved by dramatizing the images of the lyrical and genre sphere, introducing the features of the conflict beginning, elements of end-to-end development as the forerunner of the principles of symphonization of the genre. The onepart opuses by Field and Alyabiev are interpreted as the implementation of a lyrical-romantic concept. The quintet by Field emphasizes the special unity of the content and style of the work, as well as the role of nocturne features as the basis of his musical dramaturgy; in the Alyabiev’s quintet, there is the significance of lyrical-elegiac imagery and a romance features. Among the principles of ensemble thinking, the elements of concerting and dialogic manner are highlighted.

Key words

piano quintet, D. Bortnyansky, J. Field, A. Alyabiev, principles of ensemble thinking, dialogic manner.

For citation

Brazhnikova N. Piano quintet in the work by Russian composers at the close of 18th – the first third of 19th centuries // South-Russian Musical Anthology. 2021. No. 3. Pp. 89–96.