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(JSOnline)   "No one has really managed to explain why the music written over the 200-or-so year history of Russian classical music sounds so absolutely Russian." Subby thinks it's because it's from Russia, but then he doesn't review opera for a living   (jsonline.com) divider line 32
    More: Fail, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Russians, Russian classical music, History of the Russian language, Russia, concertos, operas, Solzhenitsyn  
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830 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 13 Feb 2013 at 1:45 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-13 01:34:40 PM
This might be one of the weirder things I've ever seen greenlit.

That said, I do love my Shostakovich and Prokofiev.
 
2013-02-13 01:54:47 PM
DNRTFA

Having seen musicals written with English lyrics performed in Russian, I'm going to guess "their language has a tonal structure that impacts Russian composers perceptions, tastes, and choices'.
 
2013-02-13 01:56:05 PM
Influence of Russian folk music?
 
2013-02-13 02:07:31 PM
Modality, chordal structure, harmonies. Centralized music scene (Moscow) with a conservatory system that insisted the top students studied with a handful of teachers. Largely Nationalistic approach. Lush strings, often in divisi by 6ths and octaves. Usage of winds as colors and thickening of textures. Long names for composers, like Rimsky-Korsakov and Turnyurhednkof.
 
2013-02-13 02:12:38 PM
I took two semesters of Russian & the prof once said that Italian and Russian are the only operatic languages that non-speakers can understand because of, yes, the "emotive tonal structure" or something. Never mind that opera singers are also acting out whatever they're singing about on stage, or that you, Madame Wlodkowska, are in fact A RUSSIAN PERSON.

I suspect she knew some Italian too.
 
2013-02-13 02:19:06 PM
Not sure if the woman who wrote this article reviews opera for a living either, but I know it's not an opera she's reviewing here.
 
2013-02-13 02:29:21 PM
Musikslayer hit most of the nails on the head - Mighty Fives, conservatory systems absorbing western classical music, later Mussorgsky influence and rampant nationalism, 20th century oppression (pro-govt and anti-govt, depending on your sense of irony - see Prokofiev and Shostakovich).

And don't forget influence of eastern orthodox liturgical music with male choirs (and awesome basses) singing stuff like "It was winter, the potato crop failed, everybody died, we ran out of vodka, the bells tolled, the storm blew across the steppes, it was minus 100, everybody died again, heard some more bells, then we were oppressed, there was no summer, war war war, another vodka shortage..."

 .
 
2013-02-13 02:37:38 PM
The way you tell if music is Russian is that you can never quite tell if the musician is about to hug you or launch the missiles.
 
2013-02-13 02:42:25 PM

Lyapunov: "It was winter, the potato crop failed, everybody died, we ran out of vodka, the bells tolled, the storm blew across the steppes, it was minus 100, everybody died again, heard some more bells, then we were oppressed, there was no summer, war war war, another vodka shortage..."


That sounds pretty upbeat for russian... well outside of running out of vodak twice.
 
2013-02-13 02:45:22 PM

Saiga410: That sounds pretty upbeat for russian... well outside of running out of vodak twice.


Joke:
Man is hungry. He steal bread to feed family. Get home, find all family have sent Siberia! "More bread for me," man think. But bread have worm.
 
2013-02-13 02:57:51 PM
I didn't see an opera review, subby. I guess your headline is correct inasmuch as it's predicated on how little you know about the subject.
 
2013-02-13 03:07:37 PM

Gosling: Saiga410: That sounds pretty upbeat for russian... well outside of running out of vodak twice.

Joke:
Man is hungry. He steal bread to feed family. Get home, find all family have sent Siberia! "More bread for me," man think. But bread have worm.


Is good joke.
 
2013-02-13 03:48:41 PM
 
2013-02-13 03:55:48 PM
"Have a nice day."
 
2013-02-13 04:02:23 PM
Put anything in the right minor key and it sounds russian.
 
2013-02-13 04:04:42 PM
 
2013-02-13 04:26:45 PM

Cyno01: And vice versa.


I really, REALLY, hate it when someone calls it the "Tetris theme".
 
2013-02-13 05:04:26 PM

gshepnyc: I didn't see an opera review, subby. I guess your headline is correct inasmuch as it's predicated on how little you know about the subject.


Isn't that the point of the headline?
 
2013-02-13 06:37:25 PM
When I was taking piano lessons, the only pieces I really enjoyed playing were from Russian composers over the last couple centuries.
 
2013-02-13 08:17:11 PM
Uh, pretty much any classical music from a country has a distinctively unique "sound", once you've got your classical ears tuned up.  Good scholars can differentiate German from Italian, Czech from Polish, Chinese from Korean, etc.  Even American classical (-style) music has it's own sound.  The only country that doesn't is Canada.  Their classical music just sounds like cheese and apologies.
 
2013-02-13 09:50:56 PM
Good one subby, had to read that headline to my wife. 
She laffeded.

/we are so easily amused.
 
2013-02-13 10:16:56 PM

markie_farkie: Quintessentially Russian as it gets..


Well, except that that's an Australian's orchestration.
 
2013-02-14 12:14:08 AM
Orchestration is key.
 
2013-02-14 01:16:42 AM

Cyno01: And vice versa.


since tetris is a russian video game, isn't that even more appropriate?
 
2013-02-14 02:46:59 AM
:D
 
2013-02-14 08:55:08 AM

maverickzy: Cyno01: And vice versa.

I really, REALLY, hate it when someone calls it the "Tetris theme".


What Tetris Theme may sound like
 
2013-02-14 01:50:33 PM
The only way to really test this hypothesis would be to raise a few kids in total cultural isolation, never having heard any music whatsoever. Give them education in world history, geography, maybe philosophy, religion, and the visual arts. Then play various representative compositions from different nations, and see if these persons can place the musical work in the correct country of origin.

Otherwise it's all an association game. We've heard some "Russian Music" in concert, on stage, at the movies/TV, etc. We hear some new piece (or old, but unfamiliar piece) that uses some of the same harmonies, instrument combinations, etc., and we recognize the similarities and say "oh, it's Russian".

No contest that the body of Russian music has some coherent qualities that can be recognized upon hearing (i.e., this piece sounds like that piece; that piece is Russian, therefore this piece is Russian too), but if a blank slate heard it with no previous associations to attach to it, would they spontaneously place that sound with non-musical Russian culture?
 
2013-02-14 03:42:34 PM

Superjew: Uh, pretty much any classical music from a country has a distinctively unique "sound", once you've got your classical ears tuned up.  Good scholars can differentiate German from Italian, Czech from Polish, Chinese from Korean, etc.  Even American classical (-style) music has it's own sound.  The only country that doesn't is Canada.  Their classical music just sounds like cheese and apologies.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEGQUDstJy0

Some cheese!   No apologies!
 
2013-02-14 04:41:13 PM

Musikslayer: Modality, chordal structure, harmonies. Centralized music scene (Moscow)St. Petersburg with a conservatory system that insisted the top students studied with a handful of teachers. Largely Nationalistic approach. Lush strings, often in divisi by 6ths and octaves. Usage of winds as colors and thickening of textures. Long names for composers, like Rimsky-Korsakov and Turnyurhednkof.


minor fixit, but yeah...
 
2013-02-14 06:17:36 PM

hobnail: Musikslayer: Modality, chordal structure, harmonies. Centralized music scene (Moscow)St. Petersburg with a conservatory system that insisted the top students studied with a handful of teachers. Largely Nationalistic approach. Lush strings, often in divisi by 6ths and octaves. Usage of winds as colors and thickening of textures. Long names for composers, like Rimsky-Korsakov and Turnyurhednkof.

minor fixit, but yeah...


You missed the good part- read the names of the two composers I listed, slowly.........
 
2013-02-15 01:31:29 AM
 
2013-02-15 03:18:43 AM
 
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