Russian Romance (Russian Art Song, Lieder) is one of the greatest achievements in world classical music. Russian classical romance as an independent genre appeared at the beginning of the XIX century. The romances were sung with accompaniment by piano or small instrumental ensemble in palace halls and country houses. From their beginning Romances were very popular in Russia. Music and verse for romances were written by amateurs as well as professional musicians and poets. Some Russian composers at the beginning of the XIX century such as Alyabiev, Guriliov, Varlamov have become famous due to their romances, many of which are masterpieces such as “Nightingale,” by Alyabiev, “The Small Bell,” by Gurilov, and “Snow Flies Along the Street” by Varlamov. The special CD of the project “Two centuries of Russian Classical Romance” will be devoted to the vocal works of these composers.
Many romances have been written by such ingenious Russian composers as Glinka, Dargomyzhsky, Balakirev, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov. The chamber vocal works of these composers were heard not only in palace halls, but in concert halls as well. Thus, the classical romance became a major component of the works of Russian composers, on the same level with symphonies, operas and ballets.
The XX century has brought new development to the genre of the Russian classical romance. The project “Two Centuries of Russian Classical Romance” will present vocal masterpieces of such ingenious XX century Russian composers as Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Shostakovich. Fans of classical music also can get acquainted with the remarkable romances of lesser known Russian composers such as Tcherepnin, Shaporin, Scherbatchov, Shebalin etc.
The classical romance not only lives on at the end of the XX century, it occupies a significant place in the works of such contemporary composers such as Sviridov, Gavrilin, Schnittke, Denisov, Gubaydulina, Slonimsky etc. “Two Centuries of Russian Classical Romance” will also contain romances by these composers.
Thank to Chris Calder (US)
for translation of this text to English.