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Russian Romances

Russian Romances
Editions Orphée


SKU AM4457
Author Various
Format Book
Duration 108 pages
Notation Standard Notation
Dimensions 230mm x 305mm
Publisher Editions Orphée
Departments Classical Guitar
Our price: £12.60


The twenty seven songs assembled in this anthology represent several facets of this unique genre, the so-called Russian romance. The genre ranges from the art songs by classical composers such as Mikhail Glinka, Alexander Dargomyzhsky and Peter Tchaikovsky, the songs composed by lesser lights such as Alexander Varlamov, Alexander Alyabyev, Alexander Dubuque and Alexander Gurilyov, and also the songs sung and danced to by urban Gypsy musicians in popular entertainment establishments. Whether composed by the great composers, or by numerous dilettantes whose names were often obscured with acronym abbreviations and forgotten, the lyricism of the Russian romance is immediately recognizable, even by people who are not quite familiar with Russian culture. As often discussed in the scholarly literature, we are faced with a unique phenomenon of many unforgettable romances by forgotten poets and composers.

Published romances, from the eighteenth century romances of Dubyansky and Kozlovsky, all the way to the classical romances of the great composers of the late nineteenth century, were usually published with piano accompaniment. But in their daily iterations as living domestic music, they were just as often accompanied by the guitar, in both its variants as the French guitar (5 or 6 strings tuned in fourths) or the Russian guitar (seven strings tuned in thirds). Certainly, when sung by professional Gypsy musicians, they were accompanied with the seven-string guitar. Such accompaniments were usually improvised renditions that may or may not have been based on the published piano accompaniments. The accompaniments composed for this anthology by Anatoliy Olshanskiy are based on this ancient tradition. The present anthology is intended to be used by singers with a low voice, but it could also be used by high voices. In the latter cases the guitarist would have to use a capo (usually on the third fret), so as to accommodate the range of the singer. The volume contains an historical Introduction by Matanya Ophee (bi-lingual English-Russian), a detailed pronunciation guide for non-Russian speakers, and a line by line (non-singable) translation into English of all the lyrics.

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