Author Topic: voices of the Imperial Family  (Read 18948 times)

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Offline Dust_of_History

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2011, 11:56:14 AM »
This is definitely speculation. How can you be so sure that this is the voice of the Heir??? Just because you say it's the Heir's voice, does not mean that this is indeed the case. There simply is no proof for this. The fact that the Emperor took Alexei with him to military parades does not necessarily mean that Alexei can be heard in this video. I can't hear any children's voices on this old scratchy recording at all.

Offline dvoynik_nikolay

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2011, 10:50:42 AM »
This is confusing. First you say that can't be his voice, now you say it is/could be?
No. The military ceremony which he thanks the soldiers for having,likely is Nicholas. The 1902 French recording probably is not.

Hi.
This toast Emperor Nicholas II proclaimed did not during his visit to France in 1901, but at a luncheon May 8, 1902  during visit to Russia of President E. Lube.
The text of the toast of Nicholas II in French without translation into Russian was published in the (Government Gazette) 1902 102.

I was just stating my opinion.
Nothing wrong with that. Just remember to make it clear that it's your opinion and folks won't be quite so quick to jump down your throat. ;^)


Oh, yes!

Offline dvoynik_nikolay

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #32 on: December 21, 2011, 12:36:12 PM »
Hi!
In addition to the previous post quote a page from the Complete collection of speeches, Nicholas II - speech number 62.


Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2012, 05:15:31 PM »
I don't doubt that recordings of the Imperial family speaking might still be extant. Nor do I see any reason to doubt the authenticity of the short sound clips of Tsar Nicholas II contained in some of the known films from those times.

Hopefully longer recording may still be discovered in archives within Russia.

As for recordings of Tsar Nicholas II found outside Russia, during the 1980s and 1990s we made inquiries of some of the major phono-archives abroad.

(I just happened to come across these again in our files recently.)

Here are their replies. (Obviously, something may have turned up during the intervening years, but we have not heard of any such discoveries.)

1) The British Library:



The mention of Gaisberg, a pioneer in voice recording, is in reference to his book:

Music on Record
By Fred Gaisberg
Robert Hale Ltd.
London 1946

(Originally published in the USA in 1943 as The Music Goes Round.)

On page 33 Gaisberg recounts their attempts to make a recording of Tsar Nicholas II in the winter of 1900.

In order to make an initial recording and presentation, Gaisberg and his crew came to the Michael Palace in St. Petersburg (now the Russian Museum).

Present for the demonstration were General Bobrikov, the Governor of Finland, and the Taneiev family, who resided in the palace at that time: Alexander, his wife, his daughters (including Anna), his son, and others.

Each person was ready with an impromtu message for the recording trumpet.

Gaisberg was pleasantly surprised to learn how well they all spoke English.

Alexander Taneiev even played one of his own pieces on the piano for the recording.

Everyone was delighted to hear the recordings played back to them twenty minutes later.

But that particular project went no further, and they never did record the Emperor.

Writing in 1943, Gaisberg concludes his account: We never achieved the recordings of the Tsars voice, nor, to my knowledge, did any other company.


2) The Bibliotheque National (1990):




3) The Library of Congress:




4) The Biliotheque National (1998):



Note that they state that such recordings were read later by actors from a transcript of the speeches.

However, I have never read it reported anywhere that Tsar Nicholas II stuttered. On the contrary, all memoirists mention his excellent voice when reading aloud or delivering speeches.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2012, 05:17:17 PM by Inok Nikolai »
инок Николай

Offline EmmyLee

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2012, 08:23:03 PM »
Are they confusing him with George VI and his stammer?

That's interesting about the actors being used, although if it's true, that's very disappointing!

Offline Inok Nikolai

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2012, 09:36:53 PM »
Are they confusing him with George VI and his stammer?

That's interesting about the actors being used, although if it's true, that's very disappointing!

Well, as for the actors, it makes sense concerning events held outdoors. In those days it would have been difficult to capture an entire speech.

But hopefully someone did record something indoors, similar to Gaisberg's project.

By sharing these letters from the various archives, we wanted to alert others to the possibilities (or lack thereof!), and spare them from repeating the efforts.

But, then again, one never knows what might have turned up in the meantime...
инок Николай

Offline Alan

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2012, 03:25:53 AM »
There is also the recording on You-Tube of Nicholas on the balcony of the Winter Palace, declaring that Russia was at war with Germany in 1914.

Offline davidov

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #37 on: February 17, 2017, 04:43:55 PM »
It can be tricky to gain an impression of just how their accents would have sounded. There are clear descriptions, however some of these conflict each other. Some understanding can be drawn from later recordings of relatives, raised under similarly bi-lingual circumstances, in Eastern European courts. There would have been differences between family members due to the which generation they belonged or respective influences (British nurses, or French tutors, etc). 

This clip, featuring King George & Queen Mary, gives a good reference point for Empress Alexandra, particularly as Mary (starting 2:22) was a princess with strong German and English influences when being raised, and of a similar generation. The recording is from 1923, so she had by that time spent many years in the U. I imagine AF accent was more affected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZtVNzxYQJs

Another reference point for AF could be Princess Alice, also a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who spent some years in Germany, a princess of Saxe-Coburg. She speaks with a perfect English accent, and one that is even a little less stretched and formal than the rest of her family of that era, although she is an aged woman by the time this recording, and had spent her life in England and the Empire, unlike AF, who had spent some years in Russia.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS4hAbHLszw


This clip, featuring Prince George and Princess Marina, demonstrates his English accent, and Princess Marina's slightly weak English, which seems to make P. George smirk. I imagine that many members of the Romanov family, spoke in a similar manner.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZtVNzxYQJs

This 1941 clip of Marie of Yugoslavia, for example, demonstrates how she blended a traditionally rounded Victorian accent, with a 'Slavic accent'. I imagine that the GD's would have sounded similar, speaking with a clear English accent at points (when she said 'goodbye boy's' for example).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz4TjPvC8co


Offline Превед

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #38 on: February 17, 2017, 06:41:45 PM »
Interesting examples, davidov.

This clip, featuring King George & Queen Mary, gives a good reference point for Empress Alexandra, particularly as Mary (starting 2:22) was a princess with strong German and English influences when being raised, and of a similar generation. The recording is from 1923, so she had by that time spent many years in the U. I imagine AF accent was more affected.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZtVNzxYQJs

I think you mistakenly gave the recording of Prince George and Princess Marina here.

Quote
This 1941 clip of Marie of Yugoslavia, for example, demonstrates how she blended a traditionally rounded Victorian accent, with a 'Slavic accent'. I imagine that the GD's would have sounded similar, speaking with a clear English accent at points (when she said 'goodbye boy's' for example).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz4TjPvC8co

Interesting, especially her French (more fluent than her English), in which she sounds (and looks!) like any provincial commre to me, speaking with rolled r's. BTW her linguistic background wasn't Slavic, as Romanian is a Romance language.
Березы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и березы, 1843 / 1856)

Offline davidov

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #39 on: February 17, 2017, 07:47:30 PM »
Thanks this is the link with Queen Mary.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO9VEfOeOxo

Indeed, it is not a Slavic language, however with her years in Yugoslavia, and her age, I thought she would be a good example, particularly with reference to the Grand Duchesses, as both their mothers were granddaughters of QV, and spoke English to them. I agree, her dress and manner are very unusual, one has the impression that, in spite of the fact she was a princess, and a Queen, that she didn't really give a damn.

Some other Russian, non royal examples are these two clips of Vladimir Nabokov. At the time of this recording he had been living in the West for years (though based in Switzerland). He has a typically U accent, but if you really pay attention, a number of slight quirks, which one could put down to teh Russian. He was raised speaking English, Russian and French (English was his first language), and given both his parents were Russian, I'd suspect he had English governess, which were very common, as French was falling out of fashion during the reign of Nicholas II. One could imagine the Iperial family sounding like something between Nabokov and Marie of Yugoslavia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYvbTGoTgUc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8171K40pJho

With the exception of a widely known interview with Felix Yusupov, dubbed with a terrible voiceover, there is very little online, in spite of the fact that many lived long into the century. The remaining ranking members, Xenia and Olga, never seemed to have been interviewed to my knowledge. Perhaps a symptom of rank.

Offline Превед

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #40 on: February 20, 2017, 06:19:24 PM »
Maybe Alexandra Fyodorovna sounded a bit like Stalin in Russian? :P

I wonder if Alexandra Fyodorovna's Russian sounded somewhat like Stalin's, who spoke Russian well, but with a Georgian accent.
Stalin speaking, with less palatalisation (i.e. Aliksandra and Stalin instead of Alʲiksandra and Stalʲ in) and vowel reduction (i.e. Aleksandra Fyodorovna instead of Ehliksandreh Fyodaravneh)  than a native Russian: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp7IQRZ6MTI
Background-wise, as you can hear here, Stalin's native Georgian is not that different, phonetically, from AF's native German and RP English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpU3ktOXQ_k

I think both may have struggled equally with the palatalisation, but perhaps AF had less problems with spelling pronunciation (including lack of vowel reduction), as she got more oral tutoring when learning the language than Stalin did in the seminary, whose focus on Church Slavic without vowel reduction perhaps added to him exhibiting that feature.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2017, 06:31:44 PM by Превед »
Березы севера мне милы,
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: Ивы и березы, 1843 / 1856)

Online LauraO

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Re: voices of the Imperial Family
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2017, 04:26:52 PM »
I think it's a good point, and certainly an interesting comparison.
I feel that her accent would have certainly been one of variety at the very least, particularly when speaking Russian.
I've often wondered how much the English edge carried through. In various accounts this seems to have been stressed to different extents. if memory serves correctly it was Dehn who described the strong English edge to her voice, although correct me if I'm perhaps thinking of the wrong person here.
If so, I wonder how pronounced this was? Perhaps it was simply a matter of hearing different strains depending on the listener.