Author Topic: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?  (Read 3378 times)

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Offline HessianPrincess

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Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« on: August 02, 2018, 06:19:13 PM »
Hello!

This is my first post on the forum. Forgive me if there is a thread on this elsewhere (I did a search and could not find one). What does everyone make of this recording? I am particularly interested in what our Russian and/or Russian-speaking members think based upon what the male voice is singing and whether/what accent he may have, as has been debated in the comments under the video itself. It is sourced to the Ruben Collection at the Danish Royal Library; unfortunately it doesn't seem to be appropriately documented. There is a quote about the recording attributed to GD Olga Alexandrovna's descendant Paul Kulikovsky, who apparently believes it to be the voices of his great-great-grandparents, but as I could not source that quote, I will not copy or link it here. I am not sure what I think about it, and am curious as to others' thoughts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGaKueN2qsQ

Offline Slege

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 10:36:15 PM »
This is awesome ! Thanks for the sharing.
However I'm still waiting for a voice recording of the grand-children of Maria Feodorovna and of Alexandra Feodorovna, but I think none exist

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2018, 11:52:39 PM »
My Russian is not good enough to translate. I do however know that the "accent" is not at all all "foreign". It is aristocratic Russian of the Imperial Era. I had a "Tante" born to a noble family in Moscow in about 1905 or so. Her Russian had the very same accent. Paul Kulikovsky is on Facebook, and you might want to message him and ask him for details.

Offline Превед

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2018, 05:54:07 PM »
At the end, before the woman chimes in with Det morer mig meget at hřre min mands stemme (= It amuses me very much to hear my husband's voice) in Danish, the man apparantly says До свидание, господа (= Good bye, gentlemen). I suspect the feeling of a foreign accent which people in the comments section comment upon, which might be the elusive pre-Revolutionary upper-class sociolect, might be due to low grade of palatalisation and lack of vowel reduction, i.e. he says "gospodá" like the word is written, where you would expect almost "gaspadá" (IPA: [ɡəspɐˈda]). This can be interpreted as spelling pronunciation / foreign bookish accent, Northern Russian dialect and archaďc Church Slavic pronunciation.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 06:23:59 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2018, 06:36:26 PM »
Does the song contain these lines?

на Африка, на Камерун
как немцы говорят
=
To Africa, to Cameroon,
like the Germans say???

If the recording is from 1891, it would fit with Cameroon becoming a German colony in 1884.

A Russophone YouTube commenter says that the woman has a Danish accent in her Russian (sounds like that to me too), and that the man speaks with a "kartavits", i.e. uvular r (sounds like that partially to me, at least in the song). It certainly doesn't sound like the normal, modern Russian rolled r, more like a Swedish or Norwegian rolled r. In this case it could be German and French influence, but normally a uvular r is associated with a Yiddish accent in Russian.

Anyways, extremely interesting, thanks for posting.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 06:48:38 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Превед

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2018, 07:07:32 PM »
Does the song contain these lines?

на Африка, на Камерун
как немцы говорят
=
To Africa, to Cameroon,
like the Germans say???

If the recording is from 1891, it would fit with Cameroon becoming a German colony in 1884.

The song must be a Russian version of a German song called "Nach Afrika, nach Kamerun, nach Angra Pequena", (alternatively "Weisst lieber Freund, was wir jetzt thun? Wir segeln stolz nach Kamerun") where Angra Pequena is another name for Lüderitz Bay.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2018, 07:14:27 PM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline HessianPrincess

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2018, 02:36:32 PM »
The following quote about the recording is from Paul Kulikovsky, and was posted on the "Romanov News" facebook page. It is my understanding that this page is associated with the newsletter Mr. Kulikovsky publishes himself. So, with some degree of caution, I decided to go ahead and post it here:

"Yes, I do believe these are the voices on my great-great-grandfather and great-great-grandmother, Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna, better known in Denmark as Empress Dagmar - says Paul E. Kulikovsky.

This recording have been known to me since 2014, where Stig Nielsen was the first to tell me about it. I have since done some research and in short I can give the following information.
The phonograph was demonstrated at the Danish Royal Palace Fredensborg on 28 September 1889. It is known that it was during one of the Emperor and Empress' stays in Denmark.

The next day it was reported in the newspapers - "Edison's Phonograph was presented to Their Majestys King and Queen with tall guests at Fredensborg Castle. The presentation took place in Havesalen (Garden Hall) and commenced at 10. The most popular melodies captivated the royal and imperial rulers in two hours, and it was solely because of the advancing time that the presentation was interrupted."

There is no mentioning of a recording being made at this event, but it might well have happen before or after (next day), as Emperor Alexander III was very interested in the phonograph.

The event was repeated about two month later in Russia. On Sunday, November 10, 1889, a similar demonstration took place at the palace in Gatchina. The Emperor invited a number of friends (there were 39 present), among whom were two brothers and his children, several ministers and ladies of the court, and others.

Julius Block tells to a friend - "I was asked to show and explain the phonograph after dinner, which ended at 8 ľ. After a brief explanation, I went to a demonstration of the phonograph with one of a solo cornet, which was with the Emperor himself playing the cornet. The Emperor and Empress expressed their full satisfaction and said that they were surprised by the cleanliness and the intensity of the phonograph, in comparison with what they heard in the palace of the King of Denmark."

Emperor Alexander III made an order for the phonograph and Mr. Edison prepare the latest model with a sign that reads:
"The phonograph is presented to His Majesty; ALEXANDER III, Emperor of Russia, by its inventor Edison in ____ 1889. " It was the intention that the blank space was to be filled in with the specific date. However, the phonograph arrived to Emperor Alexander III only in 1890, so it was never filled in.
With the phonograph was send two dozen first-class music tracks and 50 blank discs for recording."


Link to facebook page (hopefully it works correctly; if not, I found the post by typing "phonograph" into the search bar): https://www.facebook.com/pg/PageRomanovNews/posts/?ref=page_internal

« Last Edit: August 05, 2018, 02:40:08 PM by HessianPrincess »

Offline Превед

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2018, 08:12:45 AM »
I can't wait untill a (native) Russophone is so kind as to transscribe (not necessarily translate) the whole sequence and point out in detail which pecularities AIII's speech has.
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

Offline Sanochka

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2018, 12:31:42 PM »
Welcome, HessianPrincess!  Your first post has to be one of the most alluring and jaw-dropping that I have seen here.  I read - and listened - to it the day you posted.  Though I wanted to believe, I still had reservations as I listened to the recording, that is, until Paul Kulikovsky's post.  It is indescribably awesome to listen to voices that were familiar to Nicholas and Alexandra, and later to OTMAA.  The recording brings all of them to life like nothing else can.  Thank you so much for posting.
 

Offline HessianPrincess

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2018, 03:06:32 PM »
You're welcome! I found it fascinating, as well. I honestly just stumbled across it on tumblr. I am not 100% convinced it is truly them, but hope it is. I wish there was a proper record of its provenance. I am also not sure of the authenticity of the alleged recording of Nicholas II's voice (I believe there has been discussion of that clip on this forum), but I did notice that the males' voices on both this and that recording are somewhat similar, which lends some credence to both. I also hold out hope that there exists a recording of Alexandra and OTMA somewhere. It just needs to be found. 

Offline Sanochka

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 01:39:12 AM »
I'm not 100% sure either that the recording is that of Nicholas II's parents, but am close enough to believe it until it's proven otherwise.  Years ago I read somewhere here that a recording of OTMA speaking was produced and given to Maria Feodorovna as a gift.  Some doubt was expressed about the recording surviving the revolution, but since then I have not given up hope that the recording will be found one day and made available.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to hear the Grand Duchesses' voices? 

Offline PAGE

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 06:02:16 AM »
That would be great. Hearing their voices would be a real pleasure.

Offline Slege

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2018, 04:35:38 PM »
I don't want to be pessimistic but even if I deeply hope to hear their voices, I think we'll never do, there is so little chance they were recorded. I hope tho there is a clear footage of the family, like an informal footage from few meters. I think I have read somewhere in a Rappaport's book that something like that exist. But I'll content myself with the footage of the family trip to Romania (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLlULxjfNcY) which is in very good quality for the time.



Offline Sanochka

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2018, 12:22:51 AM »
I hadn't seen the YouTube video before.  It's amazing, both in quality and content.  The arrival of the Russian imperial family in Constanta would have been enough, but my jaw dropped when I saw the two families gathered together.  I've seen only the photo - a group of personages frozen forever in one split second of time, with Olga seated and holding the baby in her arms.  I could never gaze at the photo without wondering what everybody did in the seconds that followed.  Therefore, seeing actual footage of that gathering was doubly startling, and quite a pleasant surprise.  Thank you for posting.   

Offline PAGE

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Re: Voice Recording of Alexander III & Maria Feodorovna?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2018, 01:54:54 AM »
I would like to post this link to a topic that may interest you:

http://forum.alexanderpalace.org/index.php?topic=18310.msg545483#msg545483

There is the film in Romania.

Personally, I love seeing them in this movie. He says so much about the children's personality.