Author Topic: The Imperial Family and Their Music  (Read 21632 times)

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Maria Vanya

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The Imperial Family and Their Music
« on: May 30, 2004, 05:40:18 PM »
I was just wondering, what music they had back then and what did the Romanovs listen to? I know that Alexei and Anastasia played the balalaika, but what songs did they play? Did any members have records of music? ???

Maria Vanya

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2004, 08:07:47 PM »
In a book I read it said that the tsars favorite song was "Kalinka,"you can find the English & Russian lyrics for the song if you would like to see, here>http://www.funet.fi/pub/culture/russian/lyrics/classics/kalinka.html  If anyone finds out anytihng about their music please post it on here. Thanks :)

Offline masha

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2004, 10:37:35 PM »
The Tsarina, Alexandra was a brillian pianist, practically a virtuoso. If I recall correctly, her favorite composer was Beethoven, and that during her youth she was asked by her grandmother, Queen Victoria to perform - much to Alix's dislike. She also played the banjo and perhaps even the ukulele. In later life, she & Anna Vyrobova played duets together on the piano, and would sing some sort of cabaret or songs from the theatre which the Tsar did not approve of - or maybe just did not like the sound of - someone can step in & clarify me on this at any time now.
The family all loved liturgical music sung in the Russian Orthodox Chuch, and of course Russian folk songs. I recall that Princess Yousopova arranged for a choir of 1000 singers to perfom at her estate for the Imperial family one evening out in the couryard. Another tidbit is about Tsar ALexander III, who loved military bands & once played God Save the Tsar on every instrument in one of the brass bands that accompanied the family.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by masha »

Maria Vanya

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2004, 10:42:56 PM »
Thank you for the infromation. I would never have thought of Alexandra playing music that no one else liked, or the banjo! It was very informative. Thank you again.

Offline masha

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2004, 11:07:23 PM »
You are very welcome, Maria.
Just something else i recall... a video documentary depicted the Tsarina sitting at fireside, listening to a gypsy trio or quartet perform for her in her private apartments near the end of the reign. Gypsy music was very popular back then, especially before WWI, when both ALix & Ella were taken as newlyweds by their husbands by troika into the countryside to see the gypsies perform. That's all for now. How one would love to be able to step back to that time & be with them to experience all of that life & colour!

Masha

Offline masha

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2004, 11:10:58 PM »
Oh, & one more thing, I recall reading somewhere that the Imperial family were exposed to jazz music & other music from america via recordings played on the gramaphone. Don't know if they really liked it much, though.

Masha

Maria Vanya

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2004, 11:17:04 PM »
Did the gypsy's play instruments not well known today or the intruments of what we have discussed? Yes, I would have done anything to go back and watch their lives from a distance, but we are only left with the memories givin to us by authors and historians, & if you or anyone else have any more information on the music from back then, then feel  free to tell me, thank you all.  :)

Offline masha

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2004, 11:30:05 PM »
RE: Gypsy instruments, I do know that violins, guitars, zithers or zymbale, tamborines, accordian or some sort of squeeze box & bass were played. I'm sure if you searched on google using the key words: gypsy, instruments, russia & 19th century - you would come up with something. Cheers!

Masha

Offline David_Newell

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2004, 05:52:17 AM »
I have read somewhere that the girls had ragtime records and that there Aunt have given them sheet music from America with the latest tunes so to speak. I will hunt for this because I thought it a nice story.

Offline David_Newell

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2004, 05:56:32 AM »
I have a wonderful cd ocalled "The Millenium" it is russian church music the show stoppers so to speak!! It is very beautifull Its at my house in Kent beside the sea. When I go to sit by the sea where I placed my two girlies ashes (my westies you were all so kind about )I listen to it on my walkman. I you would like its number and info please send me an email or I could post it here.

Sunny

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2004, 09:24:54 AM »
Have read that Nicholas and Alexandra were particularly fond of Liebestod (Love-Death), from Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.
Haven't read of Nicholas and Alexandra's feelings for Alexander Glazunov's Coronation Contata written for the coronation of Nicholas, but it gets me every time :-)
Chandos Records offers a beautiful recording featuring
conductor Valeri Polyanskii, the Russian State Symphony Orchestra,  and  the Russian State Symphony Cappella.

Sunny

Offline Maria_Vanya

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2004, 11:55:21 AM »
I know that OTMA played the piano(and well at that) but was it required for them? Did any of them like doing it or did they choose to play the piano? I know Alexei didn't care much for playing piano, so he chose the balalaika. I was just curious if their mother chose it for them. ???

Offline masha

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2004, 12:44:03 AM »
I find the Wagner bit rather interesting, as he was considered a little avante garde for the time (& still does to me even today  :P ) Now, I would like to know what N&A thought about Rachmanninov or Mossoursky, especially the former, as he was an up-and-commer just before the revolution & his music - particularly his concertos 1- 4 evoke all the turmoil & heartbreak of the time.
Also, while the jazz/ragtime seems out of character for Alix, the family as a whole were exposed to alot of modern stuff at the time. Alexei watched Mickey Mouse movies at his birthday party, and the gilrs were painting figures that looked much like Betty Boop at age 3. Also, it has to be remembered that Alix's brother was on the cutting edge of all things artistic with his involvment with the art nouveau/arts & crafts community etc. If anyone has ever seen some of his own doodlings, I'm sure they would find them quite shockingly modern - cycloptic cubes & such. Any way, when it comes to music, they were really "with-it", as it were, or at least in the know.

Masha
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by masha »

Offline Suzanne

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2004, 07:12:17 PM »
I don't think its possible for Alexei to have watched Mickey Mouse films - Mickey's first cartoon did not debut until 1928. It is true though that all the children watched films - news reels, documentaries, popular films etc. Mossolov's memoirs "At the Court of the Last Tsar" make reference to Mistress of the Robes Madame Naryshkin censoring aspects of the films that were deemed inappropriate for the children.

Offline Maria_Vanya

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Re: The Imperial Family and Their Music
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2004, 11:33:35 PM »
Does anyone know the titles of some of the families favorite songs? I would like to look them up and see what they used to listen to. Thank you in advance! ;)