Author Topic: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics  (Read 8125 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #15 on: September 11, 2007, 09:45:07 PM »
You know there was a scene in Nicholas and Alexandra which had Alexandra going on about how she used to play Schumann and Schubert and how her fingers could no longer do this even if she wanted to. Nicholas goes on about her still having beautiful hands. It makes out that Alexandra suffered from arthritis or something similar.

Offline JStorey

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • looking for lieutenant kije
    • View Profile
    • online portfolio
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #16 on: September 12, 2007, 11:29:39 AM »
Here's the quote; Speranski is questionning the guard:

“What impression did the girls make on you?”

“Nothing in particular, I knew them all by name and I could recognize them from far away. Only Tatiana, like her mother, was not without arrogance, she was not disposed to talk to men of the people. However she smiled agreeably when she encountered decent and correct guards. The eldest, Olga Nicolaevna, was, like her brother, pale and sickly, but that did not prevent her from being boisterous. Her eyes, most of the time, appeared sad and tired. During the walk she stood apart from her sisters and looked sadly into the distance. She played the piano more often than her sisters, and when she would play a piece, she would choose something sad and plaintive.”


Thanks Mr. Harrison!  Very interesting...

Offline AGRBear

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6611
  • The road to truth is the best one to travel.
    • View Profile
    • Romanov's  Russia
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #17 on: September 13, 2007, 10:16:09 AM »
Why do some of you think the piano was out of tune?  I'm sure that the welthy owner Ipatiev had a perfectly tuned piano.  It's just that he nor anyone in his family got to play it because it became the new prision for the IF before they moved into the newly built house.

And,  it would seem,  since  there was  piano in the house that there would have been sheet music neatly placed in the piano seat or on a book shelf just like the wine would have been full stocked and the garden already growing....

As for the difference between a grand piano and an upright piano,  it cannot be denied, however, the upright is equal to a baby grand piano and serves it's purpose.  Only  a true concert pianiste / pianist would worry about the differences. 

If  the piano was new, after  a lot of pounding  some of the keys would  "go off"  [out of tune] in the first few months.  But we do not know if it was new,  since  families, in those times,  held on to the pianos like they were old friends, and, because pianos weren't that easily purchased during those times.  So,  if it was old,  then it would have held it's  tune for six months or longer.   Not the "in tune" for a concert pianist who wants it tuned all the time, but,  that is a different  situation and is govern by the individuals needs of a professional.

As for the need of sheet music.  I for one didn't like to memorize music,  but that was being lazy.   Most people remember their favorite songs and the ones  a teacher or parents  wanted you to play to visitors....  Some people who were really into their music and were emmersed into music usually held a large amount of music in their memory bank,

As for  Alexandra's fingers being too stiff to play Schumann and Schubert,  it's true,  she'd never be able to play as she did when she was younger, but, surly, she could have helped the girls to  remember the melodies and then the rest could have been improvised.

Before the war with Germany,  I'm sure the IF piano played Strauss, Brahms, Wagner,  Chopin, and, of course,  Mozart.   I  doubt they would have played  German composers after the war.   Probably ended up playing old Russian ballads  and Russian composers.  Maybe,  American tunes since they had been viewing American movies which came with American music.....  Tunes  from Operas.... 

I may be completely wrong but I don't think I'm too far off.

AGRBear
« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 10:36:47 AM by AGRBear »
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152

Offline JStorey

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • looking for lieutenant kije
    • View Profile
    • online portfolio
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #18 on: September 13, 2007, 01:15:36 PM »
I think you're spot on, AGRBear...  Good comments.

After giving this far too much thought, my personal conclusion is this:  the GD's never played the piano, for the simple fact that it was located in the commandant's office for the duration of their stay.

The only testimony in existence to contradict this conclusion comes from this fellow Speranski interviewing "psyeudonomous" guards, much of which, erring on the sensational, has since been largely discredited. 

Here is another example of his "piano" testimony:

"Our comrades from the factory later became more humane, but the stallions from the Zlokazov [factory], as vicious as before, continued to insult ceaselessly the girls and spied on their least movements. I often had pity for them. If, for example, they played dances on the piano, they smiled, but tears flowed from their eyes on to the keyboard."

A little too dramatic for me to believe, and riddled with other inaccuracies...

We know, for instance, that the "stallions from the Zlokazov factory" were not "vicious" (annoying and incredibly juvenile might be a better way to describe them); they were not allowed in the living area of the Romanovs and therefore could not spy on them, and so forth.  Elsewhere, Speransky's testimony is equally problematic.  He maintains, for instance, that Anastacia was shot at while standing at the window, which - as has been discussed extensively elsewhere - we now strongly suspect to be a myth.  Speransky's book is a compelling source, yes, but to be taken - as someone else wrote - with "a grain of salt"!

Meanwhile, Nicholas' diary, the testimony of Yakimov and the young Proskouriakov, all independently confirm the location of the piano in the Commandant's room, the revolutionary songs (sung "unevenly" - I love that), and the specific date in which it was moved.  I find it highly unlikely the Grand Duchasses were invited or ever wanted to enter there.

So that's my two kopecks...

Offline lexi4

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 1914
  • don't take yourself too seriously
    • View Profile
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #19 on: September 13, 2007, 01:41:39 PM »
I still wonder if it might have been a player piano. For some reason, it is difficult for me to imagine that the guards could really play. I have no idea what I base that opinion on.  :) But, if it was a player piano all they would have to do was insert the rolls.
Lexi
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely, in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow ---- What a ride!!!"

Offline JStorey

  • Boyar
  • **
  • Posts: 124
  • looking for lieutenant kije
    • View Profile
    • online portfolio
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2007, 01:56:53 PM »
Well, if you've followed this entire thread I found the answer to the initial question that started off our extensive piano inquiry:

One of the "insulting songs" referenced in the testimony is the "Worker's Marseillaise" - a Russian version of La Marseillaise that was far more socialist in nature than the French version.  When you read references Russian revolutionary history to La Marseillaise, this is the version they sang, and indeed portions of the lyrics are referenced verbatim in multiple Ipatiev Guards testimony.

I imagine it would have been haunting for the Imperial Family to have heard this song; clearly several of the guards found it objectionable and disrespectful.

Anyhow, for anyone who is interested, below are the lyrics in English:

Let's denounce the old world!
Let's shake its dust from our feet!
We're enemies to the golden idols,
We detest the Tsar's palaces!
We will go among the suffering brethren,
We will go to the hungry people;
Together with them we send our curses to the evil-doers,
We will call them to struggle with us:
Refrain:
Arise, arise, working people!
Arise against the enemies, hungry brother!
Sound the cry of the people's vengeance!
Forward!

The Russian text can be found at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otrechemsya_ot_starogo_mira

Offline loulia

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2007, 02:11:28 AM »
I still wonder if it might have been a player piano. For some reason, it is difficult for me to imagine that the guards could really play. I have no idea what I base that opinion on.  :) But, if it was a player piano all they would have to do was insert the rolls.
Lexi

In Nicolas Ross's book, "the death of the last tsar" he quotes the guard Proskuriakov : " Nikulin knew how to play piano, they put the piano in comandant's room. Nikulin played and Yurovsky sang. They sang together revolutionaries songs. Moshkin too allowed himself to sing that kind of song, but only when Avdeev wasn't here, and Avdeev ignored it"
we live in a beautiful world, let's protect it

Offline loulia

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2007, 02:13:03 AM »
Sorry I've just read my post and realise I've probably make a lot of gramar and synthax  mistakes in my translation
So sorry for my bad english!
we live in a beautiful world, let's protect it

Offline AGRBear

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 6611
  • The road to truth is the best one to travel.
    • View Profile
    • Romanov's  Russia
Re: Piano in the Ipatiev House - Song Lyrics
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2007, 05:05:54 PM »
While looking for something else,   I stumbled over this little bit of information about the piano in the Ipatiev House  from the Priest Storozhev's  testimony for Sunday, May20/June 2 in O'Conor's   THE SOKOLOV INTESTIGATION P. 118:

>>In the commandant's room there were two men of middle age...There was a table n the middle of the room --with a samovar and bread... There was a piano in the room, on which lay rifles, hand grenades and something else. The room was a mess --dirty and disorderely.<<

AGRBear
"What is true by lamplight is not always true by sunlight."

Joubert, Pensees, No. 152