Glinka and the 20th Century: Selected Parallels

Yelena Dolinskaya
Glinka and the 20th Century: Selected Parallels

Mikhail Glinka is one of the most significant figures of the Russian classical music. The great composer’s creation is highly demanded in the 20th century,
not only by performers, but also by composers.

Among the selected report of parallels, there are parallels between Glinka from one side and Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Miaskovsky and Shostakovich from the other side. They are investigated on two different levels: musical theatre and instrumental music. Another overlook is taken in the perspective of Glinka’s genre system patterns (waltz, march, mazurka), as well as orchestration principles, melodic and other aspects of the Russian music founder’s individual lexicon.

The given historic-theoretical postulates are disclosed on the concrete samples (“Waltz-Fantasy” and Natasha’s Waltz in “The War and the Peace”, March from “The Love to the Three Oranges” and Chernomor’s March).

The theme interconnection between the second movement of the Sixteenth Symphony by Miaskovsky and Glinka’s romances, as noted by Prokofiev, as well as the free collage of the key intonation of “Don’t Tempt
Me” romance in the main theme of the final movement of Shostakovich’s Fifteenth Symphony are shown as examples.

The article also discusses the “genre deformation” methodology used by Glinka (Mazurka in “The Life for the King”), and his interpretation of a genre as a recollection “in the system of genre priorities in the music of the 20th century”.