Mir Iskusstva
• An art magazine and movement, 1898-1905
• Magazine focused on new developments in Russian culture, and the name eventually became the name of the whole movement
• Important people in this movement: Sergey Diaghilev, Alexandre Benois, Ivan Bilibin, Leon Bakst.
o These guys shape the fate of Russian modernist art.
o They like French impressionism, Russian folk art, and 18th century neoclassicism.
Russian Modernism
Silver Age movement, fascination with mysticism and folklore.
Exploration of primitive cultures and folklore during the Silver Age of Russia. Ex: Stravinsky, Rite of Spring.
Many composers started writing music from folklore.
Ivan Bilibin, The Tale of the Golden Cockerel, 1907
Sergey Diaghilev
Main influence in the revival of ballet in Europe.
Ballet died in Europe because it was associated with monarchy (it only existed in Russia)
“The Russian Season” was how Diaghilev helped bring it back
“Russian Season”
Sergey Diaghilev went to Paris once a year to display and exhibit art and music by Russian composers to try to bring back ballet in Europe and give the Russians a good name in other countries
Vlaslav Nijinsky
A Russian ballet dancer that danced Petrushka (Stravinsky) as part of Diaghilev’s revival. Also choreographed Rite of Spring
Petrushka Chord
One of Stravinsky’s compositional techniques
Two major triads a tritone apart (C Maj and F# Maj)
Derived from the octatonic scale
Used whenever he wanted to add lots of drama
The Rite of Spring
Stravinsky, 1913
Based on a Pagan wedding ritual
Two Parts: 1. A Kiss of the Earth (bassoon solo); 2. Exalted Sacrifice (sacrificial dance (dissonance, angular dancing))
Bitonality, Shifts in meter, Rhythm (hypnotic ostennato, variable downbeat, lots of scales used.
Principle of the variable bar
Displacing the emphasized beats so that the downbeat is difficult to find and the meter is obscured.
Stravinsky, 1911
Petruska = “Little Pete,” our sad clown
Russian puppet theatre
realistic vs. fantastic
Plot: Pet loves ballerina but she loves Blackmoor, petrushka dies at the end but his ghost appears and confuses the audience
Petrushka chord
Choreography overall is similar to Russian folk dance (angular, swoopy)
Problems: Exotic blackmoor, puppets are slaves
Stravinsky, Petrushka – I. The Shrovetide Fair, 1911
Introduction of all characters
puppets have personalities, real people don’t…
Petrushka – II. Petrushka’s Cell
Freaking out because he can’t have the girl
Octatonic and diatonic scales
Petrushka Chord (Two major triads a tritone apart)
Petrushka – III. Moor’s Room
Introduced to Blackmoor
Racial issues
Petrushka – IV. The Shrovetide Fair (Evening)
Petrushka dies, his ghost appears
Audience becomes confused about what is actually real