Tchaikovsky's Complete Songs: A Companion with Texts and Translations (Russian Music Studies)

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9780253216762: Tchaikovsky's Complete Songs: A Companion with Texts and Translations (Russian Music Studies)
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"In this splendid volume, Richard Sylvester treats Tchaikovsky’s songs with great sympathy and understanding, with special emphasis on relating the texts to the music. The songs are presented chronologically, interspersed with insightful observations about their relevance to the composer’s life. This book will be welcomed by performers and scholars, but its fluent readability and avoidance of unnecessary detail make it easily accessible to the general reader. A welcome bonus is a CD with 22 songs interpreted by outstanding singers of at least two generations." —George Jellinek, author, critic, and
host of WQXR’s nationally syndicated program The Vocal Scene

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About the Author:

Richard D. Sylvester is Professor Emeritus of Russian at Colgate University. He taught Russian language and literature at Colgate for 20 yeats and made frequent trips to Russia with students as director of the Colgate Moscow Study Group. He is currently editing the complete song texts of Sergei Rachmaninoff. He lives in Hamilton, New York.

Review:

For the first time ever, texts of the 103 songs (romances) set by Tchaikovsky are assembled in a single collection, presented in their Cyrillic original, together with transliterations and nonrhyming English translations. Taken in chronological order, the songs provide a fascinating journey through the composer's complete song oeuvre. Sylvester (Colgate Univ.) selected the 22 songs on the accompanying CD not only on performance merit but because they present excellent examples of cultivated, lyric Russian diction. He offers occasional commentary regarding performance practices but deals chiefly with the literary sources of the songs. A discography and a selected bibliography are appended. No other publication covers the same scholarly territory, so this book will be a valuable source of information for all performers and scholars interested in the Russian song repertoire. Upper—division undergraduate voice students through faculty and professionals.R. Miller, Oberlin College, Choice, October 2002

(R. Miller, Oberlin College Choice 2002-01-00)

"[T]he songs provide a fascinating journey through the composer's complete song oeuvre... No other publication covers the same scholarly territory, so this book will be a valuable source of information for all performers and scholars interested in the Russian song repertoire." —Choice, October 2002

(Choice 2002-01-00)

"It's not often that a book really does 'fill a long—felt want', but here is an example, and an outstanding one... [T]he core of the book is the discussion of each poem, its author, and it significance to Tchaikovsky. These come from a deep knowledge of Russian poetry and ideas; they are in themselves absorbing, but they are also vital to an understanding of the literary traditions from which Russian song came and of what inspired its greatest master." —John Warrack, Gramophone

(John Warrack, Gramophone)

"It is a model of research and organization, an indispensable handbook for students of Tchaikovsky's work, singers, musicians and musicologists and lovers of vocal music. However, this volume is much more... [E]merging from the whole is the story of an inspired life in an extrarodinary era... [I]t is a unique portrait of the cultural world of 19th century Russia, and the international swirl of art, friendship and performance in which Tchaikovsky dwelled." —Nancy Ries, Colgate Scene

(Nancy Ries, Colgate Scene)

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