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Entries / Music salons (entry)

Music salons (entry)

Categories / Art/Music, Theatre/Art and Literary Associations, Circles

MUSIC SALONS, a social form of public musical performance, amateur and professional, more popular than public concerts during the late 18th century - first half of the 19th century. Emerged as a continuation of court concerts from Catherine's time, taking advantage of the superior performance of guest virtuosos, court musicians, and members of the Imperial Family, along with other aristocrats whose talent and professional skills allowed them to compete with the soloists-in-residence. It is rumoured that it was Grand Princess Maria Fedorovna who brought professional singing and musical performance into vogue in the 18th century. In the 1780s, a group of her courtiers performed symphonies and operas under the conductor Bortnyansky. In the 1790s Grand Princess Elizaveta Alexeevna and her close friend Countess V. N. Golovina, as well as with Princess N. I. Kurakina, all enjoyed the reputation of superb musicians. They regularly hosted performances by court musicians and society amateurs. By the turn of the 19th century musical assemblies were already being hosted by noblemen, embassies, and literati such as I. A. Krylov and G.R. Derzhavin, who were particularly fond of music. Salons hosted by the Kochubeys, Teplovs, Stroganovs, Zubovs, and other old-line families were notable events in the city's musical life, and could compete with professional performances. This tendency became more noticeable starting in the late 1820s along with the origination of so-called "academies" organised in the residences of the Lvovs, counts Vielgorsky, who were of high rank and closely associated with the Imperial Family, but who considered themselves devoted musicians, pursuing professional musical goals. Grand Princess Elena Pavlovna's musical salon played a similar role. Prince V. F. Odoevsky's musical gatherings had a more chamber, academic orientation, promoting I. S. Bach's music, polyphony, and organ music in St. Petersburg. Musical soirees were also organised in Karamzina's, V. A. Zhukovsky's, А. N. Olenin's, the Delvigs', and the Kukolnikovs' salons. In the 1830-50s, a new generation of composers entered the city's musical gatherings, and became their most important participants. M. I. Glinka, А. S. Dargomyzhsky, А. N. Serov, and М. А. Balakirev performed their new opuses, and engaged in aesthetical debates. This became the dominating type of musical salon, evolving into a sort of creative fellowships. The Stasovs' salons, along with those of Glinka's sister L. I. Shestakova, as well as M. P. Belyaev's gatherings, came to play a major role within this period.

A. L. Porfiryeva.

Bach Johann Sebastian
Balakirev Mily Alexeevich
Belyaev Mitrofan Petrovich
Bortnyansky Dmitry Stepanovich
Dargomyzhsky Alexander Sergeevich
Derzhavin Gavriil Romanovich
Elena Pavlovna, Grand Princess
Elizaveta Alexeevna, Empress
Glinka Mikhail Ivanovich
Golovina Varvara Nikolaevna, Countess
Krylov Ivan Andreevich
Maria Fedorovna, Empress
Odoevsky Vladimir Fedorovich
Olenin Alexey Nikolaevich
Serov Alexander Nikolaevich
Shestakova Lyudmila Ivanovna
the Delwigs
the Kochubeys
the Kukolniki
the Lvovs
the Stasovs
the Stroganovs
the Teplovs
the Vielgorskys, Counts
the Zubovs
Zhukovskaya V.A.

The subject Index
Salon of Karamzina