A portrait of the Composer in the Cross-Cultural Space of the 21st Century

Galina A. Demeshko


The article traces out the artistic destiny of Boris Lisitsyn, a Novosibirsk-born composer, who made his successful
debut in his native country, and since 1996 has lived in the USA. The author examines the situation in the context of the
destinies of artists in the cross-cultural space of modernity. It is stressed that the attempts of cross-cultural interaction
in the artistry of the greatest 20th century musicians do not presume in the least a loss on their part of their own cultural
identity. Special emphasis is given to the exclusive originality of the Russian artistic self-consciousness, which has
distinguished Russian composers since the 18th century.
The author highlights the issue of contacts between Russia and America as polyvalent from the perspective of the
genesis and monolithic character of the cultural archetype of magnitudes. The relatively new experience of cultural
interaction confirms the well-known fact: numerous years of habitation of Russian musicians across the ocean did not
result in any perceptive Americanization of their artistic thinking.
In generalizing the observations of the laconic yet intonationally succinct score of Lisitsyn’s “Lamento,” the author
marks out the profound connection of the analyzed opus with the intonational culture of Shostakovich and Tishchenko,
with the features of the postlude – the narrative completing genre, to which Valentin Silvestrov has turned numerous
times. The theme of departure, farewell, comprehension of the end and, connected with it, the withdrawal into the
sphere of the spiritual, are likewise identified, first of all, as phenomena of the Russian artistic mentality. The article
is summed up by two fundamental conclusions: 1) upon encounter with the Other, the veritably Russian musician,
bound by the specific type of his intonational reflection, heightened interest in the sphere of the spiritual and profound
connections with traditions, remains an artist enrooted in the culture of his country; 2) the cross-culture of the turn of
the millenniums presumes an equitable dialogue of cultures, and not the dissolution of cultural identities in the furnace
of a certain “international music.”

Keywords: intercultural interactions, cross-culture, postlude, dialogue of cultures, musical thinking, musical
intonation, Boris Lisitsyn.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17674/1997-0854.2016.2.007-014


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