The Musical Pages of the Archives of the Family of Emperor Nicholas II

Oksana E. Sheludyakova


The article analyzes musical compositions dedicated to Emperor Nicholas II and his family and dated towards the
day of his coronation, the 300th jubilee of the Romanov dynasty, as well as the birth of Tsarevich Alexei. The sources
for the present publication are formed by materials from the funds of the State Archive of the Russian Federation (the
funds of Emperor Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsesarevich Alexei and others), which up till now
have not come into the view of scholars. A working typology of the archival material is proposed. The object of study
is: the composers of the musical works (sacred and secular, professional and amateur); the type of documentation of
the composition (publication or manuscript); the means of financing engaged (by the composer or by the publisher).
The conclusion is arrived at about the predominance of amateur secular compositions, which were published at the
expense of the publishing house. Analysis is made of the genres of the compositions and the ensembles of the works.
It is noted that the compositions that were popularized the most were the vocal-choral and instrumental oeuvres,
most frequently, cantatas and marches, performed by choruses a cappella, accompanied choruses, military bands or
ensembles of various instruments. The article contains brief biographical information about some of the musicians,
as well as analytical examples from various compositions. Conclusions are arrived at the saturating and symbolic
character of the musical language of the compositions, where the words, intonation and genre preserve the centuriesold
stratification of meanings and demand not merely simple perception, but solutions and deciphering. Analysis is
made of the availability of signs present on the textual, intonational, compositional, genre-related and stylistic levels
of the compositions. Examples of quotations in their various artistic functions are applied.

Keywords: funds of the State Archive of the Russian Federation, Emperor Nicholas II, coronation cantatas,
ceremonial compositions.

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