Russian Studies Program

Russian Music Downloads 

Rusalka
Founded in 1984 as an offshoot of a course taught at Ohio State University, Rusalka has developed into a popular and respected performing ensemble. Its membership includes students, faculty and staff of Ohio State as well as residents of the Columbus metropolitan area. Rusalka's repertory includes folk music from throughout Eastern Europe, but its specialities are Russian folk music and early Russian Orthodox chant and polyphony.

The Slavyanka Mens Slavic Chorus
The Slavyanka Men's Slavic Chorus regularly presents a cappella concerts in the San Francisco Bay Area. The repertoire is liturgical and folk music, mostly Russian. 'Slavyanka' is the name that the early Russian settlers in California gave to the river that is today known as the Russian River. Slavyanka was formed in 1979 by several former members of the Yale Russian Chorus. The founder of Slavyanka and director until 1991 was Paul Andrews.

The 'Little Russia' Music Page
This site features a recordings presentation, containing more than 200 audio and 13 video clips, a collection of Russian romantic songs, POP music, and artists' songs and lyrics. Many do not require downloading. The lyrics have been saved in GIF format so that they do not require any Russian font for reading. Many images are 'sensitive', that is, the text is read aloud when you click on it. Currently, some 50+ songs are presented in au format. Some of them are accompanied by Quicktime movie clips.

Popular Songs on MP3
Here is contemporary Russian popular music in CD quality. A wide variety of genres from ballads to acid rock.

Russian Lyrics 

Hits of the MIT Russian Club
The MIT Russian Club is the repository of the lyrics of Russian popular songs written by virtually all the major contemporary popular song writers. To decode them you will need the music, some of which is provided on the site. The lyrics are provided in KOI8 fonts and transliterated.

Russian Composers 

Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)
Only a few web sites are devoted to Sergei Prokiev. Bruce maintains one with a good deal of promise. Chad Twedt offers a short essay on Prokofiev here.

Sergei Vassilievich Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
Vassilievich Rachmaninoff was born on April 1, 1873, at Semyonovo, the family estate near the ancient city of Novgorod. He was not only a gifted pianist who loved to tour the US, but was a major romantic composer, as well. Rachmaninoff was associated with the Western-oriented St. Petersburg Conservatory with the Rubenstein brothers and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The International Rachmaninoff Society provides a history and critique of Rachmaninoff's lesser known 3rd Piano Concerto. There's also a Rachmaninoff Lover's page, for those currently or previously in love. Whatever the Web has to offer on Rachmaninoff can probably be found at one of the sites of the Rachmaninoff Webring.

Nikolai * Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908)
A biography of Rimsky-Korsakov and the libretto in transliterated Russian to his opera, May Night, based on a story by Gogol may be found here. Even better, OperaGlass, a site maintained on Rick Bogart's workstation at Stanford, contains a listing of all of Rimsky-Korsakov's operas with a libretto, synopsis, performance history for most of them.

Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)
Ian McDonald's Music under Soviet Rule has become the richest source of information on Shostakovich. It now includes a substantial literary archive of articles on Shostakovich and his music as well as a detailed chronology of his life. Simon Hawkin's Shostakovich site also has some interesting links. Alexandre H. Hohmann offers pictures, libretti, sound files and links at his mysterious site. Another rich resource of Shostakovichiana may be found at the site of the same name. Association Internationale "Dimitri Chostokovich" 

Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971)
Stravinsky, of course, played a major role in changing the course of music in the 20th century with the infamous debut of 'The Rite of Spring' in Paris in 1913. An excellent short biography may be found in Finland. But John Harrington's site remains the best source of information on Stravinsky. It now includes an complete annotated list of Stravinsky's works. Last but certainly not least comes Victor Huang's excellent site, rich with photographs and MIDI files of Stravinsky's music. A good place to start.

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Tchaikovsky, the composer of the music you are now listening to, was the ultimate master of Romantic music. Remarkably, there is currently very little about Tchaikovsky on the Web--a time-line, and a small collection of MIDI sequences of his music.

Russian Musical Instruments 

Russian Wind Instruments
Robin LaPasha of Duke University has a page briefly introducing Russian folk wind instruments.

Other Russian Music Sites 

Bolshoi Theatre
The mother of them all is the Bolshoi—opera and ballet in one theater. One of the world's great opera houses and home of the finest classical ballet troup in the world. The Bolshoi Theater web-server provides a complete history complete with historical photographs. The Russia.net also has several pages on the Bolshoi, including a history of it and an interview with its director, Vassiliev

Gregorian Chants
Gregorian chant is one of the many traditions of liturgical song that developed in the Christian church during the medieval period. The liturgical chant texts were created in ancient languages, the most important of which were Greek, Latin, Old Slavonic, the language of the Bulgarian, Russian, and Serbian Orthodox churches.

Kirov-Mariinsky Ballet
The St. Petersburg ballet theater was established by Catherine the Great in the Mariinsky Theater and shortly became one of the great companies in the world. This site contains a history, interviews with principle dancers, instructors, a review of the Vaganova Ballet School, and a great deal of information on the Nutcracker Ballet from which the music you now hear was taken.

Les Ballets Russe
Program notes, information on Nijinski, Pavlova, Fokine, Balanchine, and all the great performers and composers of the Russian company which took the breath of Paris away at the beginning of the century. Jenny Gorman and Chris Sippel have provided a short essay on the Ballets at the Rhodes College site.

Music under Soviet Rule
Thanks to Southern Illinois University Ian McDonald's delightful site is back with all its general information on Soviet music plus individual pages on Prokofiev, Shostakovich and many minor composers. It also contains CD information, chronologies of more than a dozen Soviet composers, and information on Soviet music discussion groups.

Onno van Rijen's 20th Century Russian Music Site
This is a site with opus lists of all the well-known 20th century Russian composers and most of the minor ones. There is also information about the availability of CDs with these composers' music. 

Vladimir Vysotsky
Vysotsky's gruff voice and starkly, sometimes slyly, poetic lyrics have inspired two generations of Russians and are working their way into the young hearts of a third. In addition to the major Vysotsky web site, Little Russia has dozens of his songs recorded in several different formats, the poems in written form, and Quick Time movies of Vysotsky.

Web Pages of Russian Rock Music
Begin with Tusovka: The Historical Political Development of Soviet Rock Music by Tracy Donovan Drake. Then, from Aquarium to Shura B2, if they have a web site, you can connect with any Russian rock group here. 'Here' is RIM, the Russian Independent Music Site. It also has a rack of pages on Russian rock groups. An interesting Russian Blues website also lurks somewhere out there in Cyberia.

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