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Alexander Scriabin
January 01, 2012

Alexander Scriabin

By Tamara Eidelman

A short consideration of the life and work of Alexander Scriabin, born on Jan. 6, 1872, a composer whose life was cut tragically short, but who nonetheless set the stage for much that was to come.

Russian Strings
May 01, 2011

Russian Strings

By Ilya Ovchinnikov

As a festival in Moscow brings together virtuoso guitarists from across Europe, the traditional Russian seven-stringed form of the instrument is enjoying a renaissance… in America.

The Song

The Song

By Isaac Babel Babel’s “The Song” comes from his Red Cavalry cycle, a volume of short stories about the Polish-Soviet War (1919-1921). As in many of these pieces, Babel contrasts the narrator’s intellectual, poetic outlook with the brutalities and horrors of war.
Rothschild's Fiddle

Rothschild's Fiddle

By Anton Chekhov In this, one of Chekhov's last stories, a man nears the end of his life and finds that music is one of the few things that has ever given him comfort. And he uses it to make amends.
Music

Music

By Vladimir Nabokov In this short story, Nabokov’s protagonist, Victor, encounters his ex-wife at a concert. Despite his proclamation that he has “no ear for music,” the experience awakens profound memories and feelings in him, as the music acts a shield from the chaos of the everyday world.
The Sixth Night

The Sixth Night

By Alexander Odoyevsky This selection is taken from Russian Nights (1844), a novel by Odoyevsky that probes a great number of topics, genres, and philosophical questions. Odoyevsky was a talented music critic in his own right and a huge proponent of the works of Mikhail Glinka.

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