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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V12, Page 123 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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S GLINKA. N. de Rosen). This was the turning-point, in Glinka's life,—for the work was not only a great success, but in a manner became the origin and basis of a Russian school of national music. The story is taken from the invasion of Russia by the Poles early in the 17th century, and the hero is a peasant who sacrifices his life for the tsar. Glinka has wedded this patriotic theme to inspiring music. His melodies, moreover, show distinct affinity to the popular songs of the Russians, so that the term "national" may justly be applied to them. His appointment as imperial chapelmaster and conductor of the opera of St Peters-burg was the reward of his dramatic successes. His second opera Russian and Lyudmila, founded on Pushkin's poem, did not appear till 1842; it was an advance upon Life for the Tsar in its musical aspect, but made no impression upon the public. In the meantime Glinka wrote an overture and four entre-actes to Kukolnik's drama Prince Kholmsky. In 1844 he went to Paris, and his Jota Arragonesa (1847), and the symphonic work on Spanish themes, Une Nuit a Madrid, reflect the musical results of two years' sojourn in Spain. On his return to St Petersburg he wrote and arranged several pieces for the orchestra, amongst which the so-called Kamarinskaya achieved popularity beyond the limits of Russia. He also composed numerous songs and romances. In 1857 he went abroad for the third time; he now wrote his autobiography, orchestrated Weber's Invitation a la valse, and began to consider a plan for a musical version of Gogol's Tarass-Boulba. Abandoning the idea and becoming absorbed in a passion for ecclesiastical music he went to Berlin to study the ancient church modes. Here he died suddenly on the 2nd of February 1857.
End of Article: S GLINKA

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