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Title: Music for an Imagined Liturgy: Rethinking the Sound of Orthodoxy in Late Imperial Russia
Authors: Salkowski, David
Advisors: Morrison, Simon
Contributors: Music Department
Keywords: Grechaninov
Liturgical Music
Religious philosophy
Russian Orthodoxy
Silver Age
Subjects: Music history
Religious history
Slavic studies
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation explores the role of sacred music in redefining Russian Orthodoxy in the final decades of Imperial Russia (1890-1917). I consider this music on a spectrum, ranging from liturgical singing to its intrusions into the opera theater, as a means of forming community and delineating sacred and secular experiences. This period was one of great social upheavals, reflected in waves of revolutionary activity and movements for church reform. It was also one of “new religious consciousness,” when philosophers and poets engaged in the project of imagining a new Russian Orthodoxy. Within this context, I analyze the simultaneous phenomenon known as the “New Direction of Russian Church Music,” which imagined how this new church might sound. This music, I argue, is the crucial link between the aesthetic and philosophical discourse of the “new religious consciousness,” the structural workings of the Orthodox Church, and the lived experience of those who worshipped in it. I draw upon the church and state archives, unpublished or out of print scores, and contemporary discussions in aesthetics, religious philosophy, and liturgical theology to bring to light the diverse repertoire and vibrant discourse of the sacred music revival. The chapters of this dissertation explore the censorship of sacred music by church and state bureaucracies; the development of a tradition of sacred music concerts and the liturgical backdrop that accompanied them; liturgy as “synthesis of the arts” in the form of liturgical drama and orchestral cantata; and the clash of Orthodox piety and modernist mysticism that occurred when sacred music reached the opera house. This dissertation contributes to the intellectual and religious history of Late Imperial Russia, while illuminating forgotten or underexamined works by composers including Alexander Grechaninov, Alexander Kastalsky, and Semyon Panchenko.
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Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Music

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