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Reference:

Specifics of Representation of Figurative Spheres in the Mono-opera The Death of a Poet by S. Slonimsky

Beliaeva Taisiia

Postgraduate Student, Department of Music History, Novosibirsk State Conservatory named after M.I. Glinka

630099, Russia, Novosibirsk region, Novosibirsk, Sovestkaya str., 31

t.a.belyaeva@bk.ru

DOI:

10.7256/2453-613X.2022.5.38965

EDN:

JQELBO

Received:

17-10-2022


Published:

24-11-2022


Abstract: One of the vectors of active search for genre solutions in the domestic musical and theatrical art of recent decades is associated with the mono-opera genre. It is characterized by extreme diversity and participates in the active processes of transformation of the opera, the pull for renewal and adaptation to the social, cultural and spiritual needs of society. The concert mono-opera The Death of a Poet by Sergei Slonimsky for voice and piano, considered in this article, is an example that largely preserves the traditions of monologue forms of utterance in the opera genre. Slonimskys opus reveals the theme of the Poet, the unrecognized prophet, which is relevant for contemporary authors. The appeal to M. Lermontovs poem of the same name, ambiguous in terms of genre and semantic content, which combined elegy and satire, determined the specifics of the formation of the mono-opera, its stylistic diversity associated with the comparison of two main figurative spheres of the mono-opera sphere Poet (Pushkin, Lermontov) and Socially (high society, Dantes). The mono-opera completely lacks stage action and storyline, which brings it closer to the vocal poem genre; the literary basis is completely preserved, the declamatory type of intonation prevails. The theme of the archetypal conflict is presented by the composer within the framework of romantic aesthetics: the image of the rebellious Hero with his lyrical impulses is opposed to the alien world of the Anti-Hero. Surveillance of the mono-opera by S. Slonimsky The Death of a Poet allows us to conclude that it largely inherits the fundamental properties of the genre, which consist in focusing on the experiences of a creative person who is in conflict with others, however, it sharpens such properties of the newest mono-opera as a monologue confession of the hero in a critical life situation, maximum concentration on the image of the protagonist.


Keywords:

mono-opera, Sergei Slonimsky, Mikhail Lermontov, Alexander Pushkin, The Death of a Poet, concert mono-opera, opera, modern mono-opera, vocal poem, XXI century

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

Mono opera in Russia has a special history of development, including moments of special productivity of the genre. Having attracted Russian composers in the 1960s with its ability to penetrate into the hidden corners of the human soul, talk about purely personal experiences (often relying on confessional genres of memoirs and letters), go beyond theatricality and get closer to chamber instrumental and symphonic music, it has become an integral symptom of thawing moods and a way to go beyond opera, full of stereotypes and cliches. In the last decade, mono opera has been actively represented again on the theatrical and philharmonic stages, many of its varieties have appeared, which allows us to talk about the interest of composers in a mobile genre that responds to current issues of modernity, as well as to state the fact that "modern mono opera is a multi-genre phenomenon" [1, p. 169]. Despite the youth of the genre, E. writes about its independence and prospects. Prikhodovskaya, considering monoopera as "the pinnacle embodiment of an anthropocentric worldview in art" [2, p. 106]. One of the most striking, original examples was the concert monopera "Death of a Poet" by Sergei Slonimsky[1] on the verse of the same name by Yu. Lermontov, demonstrating the interaction of monopera and vocal poem and implementing a new, somewhat antitheatric approach to the genre.

S. Slonimsky's work continues the centuries-old tradition of dedication to the Poet, in which the theme of the Poet's Death occupies a special place (for romantics, this topic is the most painful, because the motive of premature departure becomes one of the angles of the embodiment of the tragedy of Genius). The development of this topic turned out to be associated with one of the most tragic events in the history of Russia the death of A. S. Pushkin[2], which led many authors away from the traditional memorial-elegiac "note" in a more dramatic direction. Among such poets was Lermontov, who wrote one of the controversial and resonant poems on the death of the great poet and idol "The Death of a poet", the final part of which led to exile to the Caucasus. According to the researchers, the key moment that influenced all of Lermontov's future work is the death of Pushkin and, as a reaction to this event, the widely circulated poem "The Death of the Poet" caused a resonant reaction in St. Petersburg society.

The genre solution of M. Lermontov's poetic outpouring became unusual for its time, which is largely due to the circumstances of his writing, content and structure, and if we think more broadly, his inner mood and the increasingly assertive attitudes of the existentialist artist. "From an early age, Lermontov was worried about problems of an existential nature," writes N. M. Ulitina. Sensitive and educated beyond his years, he asked questions: what is a person, what is his place in the world, what is the meaning of his life, why there is inequality between people, how to find the right way to freedom and overcoming fear, loneliness, suffering; what awaits a person after death, is life absurd, what is the meaning of the tragedy of the finiteness of the human self and, if there is a God in the world then why does He allow the existence of crimes? Lermontov tries to give answers to these and other existential questions in his work" [3, p. 78].

The strengthening of the position of the existentialist artist was largely due to the death of Pushkin, which was, without exaggeration, a shock for Lermontov. Indeed, the subjective perception of the world, its cognition through its own existence, is most poignantly reflected in the "Death of the poet", revealing the themes of "man and society", "life and death", touching on the problem of personal responsibility for what happened to the great poet.

The juxtaposition of an extraordinary ("strange"[3] according to existentialists) personality and society was embodied through the accusation and denunciation of the murderer of the great poet, as well as through a challenge to society. The environment becomes a hostile environment for Pushkin, who "rebelled against the opinions of the world" and found himself alone in his confrontation ("Alone as before, and killed!"). The result of the struggle between the two forces is death, understood by existentialists as "... the senseless absorption of human individuality by the universe" [4, p. 120].

Responsibility is realized by Lermontov through the prism of his own personality, he acts here as an "accuser", condemning society for indifference and ridicule towards his idol, threatening with heavenly and earthly judgment. Thus, revealing the topic of responsibility, Lermontov attracts the image of a defender of justice, taking this function upon himself.

Considering the poem as a whole, we can say that the breakthrough of existentialism is especially noticeable in its second part, which combined the features of two genres in a chamber poetic composition elegy and satire (epigrams). Two parts of different genres were written at different times: the first about the death of the poet on January 28, although Pushkin was still alive, the second about "arrogant descendants" on February 7, as a reaction to the condemnation and even hostility to Pushkin and the justification of Dantes by high society. It was the second part of the "Death of the Poet", in which he goes so far as to insult the "light" and its individual representatives [4] and even threatens revolution, that brought Lermontov "popularity" and a well-known "disgrace". After the distribution of this part of the verse to Lermontov, a "case about poems" is started, in the materials of which the explanatory poet has been preserved, justifying and apologizing for such an acute invective.

The first part the elegy was perceived by society calmly, as a tribute to the memory of the deceased poet. Emperor Nicholas I, having received a list of the poem, approved it without seeing anything seditious. The poem was perceived as an expression of feelings of compassion and popular love for the great poet from a young officer. And the insult and condemnation of Dantes "read" as an expression of patriotic feelings, which the emperor even found useful, so there were no consequences for Lermontov.

These circumstances are directly reflected in the musical language of Slonimsky's mono opera, which turned to Lermontov's poem, which is so ambiguous in genre. The twopartedness, the diversity of the style of poetic utterance make it possible to realize contrasting juxtapositions and even collisions of the two main "figurative spheres" of the mono-opera - the Poet (Pushkin, Lermontov) and Society (high society, Dantes). The theme of this "archetypal" conflict is revealed by the composer within the limits of romantic aesthetics: the image of the rebellious hero with his lyrical impulses is contrasted with the alien world of the "Antihero".

In the absence of a stage action (the work is performed in a concert version, as stated in the score), the main resource is the events of the "inner" plan, which the composer is trying to embed into the eternal plot of the Poet's tragedy. Dramatically heated moments alternate with lyric-epic ones; a change of mood determines the montage of the composition. From this position, the "chamber" poetic opus a lyrical monologue is justifiably used as a self-sufficient basis for opera composition. All these circumstances justify the neo-romantic style of the mono opera using references to the works of the XIX century.

The neo-romantic complex of musical language means contributes to the expression of a literary text. Despite the external monologue of the vocal composition, the composer creates a whole gallery of "heroes" of the opera, whose characteristics are presented in contrasting episodes. Among the participants in the action, a Poet, Dantes are guessed; another "actor" is the collective image of Society.

The three-part structure of the mono-opera assumes the development of images according to the following scenario: The Poet's confrontation with Society (Part 1); death by the hand of a Murderer (part 2); Condemnation of Society (Part 3).

The image of the Poet, represented by a number of contradictory characteristics, undergoes the greatest transformations: lyricism and fervor generate, on the one hand, notes of confessional, in which the living testimony of Pushkin's genius sounds, on the other drama and assertiveness, expressed spontaneously and aimed at condemning others. The two hypostases of the Poet protest and sincere are in close interaction in the mono-opera, being compared at a short distance, which directly contributes to the portrayal of a romantic, emotionally mobile, prone to sudden mood swings and outbursts of the hero. This is the beginning of the monoopera, where the "quiet" and "loud" replicas of the hero quite sharply replace each other (only four times). So, from the very first bars of the mono opera ("The poet died!"), challenging Society, the Poet appears as an "extra" person (D. Belyaev): restless and lonely, he seems to be rushing between oratorical pathos and restrained grief.

The Poet's dramatic monologues frame the mono opera. The music is full of tragic exclamations: a number of ascending quarts, decorated with dotted lines, a rumbling texture with an abundance of "percussive" strokes, dense chord verticals in a gloomy low register ("alarming sonority") are symptomatic. In the initial four-act, we can feel the literally epic scope, and the momentum inherent in it will be continued in other episodes of protest expression. In moments of "outbursts of anger" and emotional outbursts, the Poet's part turns to a declamatory-recitative manner, sounds in loud ff dynamics, abounds in accents, pauses, and is diverse in terms of a wide range of rhythmic figures.

The last appearance of the Poet is associated with another angry attack against the Society that allowed the death of a Genius (tt. 175-213). Here he reveals himself as an orator and a Judge delivering a terrible verdict to the offenders. Now his speech sounds pathetic and broad, against the background of a heavy "bell" chord texture sustained in a monotonous rhythm in the dynamics of fortissimo. After a one-stroke pause, a code sounds on the farm: The poet announces the verdict to the offenders. His menacingly quiet solo monologue turns into a fiery speech accompanied by a piano, in which the degree of tension is constantly changing due to dynamic contrasts: sub.f; fff; sub.p; mf; ff, chord texture with a wide range of registers.

The other is the lyrical hypostasis of the Poet. This representation of a romantically exalted personality is accompanied by a change in tempo (obvious slowing down), dynamics (p), the connection of "cello" solos, tertz romance sub-notes. Expressive chants and various triangular figures appear in the vocal part. The soft sound of the whole conveys a compassionate attitude towards the Poet, filled with warmth and sorrow.

The lyric-epic episode beginning with vol. 79 ("And he was killed and taken by the grave") acquires special significance. Here the stylistic proximity of the second song of the Bayan ("There is a desert land") from the opera by M. I. Glinka "Ruslan and Lyudmila" is quite obvious (among the common "places" we will call the rhythm two eighthsa quarter, the similarity of individual motifs). The lyrical, sad "aria" of the Poet sounds melodious, with a chant of syllables, at a slow pace and quiet dynamics, against the background of an arpeggiato imitating the sound of gusli (note that in the opera "Ruslan and Lyudmila" the composer replaces the sound of gusli with a piano timbre). On a long-sustained organ point, slowly replacing each other, there are plagal turns (I-VI, I-S (major)), the modulation in the key of the minor VI stage sounds softly and expressively. Recall that in M. Glinka's opera, the Bayan song has an important, prophetic meaning: in it, the author foreshadows the birth of a young Poet. This fragment forms an important additional layer of action, leading away from a concrete historical tragic event into the plan of the universal space of culture, an epic display of the picture of the world, which includes going beyond the time parameter and focusing on understanding the phenomena of the microcosm and macrocosm. It is as if he carries out the closing of times: the Glinkinsky Bayan, foreshadowing the birth of the Singer, finishes the verse about the death of the great Poet from Slonimsky.

This image of the Poet-prophet begins to form a little earlier (tt. 30-37), but so far with a predominance of the lyrical component. Shaded by the piano's "gusel" busting, the vocal part is sustained here in a romantic key with a considerable number of "originally individualized" details, among which are colorful modulations. These passages characterize the Poet as a caring, sympathetic person who sincerely mourns the untimely departure of a Genius. The smooth vocal part, devoid of any sharpness, in quiet dynamics, conveys the devastated state of the Poet, who has not yet fully realized Pushkin's death.

The next, third, appearance of the Poet in the form of a storyteller is connected with the statement of the fact of Pushkin's death (tt. 142-152) the melodious, sad song "Bayan" sounds again, ending with the ostinate repetition of the sound "mi", reminiscent of the Poet's last heartbeats.

Another side of the personality is the Poetthe sufferer is vividly manifested in tt. 91-115, when he asks a rhetorical question (Why, from peaceful bliss and simple-minded friendship, he entered this world, envious and stuffy ...). Heartache and longing fill the melody that sounds with anguish, but quietly. Undulating, rhythmically heterogeneous, accompanied by mournful, static chords in the piano part, it conveys regret and the pain of loss.

The portrayal of the Poet's image is opposed by the sphere of Society (and its "companions" fate, "shots"; its individual representatives are the Killer), which seems to break into the Poet's world.

To characterize Society, initially Slonimsky chooses a marching rhythm, a chord texture, mainly an ascending type of movement. Dissonant, clustered sounds seem to "distort" the material (quarto sequences in tt. 1-2). Characteristic are the "chops" of pounding rhythmic figures (t. 11, 18, 28-29), symbolizing soulless formal replicas that interrupt the Poet's speech in the middle of a word (with their rhythmic design and octave unison, they resemble numerous variants of the theme of fate). Accents, unnatural jumps in all lines of texture everything gives a cruel and indifferent character. Society acts as a malevolent and envious monster who does not understand the Poet's sensitive soul.

For the second time, the Society appears in an even more impersonal and rigid form (tt. 116-136): rapid gamma-like ascending and descending passages, alternating in the piano parts (in octave duplication by the sixteenth) and the soloist (eighth, with chanting syllables and rhythmic stops in the middle and end of phrases), merge into a general toccata movement. On the one hand, there is a certain monosyllabicness and primitiveness in this mechanicality (the emptiness of octave jumps and extreme textural stinginess the piano and vocals do not sound here in the ensemble, but seem to exchange replicas), on the other an evil narrative (the semantics of fast fussy passages in a low register). At the same time, the quiet dynamics within pp-mf hints at the insidiousness of stealthy actions.

Twice the Poet's lines are interrupted by dissonant consonances (a four-octave vertical with a large second a-h), which can be designated as the "last drop" that has overflowed the cup of patience, and already a fateful shot (tt. 38, 39).

An individual touch in the representation of the sphere of Society is the episode Allegro marziale (belligerently), in which the image of the Killer Dantes appears. His characterization is close to the Shubert Hunter from the cycle "The Beautiful Miller's Wife": as in the cycle of F. Schubert, a new "alien" size, stroke, genre basis appears here. The killer's exit is accompanied by marching fanfare figures in the piano part, imitating the sound of brass. The "western" course of French horns sounds in a rather low tessitura and as if from afar. Composure is emphasized by a recurring motif in the chord texture on the marcato stroke and a change in size (5/4, 4/4, 3/2). The moving tempo, the quiet dynamics, the undulating melody of the vocal part, which resumes after pauses, paints a portrait of the "alien": before us is a calculating, soulless person who does not realize how unforgivable an act he commits.

Thus, in the image of the Poet created by Slonimsky, there is a confessional note expressed through the juxtaposition of fervor and lyricism, epic and tragic attitude, and Lermontov's indirect presence becomes a living personal testimony of the tragedy.

What are the properties of this music that allow Slonimsky to call the composition (in fact, a vocal poem) a concert mono opera?

Indeed, Slonimsky refuses in the "Death of the Poet" from the most important components of the opera genre stage action and orchestra. The first circumstance brings Slonimsky's composition closer to the genre of a vocal poem. The relatively young[5], partly experimental genre is characterized by a fairly free organization of form, the unification of content according to the type of "irrational stream of consciousness" (ie. Prikhodovskaya) and the dynamism of the functional relations of the soloist and the instrument. "The expression of the "stream of consciousness", provided that the participants (voice and instrument) are multifunctional and there is no stage action, frees the author from the obligation to follow the subject-logical plot and characterization of the hero. There is no hero in the usual sense, there is no stage situation either. If we look for a visual expression for a poem (and a poem as a synthetic genre does not exclude the presence of a visual series), it will rather be an abstract (or symbolic) video sequence that avoids a specific place and time of action (and indeed action in general)," E. Prikhodovskaya notes [5, p. 36]. An important factor that brings a vocal poem closer to a mono opera, and even more broadly to a solo part in an opera, is the similarity in the composer's creation of a "solo vocal image" (e. Prikhodovskaya).

These positions are to some extent reflected in the monooper "Death of a Poet". However, Slonimsky, as we can see, still has a personification, and the "stream of consciousness" becomes a reaction to a specific event, which allows us to talk about the fusion of two genres: mono opera and vocal poem. It is the operatic properties that require the performer to work in detail on the "images", the presentation of several "characters", of course, the possession of an acting master.

In turn, the importance of the internal plan of dramatic action leads to an increase in the load of the piano part, which, in the conditions of a concert mono opera, acquires orchestral qualities (searches in this direction have been successfully conducted since the romantic since the XIX century: it was then that the piano was introduced into the symphony orchestra in the opera genre, as a rule, to reproduce the timbres of other instruments gusli, bells, harps, etc.). The main characteristics of the so-called "concert" interpretation of the keyboard-percussion instrument, according to T. Maslova: "..."symphonization" of the piano, orchestral style in the principles of all fresco and coloristic enrichment of texture; <...> the scale of the form, penetration into the genre of elements of the sonata form; the formation of the principles of textural thinking: textural variation of the theme, variation-variant methods of development; programming" [7, p. 105].

We observe all the features of the "orchestral" understanding of the piano (grand piano) in Slonimsky's mono opera. Thus, in the characteristics of the Society and Dantes, a group of brass wind instruments and percussion are "heard"; the image of the Poet, presented in many ways, corresponds to the sound of string-bowed, gusli, the "solo" timbre of the cello, the hum of bells is guessed. The significant role of the piano is indicated by the finest elaboration of every detail, the choice of texture, the play of registers, dynamic shades, strokes, which indicates the orchestral function of the instrument.

Another important circumstance in the discussion of "The Poet's Death" is connected with the author's definition of its genre concert mono opera. Apparently, the modest scale of the composition (the total sound time is about 10-12 minutes) pushed Slonimsky to combine the mono opera with a group of romances (independent and collected in cycles), also based on Lermontov's poems. It was in this form that the mono opera was included in the collections of vocal compositions on Lermontov's poems, dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the poet's birth[6]. Romances and mono operas performed by different singers (they are written for low, medium, high voices, as prescribed by the author) form an integral concert program, representing various facets of the poet's creativity.

The name may also refer to the specifics of the concert performance of opera performances, which has been increasingly common in recent years, regardless of the technical equipment of the concert venue the opera house or the Philharmonic (which is not intended for permanent theatrical productions). Most often this is associated with "non-repertory" and festival opera productions. This approach makes possible a wide coverage of opera works and accelerates the staging process, which is important for modern realities: performances are staged in a very short time and with a limited number of rehearsals. The tendency of concertization of opera can claim to be an independent direction in which the absence of stage action does not mean a change of genre.

In conclusion, we note that the sample of the monoopera presented by Slonimsky inherits in many ways the fundamental properties of the genre (focusing on the experiences of a creative personality in conflict with others; complete preservation of the literary basis; predominance of the declamatory type of intonation). At the same time, it shows a new original approach and demonstrates such properties of the newest mono-opera as the monological confessional of the hero in a critical life situation, maximum concentration on the image of the main character. The total genre diffusion inherent in the Russian mono opera of the 1960s and 1970s is intensifying and leads to extreme cameronization, expressed in minimizing the stage action (concert static) and the performing staff (singer and pianist).

Such an arrangement of artistic means is very natural for Slonimsky, who is interested in extraordinary creative personalities who are in a state of constant contradictions (discord) with the surrounding world. "I am close to solo, not mass personalities. Their involvement in the complex life of society and nature, acute conflicts leading to disaster, the death and fate of their spirit and life purpose this is my theme," says the composer, justifying the choice of plots of his operas [8, p. 40]. Summarizing the composer's experience in the field of opera genre, we note that "in each of his operas, he creates a new, special, imaginative world, a philosophical concept inherent only in this composition, which gives rise to a new thematism that significantly develops and enriches the melodic stylistics of the opera genre, depending on the large-scale and complex artistic tasks set" [9, p. 118]. In the concert monopera "The Death of a Poet" Slonimsky continues to implement the trend of minimizing artistic and expressive resources, preserves the romantic nature of the genre and the characteristic art of Romanticism "sensitivity and attention to personality psychology, the desire to understand and feel the subtlest, elusive movements of the soul" [10, p. 22].

[1] Written for the 200th anniversary of the birth of M. Y. Lermontov, it is included in the circle of other works dedicated to this significant date for Russian culture (let's call among them the ballet "Hero of Our Time" by I. Demutsky, the multi-genre tribute album "Lermontov 200 on the counter").

[2] Although the genre existed earlier in the form of single elegies on the death of famous personalities.

[3] Lermontov, of course, was familiar with the types of "strange people" (S. Kierkegaard's definition) in the West and in Russia, who stepped further in their development than their contemporaries. Gifted, highly intellectual, dissatisfied with the spiritual slavery of man, "strange people" were looking for and could not find a way out. The collapse of their ideals, suffering, lack of faith, hopelessness, skepticism led some to death, others to struggle and rebellion, denial and loneliness, others found a way out in egoistic individualism, albeit temporary and cruel, even disastrous victory over others, in permissiveness. Lermontov was influenced not only by the reality of the post-December period, but also by the works of many authors (foreign: J. Byron, G. Heine, I. Hugo, F. Schiller, and domestic: L. Chaadaev, A. Griboyedov, A. Pushkin, N. Gogol, A. and V. Odoevsky, the Decembrist poets, etc.).

[4] In the book by I. Andronikov, we find information about one of the copies (lists) of Lermontov's poem preserved in the collection of a researcher at Moscow University N. S. Dorovatovsky, in which on the last page someone lists who Lermontov meant when talking about "confidants of debauchery" and "arrogant descendants": graphs: Orlov, Bobrinsky, Vorontsov, Zavadovsky, princes: Baryatinsky, Vasilchikov, barons: Engelhardts, Frederikses, etc. It is important to note that speaking about the poet's death, Lermontov romantically "thickens the colors", changing the wound in the stomach to lead in the chest.

[5] The emergence of the genre of vocal poem was due to the desire of composers to convey the finest nuances of plotless poetic texts associated primarily with an emotional reaction to something. As noted in . Krivolapova and K. Nikitina, "there is no exact information about the origin of the genre of vocal poem. Obviously, this genre variety appeared at the beginning of the XX century, and the poems of K. Debussy and M. Ravel can be considered its early examples" [6, p. 25]. However, there is an assumption that for the first time the genre of a vocal poem appeared in the work of Jules Massenet.

[6] Slonimsky C. M. Vocal compositions based on the poems of M. Y. Lermontov. Concert monopera "Death of a poet". Romances for voice and piano. Saint Petersburg: Composer, 2014.

References
1. Zadneprovskaya, G.V. (2020). Modern domestic mono-opera: theory and practice. Manuscript.13(9), 166-173. doi.org/10.30853/manuscript.2020.9.33
2. Prikhodovskaya, E. A. (Ed.). (2017). The semantic and expressive potential of the mono-opera. Tomsk: Publishing House of Tomsk State University.
3. Ulitina, N. (2016). Existential images in the dramaturgy of M.Yu. Lermontov. Bulletin of Culture and Arts, 4, 77-89.
4. Kirillova, N. B., Ulitina, N. M. (2015). The origins of existentialism in the work of M. Yu. Lermontov: a cultural aspect. Bulletin of the Ural Federal University. Series 1: problems of education, science and culture, 3, 112-124.
5. Prikhodovskaya, E.A. (2009). Genre of a vocal poem: principles of organization of the whole. Topical issues of socio-humanitarian knowledge: history and modernity. Interuniversity collection of scientific papers, 4, 32-37.
6. Krivolapova, V., Nikitina, K. (2016). Vocal poems by C. Debussy and M. Ravel Soupir According to Mallarmé. Musical Almanac of Tomsk State University, 1, 25-32.
7. Maslova, T. (2015). Formation of the romantic piano etude genre in Russia at the end of the 19th-beginning of the 20th century. Historical, philosophical, political and legal sciences, cultural studies and art history. Questions of theory and practice, 10, 102-105.
8. Slonimsky, S. (2013). Burlesques, elegies, praises in despicable prose. Saint Petersburg, Composer.
9. Devyatova, O.L.(2017). New melody in the monodic drama King Lear. Bulletin of the St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture, 3, 117-124.
10. Devyatova, O.L. (2012). Dialogue of cultures in the new music of S. Slonimsky. Culture and Art, 5, 18-27.

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The subject of the study of the article "The specifics of the representation of figurative spheres in the monooper "The death of the poet" S. Slonimsky" is a monooper of the same name. The relevance of the article is very high, since there is a certain shortage of research in Russian art criticism devoted to this genre itself, and modern Russian musical culture in general. The article has an undoubted scientific novelty and meets all the criteria of a genuine scientific work. The author's methodology is very diverse and includes an analysis of a wide range of sources, musical and literary. The author skillfully uses comparative historical, descriptive, analytical, etc. methods in all their diversity. The study, as we have already noted, is distinguished by its obvious scientific presentation, content, thoroughness, and clear structure. The author's style is characterized by originality and logic, accessibility, imagery and clarity of speech. Let's focus on the advantages of the work. A clear structure of the article is traced: an introduction (on the development of the monopera genre in Russia), a detailed analysis of the work, conclusions. We were most attracted by the analysis of the work from a musical point of view. The author carefully analyzes the monopera, creating for the reader a vivid picture of the scenic fabric: "The dramatic monologues of the Poet frame the monopera. The music is full of tragic exclamations: a number of ascending quarts, decorated with dotted lines, a rumbling texture with an abundance of "percussive" strokes, dense chord verticals in a gloomy low register ("alarming sonority") are symptomatic. In the initial four-act, a literally epic scale is felt, and the momentum inherent in it will be continued in other episodes of protest. In moments of "outbursts of anger" and emotional outbursts, the Poet's part turns to a declamatory-recitative manner, sounds in loud ff dynamics, abounds in accents, pauses, and is diverse in terms of a wide range of rhythmic figures. The Poet's last appearance is associated with another angry attack against the Society that allowed the death of a Genius (vol. 175-213). Here he reveals himself as a speaker and a Judge, delivering a terrible verdict to the offenders. Now his speech sounds pretentious and broad, against the background of a heavy "bell" chord texture sustained in a monotonous rhythm in the dynamics of fortissimo. After a one-stroke pause, a code sounds on the farm: The poet announces the verdict to the offenders. His menacingly quiet solo monologue turns into a fiery speech accompanied by a piano, in which the degree of tension constantly changes due to dynamic contrasts: sub.f; fff; sub.p; mf; ff, a chord texture with a wide range of registers." Here is another example of such a vivid and imaginative characterization: "The lyric-epic episode beginning with vol. 79 ("And he was killed and taken by the grave") acquires special significance. Here, the stylistic proximity of the second song of Bayan ("There is a desert land") from the opera by M. I. Glinka "Ruslan and Lyudmila" is quite obvious (among the common "places" we will name the rhythm two eighthsa quarter, the similarity of individual motifs). The lyrical, sad "aria" of the Poet sounds melodious, with chanting syllables, at a slow tempo and quiet dynamics, against the background of an arpeggiato imitating the sound of gusli (note that in the opera Ruslan and Lyudmila, the composer replaces the sound of gusli with a piano timbre). On a long-sustained organ point, slowly replacing each other, the plagal turns (I-VI, I-S (major)) take place, the modulation in the key of the minor VI stage sounds softly and expressively. Recall that in M. Glinka's opera, the Bayan song has an important, prophetic meaning: in it, the author foreshadows the birth of a young poet. This fragment forms an important additional layer of action, leading away from a concrete historical tragic event into the plan of a universal cultural space, an epic display of a picture of the world, embodying "the idea of a timeless origin and based on the correlation of the phenomena of microcosm and macrocosm" (Baeva A. Russian opera of the last third of the XX century (questions of the evolution of the genre): Abstract. ... Doctor of Art History. M., 2000. 42 p.)[5]. It is as if he carries out the closing of times: the Glinkinsky Accordion, foreshadowing the birth of the Singer, finishes the verse about the death of the great Poet from Slonimsky." In our opinion, these descriptions and analysis are excellent for the researcher. But I would like to point out something that needs to be corrected. Probably, the author was in a hurry, therefore, in the initial paragraphs he allowed some carelessness in punctuation marks: "It attracted Russian composers in the 1960s with its ability to penetrate into the hidden corners of the human soul, talk about purely personal experiences (often relying on confessional genres of memoirs and letters), go beyond theatricality and get closer to chamber instrumental music and with symphonic music, it has become an integral symptom of thawing moods and a way to go beyond the opera art, full of stereotypes and cliches." Or: "As the researchers note, the key moment that influenced all of Lermontov's future work is the death of Pushkin and, as a reaction to this event, the widely circulated poem "Death of the Poet" caused a resonant reaction in St. Petersburg society." The bibliography of this study is very sufficient and versatile, includes many different sources on the topic, and is made in accordance with GOST standards. But there are some problems: for some reason, the author indicated three sources not in the general list, but in the text, which does not comply with the rules for the design of articles in our publication: "Lermontov's talent after 1837 revealed itself in its entirety, ensuring both the accuracy of the word and the sincerity of each image" (Pushkin and Lermontov: The problem of creative interconnection // "Eugene Onegin" A. S. Pushkin in the creative life of M. Y. Lermontov. https://studbooks.net/1310900/literatura/_evgeniy_onegin_as_pushkina_v_tvorcheskoy_sudbe_myu_lerm " And two more examples: "Either it can really be some kind of absolute rarity, productions of which are extremely rare on world stages (the concert performance of Haydn's Orpheus is a vivid example of this) or they are unique in general" (Matusevich A. Everyone has their own Onegin // Opera News. 2009. https://www.operanews.ru/09020102.html). And also: "This fragment forms an important additional layer of action, leading away from a concrete historical tragic event into the plan of a universal cultural space, an epic display of a picture of the world, embodying "the idea of a timeless origin and based on the correlation of the phenomena of microcosm and macrocosm" (Baeva A. Russian opera of the last third of the XX century (questions of the evolution of the genre): Author's abstract. dis. ... Doctor of Art History. M., 2000. 42 p.)[5] "These shortcomings must be corrected, as well as the work must be subtracted to correct typos. The appeal to the opponents is presented to a wide extent, performed at a highly scientific level. The author draws extensive, serious and convincing conclusions as to why this work belongs to the genre of mono opera: "In conclusion, we note that the sample of monopera presented by Slonimsky largely inherits the fundamental properties of the genre (focusing on the experiences of a creative personality in conflict with others; complete preservation of the literary basis; predominance of the declamatory type of intonation). At the same time, it shows a new original approach and demonstrates such properties of the latest mono-opera as the monological confession of the hero in a critical life situation, maximum concentration on the image of the main character. The total genre diffusion inherent in the Russian mono opera of the 1960s and 1970s is intensifying and leads to extreme cameronization, expressed in minimizing the stage action (concert static) and the performing staff (singer and pianist)," etc. This research is of great interest to different segments of the audience both specialized, focused on the professional study of literature and music (art historians, musicologists, literary critics, students, teachers, musicians, etc.), and for all those who are interested in music, literature and contemporary art.
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