Sound of the Dynasty: music written by Romanovs to be performed for the first time
Music written by members of the Romanov dynasty is to be performed for the first time on October 20, during the concert that will take place in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.
Among the pieces to be performed are polkas, songs, marches, ballads and romances written by Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich and Grand Duchess Alexandra Iosifovna (wife of Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, second son of Nicholas I), as well music based on poetry written by Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley (the son of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich and his morganatic wife Olga Valerianovna Paley) and Prince Oleg Konstantinovich (the immensely talented 4th son of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich who died in battle during World War I, aged just 21). The magnificent music on Ukrainian themes composed by Alexander II will also be heard for the first time.
The audience will have a unique insight into the very soul of members Romanovs: they will see, or rather hear, not statesmen and historical figures but real people with their thoughts, feelings, worries and yearnings.
The Romanov dynasty gave birth to many people distinguished in various fields, including art. All Romanovs received excellent musical education, which resulted in beautiful and touching pieces that show the woes and joys of the times. Among the number of those extraordinary people, two names stand out – Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich and Prince Vladimir Pavlovich Paley.
Grand Duke Konstantin’s talent was wide-ranging: he was a talented poet and author of several volumes of poetry: many famous romances and ballads are based upon those. He was a gifted playwright and wrote the magnificent play “King of Judea”, which was later used by Bulgakov in his “Master and Margarita”. The Grand Duke was author of excellent Russian translations of Schiller, Goethe and Shakespeare. Konstantin Konstantinovich was also a talented and pianist who counted many of Russia’s famous composers, including Tchaikovsky, among his closest friends. Grand Duke Konstantin died in 1915 and was thus spared from the unbearable sufferings visited upon his family during the Revolution, including the death of three of his sons in Alapaevsk. He did see the death of his favourite 4th son, Prince Oleg, and of his son-in-law, Prince Constantine Bagration-Muhransky, who both died in battles during World War I.
Prince Vladimir Paley was arguably the most gifted member of the Romanov dynasty: his great talent shone through even when he was a small child. Aged only 19, he published his first of collection of poetry, called simply “Volumes”. All proceeds from the sale of the books went to Empress Alexandra’s charity foundations. The “Volumes” contained 86 poems written from 1913 to 1916 and dedicated to a whole range of topics – love, nature, mythology, music, art, theatre, family, friends, patriotism and war. The Prince’s work was very well-received by critics: some even called Vladimir one of the hopes of the contemporary Russian poetry. Prince Vladimir, who knew 7 languages, wrote a truly magnificent French translation of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich’s play “King of Judea”: when the Grand Duke, who was already gravely ill at the time, read the translation, he exclaimed: “Right before my death, I am fortunate to experience one of the most beautiful moments of my life, and I owe it to Vova!” Vladimir’s talent was not destined to give more fruits: he was brutally murdered by Bolsheviks in Alapaevsk, aged just 21, along with other Romanovs, which included 3 of Grand Duke Konstantin’s sons.Filed under Historical Royals, Russian Royals
Tagged Alexander II, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, Music, Prince Vladimir Paley.
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