Russian Literature

Russian literature has been a part of Russian culture since the tenth century. Literature during the tenth century was mainly written in Church Slavonic language and dealt mostly with religion, influenced by the Christianity from Byzantium.

The first masterpiece of Russian literature is believed to be “The Song of Igor’s Campaign” which was strongly influenced by the Tatar culture and was written during the 15th century. The first Russian theatre was established in the 17th century, during the reign of Peter I. During this period Russian literature was highly influenced by western culture. Literature during the rule of Catherine II showcased European Enlightenment.

The nineteenth century produced the largest number of renowned writers in Russia. In the nineteenth century literature started to become more romantic in nature, a departure from the satire of the literature from the reign of Catherine II. The poet V.A. Zhukovsky was the first to write romantic poems. Aleksandr Pushkin, who is considered to be the Russian Shakespeare, was a versatile writer and in 1820 he introduced a modern style to creating Russian literature that was mostly realistic, culture conscious, and a little bit romantic with some European influences.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Russia gave rise to its two most internationally famous writers: Feodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy. Feodor Dostoyevsky’s work talked about morals and religious idealism while Leo Tolstoy wrote novels dealing with social issues.

Russian Music and Dance

Russian music in the 18th century was primarily gospel music from church and conventional songs from the townsfolk. During the 19th century, the first purely Russian classical music was created by Mikhail Glinka and was composed using Russian folk and pious influences. His well-known operas were “Ruslan Lyudmila” and “A Life for the Tsar,” to name a couple.

The Russian Music Society was established in 1859 in an effort to bolster Russia’s innovation in classical music.

A cadre, called the “Mighty Five,” continued throughout the latter portion of the 19th century to create purely Russian classical music along the lines of Mikhail Glinka. The five group members were Miliy Balakirev, Aleksandr Borodin, Cesar Cui, Modest Musorgskiy, and Nikolay Rimskiy- Korsakov.

In the twentieth century, because of the severe restrictions on musical compositions and performances, there were several globally renowned musicians in Russia who left the country either due to force or of their own volition.

Jazz was the most popular music during the Soviet regime. This was because government authorities allowed Jazz performances. Even performers from the west used came to Russia to play Jazz during the Soviet regime. On the other hand, Rock music performances were totally restricted under the Soviet regime.

Thus, there are many different types of music found in Russian culture.

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