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Muzikal'naya letopis' = Музыкальная Летопись

(Petrograd; Leningrad, 1922-1923, 1926)

Prepared by Natalia Ostroumova
Introduction by Benjamin Knysak
Online only (2022)

The journal Muzikal'naya letopis' = Музыкальная Летопись ("Musical Chronicle"; RIPM code MLT) was published in Petrograd, later Leningrad, in three annual volumes bearing dates of 1922, 1923, and 1926, with each volume containing 176, 158, and 192 pages, respectively. Each issue was published by the “Mysl” (“Мысль,” or Thought) publishing house, a Soviet publisher with a wide range of subject areas.

The journal was edited by the musicologist and critic Andrey Nikolaevich Rimsky-Korsakov (Андрей Николаевич Римский-Корсаков), son and biographer of the composer. With studies of cello and music theory with his father and the prominent composer M. O. Steinberg, as well as philology and philosophy at the universities of St. Petersburg, Strasbourg and Heidelberg, A.N. Rimsky-Korsakov published the journal Muzykal'nyi sovremennik = Музыкальный современник (St. Petersburg, 1915-1917) until the revolution. He began teaching musical history at Petrograd University in 1921; thereafter he began publication of the Muzikal'naya letopis' as a continuation of his previous journal.

Russian musical history figures prominently in the journal, including the editor’s study of his father’s childhood; the publication of some 31 unpublished letters of Alexander Borodin; Vladimir Ivanov-Korsunsky’s study of the musical activities of Prince V. F. Odoevsky; V. Komarova’s study of Clara Schumann’s tour of Russia, drawn from her correspondence; unpublished correspondence of Glinka and further details on the premiere of his opera Ruslan and Lyudmila; the musical history of St. Petersburg; a sketch of the life of the cellist Karl Davydov; biographical details concerning Miliy Balakirev; M. Liveroskaya on folksongs of the Volga region; and the archive of the composer and critic A. N. Serov.

Some articles concerning non-Russian topics can be found, including a translation of Romain Rolland’s study of Camille Saint-Saëns; E. Braudo’s study of romantic German philosophical thought; the same author on musical expressionism in Germany; a summary of the Berlin musical season of 1922; the biography of Cesar Franck; and the three-hundereth anniversary of the publication of Solomon de Rossi’s Ha-shirim asher li-Shlomo, or The Songs of Solomon (השירים אשר לשלמה) published in Mantua, 1623.

The third volume contains reviews and summaries of recently-published books and articles. A small amount of adversiting can be found at the conclusion of issues, highlighting publications of the “Mysl” publishing house.