THE ORIGINS OF PERSIANA IN RUSSIAN MUSIC: ONCE AGAIN ABOUT THE PERSIAN CHORUS FROM OPERA "RUSLAN AND LYUDMILA"M.N. Drozhzhina
This article presents an attempt of retrospective excursus done through analyzing the causality between events and artifacts concentrated around the known fact – i.e. using the authentic Eastern (Oriental) melody in the Persian chorus from "Ruslan and Lyudmila" opera by M.I. Glinka. Their blending in a single chain contributed to identifying and comprehending the circumstances and historical-cultural context that predefined emergence of domestic musical Persiana - the phenomenon almost unexplored hitherto. Diaries analysis of the composer's contemporaries, as well as that of memoirs literature, revealed that "interest group" of M. I. Glinka included both Russians who were visiting Iran (Ambassador A. S. Griboyedov; traveler and the author of "Journey to Persia" treatise, prince A. Saltykov etc.) and direct representatives of Persian culture. Among them was the university professor M. J. Topchibashev (who formerly taught him the Persian language) and participants of the Apology mission of the crown prince Hosrov-Mirza sent by the Iranian Shah in connection with murder of the Russian ambassador Alexander Griboyedov. Archival documents showed that the mission included such highly educated people as the poet Fahil-khan Sheida who later adopted Russian citizenship, and Mustafa Afshar - a connoisseur of Russian culture, fluent in the language. Study of documents and researches dedicated to this mission enabled to assume the name of the prince’s secretary who initiated M. I. Glinka in the chorus’s melody and, accordingly, in the national origin of this tune. However, it requires confirmation with the aid of further research. As a result, on different levels – the personal one (the composer’s success in studying Persian language, communication with its native speakers and connoisseurs of culture), the social one (conditioned by mutual relations of Russia and Persia/Iran), the advantage of the "Persian version" (marching melody) is cleared out in defining the original source, along with identity of the person who has sung this melody to the composer. The article shows that additional argument in favor of this march version might be the relatively similar marching theme in "Persian March" by Johann Strauss. A great many details drawn from non-musicological sources made it possible to grasp the idea of "Persian context" presence in Glinka’s life, thus aiding to form interest to the Persian culture. Thus, the "Persian chorus" can be described as a reference point in establishing the domestic musical Persiana– the phenomenon having in its basis the respective socio-cultural context augmented by competence of its initiator.