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Slavic and Eastern European Studies


The Stanford University Libraries music collection is housed in the Music Library and the Archive of Recorded Sound (ARS). The book collection is housed primarily in the Music Library although some books are found in the stacks of Green Library.

Major monographs, scores of major Slavic composers and their recordings, some contemporary music on CD, as well as recorded readings, are available in the collection.

Overall the collection offers a rich resource for the study of Slavic music, both classical and popular, but no detailed description of it is available at this time.

Uncatalogued Russian and Soviet Recordings in the Archive of Recorded Sound at Stanford University Libraries

by Ruth Leytes

The following description intends to delineate quite a rich, but not bibliographically registered, resource. The only access to it is through a printed catalog of the publisher "Melodiia" housed in ARS.

The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound has a valuable collection of Soviet recordings, produced in the 1930's to 1960's, by Soviet companies (Aprelevskii Zavod, Melodiia) or in cooperation with American companies (Melodiia-Columbia). More than three hundred LP's and about three hundred 78's represent the Soviet period of musical development. Most recorded musicians are from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR), but there are also some recordings presenting music of other Republics of the former Soviet Union (Ukraine, Latvia and others).

In many cases, the music is by musicians widely appreciated for many years in the former Soviet Union but little known now. Some examples are: the folk singers Lidiia Ruslanova and later, Liudmila Zykina; the popular Soviet singers Klavdiia Shulzhenko, Mark Bernes, Gelena Velikanova; classical performers Sergei Lemeshev, Pavel Lisitsian, Zara Solikhanova; The Ensemble of the Soviet Army; and the "Piatnitskii" choir.

The collection also contains recordings of famous performers, such as: pianists Sviatoslav Rikhter and Emil Gilels; violinists David Oistrakh and Leonid Kogan; cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich; conductors Evgenii Mravinskii, Evgenii Svetlanov and Gennadii Rozhdestvenskii. Singers Galina Vishnevskaia and Irina Arkhipova are also among them.

The collection includes recorded music by Russian and Soviet composers, both famous as well as almost unknown, but important for the history of Russian music. The collection holds some works which were rarely performed such as Shostakovich's ballet Golden Age, Prokofiev's operas Semen Kotko and The Gambler (after F. Dostoevskii), and the Violin Concerto by A. Khachaturian, to name only a few.

Opera albums are present in the collection. Examples are: War and Peace by S. Prokofiev, Prince Igor by A. Borodin, Ivan Susanin by M. Glinka and the opera Taming of the Shrew, written by the well known Soviet composer V. Shebalin and based on Shakespeare's play. All operas are performed by the best Soviet theaters such as the Bolshoi (Moscow) and Kirov (Leningrad).

The collection in Stanford's Archive of Recorded Sound represents top instrumentalists, singers, orchestras and choral groups of the Soviet period, performing both Russian and Western classical music by Soviet composers, as well as folklore and popular music of the time.



Last modified: June 27, 2005

©2005 The Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved.
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