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Music at the court of Catherine the Great

Lucie Skeaping introduces music from the court of Catherine the Great in Russia with works by composers such as Galuppi, Sarti and Traetta as well as local talent like Bortniansky.

Lucie Skeaping introduces music from the court of Catherine the Great in Russia. We hear how the Queen, despite having personally little interest in music, but aware of its cultural importance, brought Italian composers to St. Petersburg as she wanted to position Russia as a cultural powerhouse to compete with their European neighbours in the west. The programme focuses on opera and sacred works, some written especially for her court, some adapted, by composers such as Galuppi, Paisiello, Sarti and Traetta - but we hear how Catherine promoted local talent as well, like Dmytro Bortniansky, who wrote colourful choral works, and also a talented group of princesses, part of her inner circle, who composed mainly songs - some inspired by Russian folk music.

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23 minutes

Music Played

  • Ekaterina Alexeievna Siniavina

    Harpsichord Sonata

    Performer: Irina Rees. Performer: Etienne Abelin.
    • Music of Russian Princesses.
    • Dorian.
    • 4.
  • Baldassare Galuppi

    Didone Abbandonata (Act 2, Scene 16, Terzetto, 'Deh resta')

    Conductor: Franco Piva. Performer: Stefania Grasso. Performer: Andre Caré. Performer: Federica Giansanti. Orchestra: Orchestra del Teatro Lirico Sperimentale di Spoleto.
  • Baldassare Galuppi

    In The Flesh Thou Didst Fall Asleep

    Choir: Estonian Philharmonic Chorus. Director: Paul Hillier.
    • HARMONIA MUNDI : 907-318.
    • 6.
  • Tommaso Traetta

    Finito e il mio tormento (Antigona)

    Singer: Maria Jose Bayo. Ensemble: Les Talens Lyriques. Conductor: Christophe Rousset.
    • Antigona.
    • Oiseau Lyre.
    • 6.
  • Giovanni Paisiello

    The Barber of Seville (Act 1: 'Saper bramate'... 'Non dubitar, o Figaro')

    Singer: Dénes Gulyás. Singer: Kristina Laki. Singer: József Gregor. Orchestra: Nemzeti Filharmonikus Zenekar. Conductor: Ádám Fischer.
    • Paisiello: Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
    • Hungaroton.
    • 9.
  • André-Ernest-Modeste Grétry

    Zemire Et Azor (Act 4: Quartet, 'Ah! Je Tremble')

    Singer: Mady Masple. Singer: Jean Van Gorp. Singer: Sabine Louis. Singer: Suzanne Simonka. Orchestra: Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. Conductor: Paul Strauss.
    • Grétry: Zémire et Azor.
    • EMI.
    • 10.
  • Anton Ferdinand Titz

    String Quartet No 1 in C (1st mvt, Allegro)

    Ensemble: La Cetra Consort.
  • Giuseppe Sarti

    The Early Reign Of Oleg (chorus)

    Composer: Vasily Pashkevich. Composer: Carlo Canobbio. Choir: RSFSR Russian Chorus. Orchestra: Ussr State Radio Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Vladimir Yesipov.
    • 1.
  • Dmitry Bortniansky

    Sacred Concerto No 9, 'Praise ye the Lord'

    Choir: Russian State Symphonic Cappella. Director: Valery Kuzmich Polyansky.
  • Natalia Ivanovna Kurakina

    Quand Nos Jours

    Performer: Oleg Timofeyev. Performer: Irina Rees.
    • Music of Russian Princesses from the court of Catherine the Great.
    • Dorian Recordings.
    • 5.