Russian music


The Stanford University Libraries' music collection is housed mainly in the Music Library and in 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 and in SAL3.

The collection includes monographs, scores and recordings of major Slavic composers, some contemporary music on CD, as well as recorded readings.

Overall the collection offers rich resources for the study of Slavic music, both classical and popular, but no detailed description of it is available at this time. Find your topic using the SearchWorks online catalog.

Uncataloged Russian and Soviet recordings in the Archive of Recorded Sound

This section was prepared by Ruth Leytes.

The following description delineates quite an extensive resource that is mostly not cataloged. The only access to it is through a printed catalog of the publisher "Melodiia" housed in the Archive of Recorded Sound (ARS).

ARS holds a valuable collection of Soviet recordings, produced in the 1930s to 1960s by Soviet companies (Aprelevskii Zavod, Melodiia) or in cooperation with American companies (Melodiia-Columbia). More than three hundred LPs and about three hundred 78s 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, now independent countries (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 by 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 and almost unknown, but important for the history of Russian music. The collection holds some works that 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.

The collection also includes opera albums. 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 the Kirov (Leningrad).

The collection in ARS 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.