ALEXANDER SERGEYEVICH DARGOMYZHSKY
In the history of Russian music, Dargomyzhsky entered as one of the founders of realistic art. Protest against social inequality, interest in the destinies of people from the people, social and accusatory orientation are the most important features of his creativity. His operas differ in the fineness of the embodiment of human characters. The romances and songs were affected by the sharp observation of the artist, the skill of psychological analysis. The ideological and aesthetic principles of the “great teacher of truth,” as M. Mussorgsky called Dargomyzhsky, played a huge role in the development of Russian musical art.
Alexander Sergeevich Dargomyzhsky was born on February 2 (14), 1813, in the Tula Province.
The works of this time were marked with the stamp of amateurism.
The meeting and the subsequent friendly dialogue with Glinka prompted Dargomyzhsky to supplement his musical education. Opera “Esmeralda” (based on the novel by V. Hugo “Notre Dame de Paris”), completed in 1839, was staged eight years later and had no success. Among the early works is also cantata for Pushkin’s poems “Triumph of Bacchus” (1843), revised later, during 1848, in opera and ballet.
The realistic aspirations of Dargomyzhsky received a mature expression in the chamber and vocal works of the second half of the 1840s and early 1850s, and especially in the opera The Mermaid (1855), which occupied the central place in the composer’s heritage. “Mermaid” was the first Russian opera based on psychologically acute domestic drama.
In the late 1850s, a new upsurge in Dargomyzhsky’s work begins. His works acquire a pronounced socially-accusatory orientation.
In the last years of his life, Dargomyzhsky worked on the opera The Stone Guest on the invariable text of Pushkin’s “Little Tragedy.” Death prevented the composer from completing this work. At the request of the composer, “Stone Guest” was completed by Ts. A. Cui and orchestrated by NA Rimsky-Korsakov.
Dargomyzhsky died on January 5 (17), 1869, in St. Petersburg.