Andrei Sychra published a series of Journals in St Petersburg in the early 19th-century, aimed at amateur players – they make entertaining student-level repertoire.
Download the Journals from our SCORES page.
I will be uploading some performances of items from these journals on this page.
- Number 4, Polonaise
Now, I had no idea what the titles in this piece meant in English, so I asked the ever-resourceful, Oleg Timofeyev. Here are the titles as seen in the score:
Oleg’s dissertation mentions how Polonaises are often made up of folk songs, and this is in fact the case here:
“The first inscription is the song title: “Last night I, young maiden, [was in a company],” the second is also a song title “A Birch Tree Stood in the Field.” Now, the latter is very famous because of Chaikovsky’s 4th symphony, check from about 1:26 — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NinQ1-z7T3Y
He went on to give some constructive criticism:
“Your Trio Section is very musical and pleasant, but the character is beyond recognition.”
So, I need to revisit the piece, try to make the Trio more lively. Many thanks to Oleg. These things happen – we are dealing with a foreign culture that somehow seems familiar, but we might jump on the completely wrong interpretation. It’s all part of the learning process.
2. Numbers 13 and 26, “Near the River, Near the Bridge (a theatre song)” and “Hey, Prepare dances and Entertainment.”
Two interestingly-titled pieces! The second is from a comic opera, “A Cossack Poet” of 1812 – thanks to Oleg Timofeyev for that information.