The National Library of Russia has made available this carefully curated collection of music given to Romanov emperors by visitors from France, Italy, Germany, and elsewhere. Many holdings come from Russia, where Western European music was introduced early in the eighteenth century. Holdings come from the 18th–20th centuries. Some of the music was brought by foreign teachers (e.g., Vincenzo Manfredini) for the royal progeny. Many works were provided with dedications to the emperors. Czech and Austrian music flowed copiously into Moscow at the end of the eighteenth century. A "Festival Song" by Felix Mendelssohn has a particularly interesting history, which is related here. The digitized pieces are linked to a database containing information about the social context and pertinent musical detail. The list of manuscripts (using Cyrillic script) can be found here, while a search engine (Roman script) is here. Drop-down lists contain listing in both Cyrillic and Roman, as appropriate, while the popup keyboard facilitates Cyrillic input. Source descriptions are in Russian.
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