M.I. Glinka "Passing Song": history, content, video, interesting facts

Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka "Passing Song"

Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka is a great Russian composer who made an invaluable contribution to the development of national culture. Composing his works in various genres, the genius maestro paid special attention to chamber vocal music in his work. Glinka is rightfully called not only the founder of the Russian classical school of composition, but also the school of vocal performance. Romances, which he composed throughout his creative life, were evaluated by listeners and performers as true masterpieces. One of such perfect fruits of the composer’s inspiration is the colorful vocal miniature "Passing song", which is part of the vocal cycle" Farewell to Petersburg ".

The history of the creation of the “Passing Song” by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka, as well as many interesting facts and musical content of the work, can be found on our page.

History of creation

In the late thirties in life Glinka There were many sad moments. After the death of Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, whom he always and in everything tried to be like, complete devastation occurred in his soul. Work on opera "Ruslan and Lyudmila" It was not as intended. In 1839 the younger brother of the composer died, and in addition, Mikhail Ivanovich learned about the betrayal of a young wife. He left home and left the service in the court Singing Chapel, which incurred the wrath of the king himself. The composer’s only consolation at that time was acquaintance and communication with Ekaterina Kern - "MK EK", as Glinka called her in his memoirs.

It seemed that now having freed himself from the bondage that binds him: his wife, who does not understand him and the hated work, Mikhail Ivanovich can completely indulge in his mutual love, which is more and more exciting, as well as his beloved writing activity. However, not everything was so smooth in the composer's life. He understood that the divorce process is a long lawsuit that takes a lot of energy, and even dear Katenka was dangerously ill at that time. After her recovery, Glinka had a plan to go abroad, to Italy and secretly marry her lover there, as relatives from both sides opposed their relationship.

It should also be noted that at this time Glinka became very close to famous writers, the Kukolniki brothers. The apartment in Fonarny Lane, where they lived, was the place in which creative people of St. Petersburg liked to gather. So often being in the bohemian environment of Kukolnikov, Mikhail Ivanovich at the end of May 1840 planned to compose a series of romances to the poems of the middle brother Nestor, who were later combined into a vocal cycle called “Farewell to St. Petersburg”. While composing vocal miniatures, including “Passing Song”, the composer did not connect them with a single plot. In his works, he tried to reflect the feelings of a person who dreamed of leaving the city, in which he suffered many adversities. The work on the collection was very successful, and twelve miniatures in close creative collaboration with the author of the poetic texts were completed by August 9.

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The Kukolniki Brothers, who sincerely loved Glinka, assumed that the composer, who was going to go abroad soon, would part with them for a long time, and therefore, to express his friendly feelings, the next day gave a farewell party, at which the maestro enthusiastically performed works from his new cycle. Mikhail Ivanovich left the next day, but not to Italy with his girlfriend, as he had supposed, but at the behest of his mother — alone and to the Novospasskoye family estate. A month later, when he returned to the capital, the composer saw his new collection of vocal miniatures, entitled “Farewell to Petersburg” and “Passing Song” included in it, published by the music publishing company Odeon by Peter Ivanovich Gurskalin. The cycle was soon sold out so quickly that it had to be printed again with double circulation.

Interesting facts about the "Passing Song"

  • "Passing Song", which Mikhail Glinka dedicated to the relative of the Kukolnikov brothers N.F. Nemirovich-Danchenko, is the most famous and most performed work from the series "Farewell to Petersburg".
  • The name of the poet and playwright Nestor Kukolnik, very popular in the middle of the XIX century, today nobody would have remembered if it were not for Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka’s vocal cycle “Farewell to Petersburg”, which was written in poetic texts by a once very famous writer.
  • Many contemporaries of the composer did not understand how the sedate and seasoned Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka could friendly approach such an arrogant and frivolous person like Nestor Kukolnik. The fact is that Glinka really liked how a poet quickly and easily composed verses, and in addition the composer found in the person of Nestor a sensitive and understanding listener.
  • In addition to the vocal cycle "Farewell to Petersburg," the composer wrote the lyrics to Nestor Kukolnik's romance "Doubt", and also composed music to his drama "Prince Holmsky."
  • It also happened that the music of Glinka's romance appeared before the text was composed. For example, with “Passing Song”, that's exactly what happened.
  • Being an opponent of the relationship between Mikhail Ivanovich and Ekaterina Kern, the mother of the composer, in order to separate her lovers, insisted that he and her sister go to Paris and even give a large sum of money for this. Glinka did not go anywhere, and gave all the funds allocated to Catherine for a trip to Little Russia to improve her health.
  • Many contemporaries of Glinka noted that the composer, not having a big voice, was able to so expressively perform his romances, accompanying them with a skillful accompaniment, that the audience, listening to him, laughed and cried.
  • Mikhail Glinka’s “Passing Song” was one of the most beloved compositions of the outstanding singer Fyodor Chaliapin. He often included it in the program of his concerts.

Contents of "Passing Song"

"Passing Song", part of the vocal cycle "Farewell to Petersburg", is a colorful genre sketch, vividly reflecting Mikhail Glinka's impressions of the railway, which opened in 1837 and connects St. Petersburg and Pavlovsk. This miniature, referring to the mature period of the composer's work, clearly shows what skill the composer has achieved in expressing human feelings, as well as the artistic depiction of the surrounding world. In this perky sample of cheerful lyrics, Glinka, using various means of musical expressiveness, vividly displayed everything that is connected with the railway: the hubbub and hustle, the joyful expectation of new impressions and long-awaited meetings.


The composition, written in the key of D major, is built on the successive alternation of two contrasting sections: one - temperamental and perky, the other - filled with light lyrics. Nevertheless, the work sounds like a single whole, since the topics of opposite nature are combined by means of uninterrupted clear and lively accompaniment, which colorfully displays a wheel restraint. The form in which the composer concluded his miniature can be viewed in two versions. The first version is a complex three-part form with repetition, which can be represented by the formula:

II: A B: II A. The second is a couplet-chorus: in it the section A. plays the role of the chorus.

The song does not have a full instrumental introduction. This role is performed by one energetic, tuning the key, D major chord. Then the melody begins immediately from the attack, which rushes forward at an unstoppable pace. The text of the first part of the composition is perceived as patter, since the melody, enclosed in a uniform movement of the eighth duration, at the direction of the composer, is performed at a rapid pace.

In the following second part of the miniature, in the scheme marked by the letter "B", the nature of the music is significantly transformed. Major key is changed to parallel minor. The melodic line, which now reflects the hero's lyrical state of mind, becomes wide and smooth. The durations are enlarged. Despite the fact that the accompaniment is still energetic, there is a feeling of calm. Then everything reprints again from the very beginning. The only difference from the first one is a different text of the second - an elegiac section. At the end of the composition, the thematic material of the fun and festive first section re-sounds.

"Passing song"- this bright vocal miniature, barely presented to the audience, immediately gained universal recognition. It became the favorite vocal work of many famous singers and was included in the repertoire of vocal celebrities like Chaliapin, Vedernikov, Nesterenko and Hvorostovsky. choirs of different compositions and successfully performed on the concert scenes not only in our country, but also abroad.

Watch the video: Mikhail Glinka - Nocturne in E-flat major audio + sheet music (January 2020).

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