In Yesterday’s post on the BBC Music Magazine feature of Dmitri Hvorostovsky, we briefly explained who Pushkin was and why he is so important. For our non-Russian fans, we thought it would be good to devote an entire blog to Alexander Pushkin as the much-anticipated Pushkin Romances will be released on Tuesday!
Alexander Pushkin (June 6, 1799 – February 10 1837) was a Romantic-era Russian author. He is almost universally considered the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Born in Moscow, Russia, Pushkin was first published at the age of fifteen and was already famous within literary circles before he graduating from his studies. Pushkin clashed with the Russian government, and it was during a period of strict surveillance that he wrote his most famous play, Boris Godunov. He also published novels in verse, with his most famous (especially in the music community) being Eugene Onegin.
Pushkin is not only credited with developing Russian literature through creating a highly nuanced level of language that embodied Russian literature after him, he is also credited with substantially augmenting the Russian lexicon. His rich vocabulary and highly sensitive style are the foundation for modern Russian literature. Russian literature practically begins with Alexander Pushkin. He became the “father” of Russian literature in the 19th century.
Pushkin even has a minor planet named after him! In 1977, Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh found and named the minor planet 2208 Pushkin. A crater on Mercury is also named after him!
All of this highlights the great importance of such a poet and underscores the fantastic undertaking that an album like Pushkin Romances really is!