Monday, November 28, 2005

The Franciszak Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum of London's Music Division

"The global revolution in instant electronic communication has opened up new horizons for commercial and scientific progress. But it has yet to create better understanding between cultures.

The rapid intrusion of western television and internet marketing into non-western regions has aroused appetites and stimulated curiosity. But it has also intensified a desire in developing nations to assert, with increasing forcefulness, the uniqueness of their own indigenous religions, cultures, and historic identities."...

Librarian of Congress James Billington "A digital library that all nations can learn from" Financial Times, November 27, 2005.


"The Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum music section contains important printed and ms. material. For historical reasons this is principally vocal. Early church music is represented by a valuable collection of ms. extracts from the Suprasl (1598) and Zhyrovitsy Irmalohia, two Bahahlasniki (Vilna 1912 in photocopy; Warsaw 1935), and collections of printed and ms. liturgical pieces by composers of the early national school, M. Antsau, A. Turankou, M. Ravienski and M. Kulikovich-Shchahlou.

Polyphonic settings of folksongs, romances and lieder are included in A. Hrynievich's Bielaruskija piesni z notami (Vilna 1910), Ul. Terauski's Bielaruski lirnik (Berlin 1922), M. Ravienski's Zbornik piesien z notami (Minsk 1922 in photocopy), H. Shyrma's Zbornik narodnych piesniau (Vilna 1929 in photocopy), songs printed in Riga in 1942 by K. Jezavitau, M. Kulikovich-Shchahlou's Iunatski spieunik (Minsk 1943), the Belarusian Scouting Association's Spieunik (Watenstedt 1948), collections of songs, mainly by Kulikovich, published in Cleveland by K. Kisly and Ul. Duniec in the 1950s. Soviet collections of choral music include H. Shyrma's classic 3-vol. Bielaruskiia narodnyia piesni (Minsk 1959-61), vol. 3 of N. Aladau's Khrestomatiia po belorusskoi muzykal'noi literature (Minsk 1961), the anthologies by V. Rouda of Belarusian choral and operatic works (Minsk 1971-81), as well as smaller collections of songs by leading Belarusian composers.

The manuscript collection consists largely of the material bequeathed by Nadzieia Hradé, widow of the composer M. Kulikovich-Shchahlou. This includes the scores of his operas Katsiaryna (1939), Liasnoie voziera (1942) and Usiaslau Charadziei Kniaz Polatski (1944). There are also mss. by the composers Karpovich, M. Ravienski and Niadzviedzki (P. Zvonny) writing in emigration."

Franciszak Skaryna, Renaissance Scholar, Humanist, Printer, Court Doctor, and Gardener, 1486 - c1540.

After 1991, the name of the main boulevard in Minsk, Belarus, was changed from Lenin Boulevard to Skaryna Boulevard. [Has this name change now been reversed?]


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