The Story of One Mistake Made by the Publisher of the First “Collection of Russian Songs” Based on Poems by A. S. Pushkin


In this paper the first published collection of vocal works on the words by A. S. Pushkin is explored for the first time. The main attention is focused on the romance “Far off, over the mountains” with music by Prince G. It is ascertained that the words of the romance belong not to Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin, but to his uncle Vassily Lvovich Pushkin — a poet and a translator, connoisseur of theatre and noticeable person of Moscow high-society of the quarter of the 19th century.

The name of the author of the romance music is identified — it is Prince Sergey Sergeevich Golitsyn, aide-de-camp to Alexander I, the hero of Napoleonic War, Major General and Privy Councillor. On the basis of archive sources his biography is partly reconstructed and some information on his works collected.
Possible cross points between the composer and the poet are revealed. The supposition is made that they could meet each other at the Moscow salon of Stepan Apraksin, who was a friend of Vassily Pushkin and a relative of Sergey Golitsyn.
The music of the romance “Far off, over the mountains” is analyzed. This work is one of the earliest examples of romances on Russian words. It was very popular in court and aristocratic environment. The romance was first published as a single music book in 1816–1817 with the composer’s dedication to Countess S. A. Samoylova. In the present paper the manuscript copy of the romance is also examined being the part of the music book of Mikhail Vielgorsky with a mark “Nice. Mars 1830”.
The author of the paper discusses possible reasons for the publisher’s mistake made in the name of the author of the romance music. The supposition is made that it is due to the death of, who probably was the initiator of the publication, and the sale of his publishing house to another owner.