Musiikkia, diplomatiaa ja identiteetin rakennusta Ranskan kolmannessa tasavallassa

Lokakuun 1893 ”venäläiset juhlat” musiikinhistorian tapahtumana


  • Helena Tyrväinen


In this paper I analyse the ‘Russian celebrations’ organised in France in October 1893. Research into Franco–German relations has already produced abundant information on the musical consequences of the rejection of the Second Empire’s cosmopolitanism by Third Republic France. I aim to round out this picture of Third Republic musical aspirations by examining these Russian festivities, and in doing so demonstrating how nationalism steered the evolution of musical tastes in late 19th-century Europe.

The October 1893 festivities, organised to honour a Russian naval visit to France, encompassed all strata of French society. Music constituted an integral part of the ceremonies that took place all over France. The most important events were in Paris and Toulon, and they were steered to a great extent by the French press, itself placed under governmental protection. The terms of the Franco–Russian diplomatic and military alliance were ratified soon thereafter.

I illustrate the press committee’s use of music in various contexts from gala occasions to popular open-air celebrations. Using archival documents (Bibliothèque nationale de France, Archive of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs), published contemporary testimonies, as well as daily newspapers and journals of amateur music associations as my sources, I analyse the interaction between the press committee and the participants of the events.

The organisers drew on experience gained from previous public ceremonies of the young Third Republic. Regardless of the different social systems in France and Russia, and despite the apparent cosmopolitanism of the Franco–Russian celebrations, an attempt to strengthen French Republican identity can be perceived. The success of Russian music in France cannot be discussed in terms of musical taste alone. Franco–Russian friendship ensured the popularity in France of Russian composers and performers of many different orientations well before the arrival of Diaghilev’s famous Ballets Russes.






Tyrväinen, H. (2020). Musiikkia, diplomatiaa ja identiteetin rakennusta Ranskan kolmannessa tasavallassa: Lokakuun 1893 ”venäläiset juhlat” musiikinhistorian tapahtumana. Musiikki, 46(2-3), 102–124. Noudettu osoitteesta