Mikhail Mikhailovich Ippolitov-Ivanov

In the history of the culture of our country, Mikhail Mikhailovich Ippolitov-Ivanov - a composer, conductor, teacher, musical ethnographer and public figure - played a huge progressive role.

His activity, multifaceted and fruitful, covered a period of more than fifty years.

It began in the 80s of the XIX century and ended in the 30s of the twentieth century.

Ippolitov-Ivanov was an artist, joyfully and generously giving his talent and strength for the benefit of his people. Everything that contributed to the flourishing of the life of society always found a warm response in it.

He was born on November 19, 1859 in Gatchina. He studied music from childhood - first playing the violin, then, while living in St. Petersburg, he studied at the chapel of St. Isaac's Cathedral. He lived with his older married sister MM Ippolitova, whose surname he later added to his own - Ivanov.

The most striking character traits of Ippolitov-Ivanov emerged in his youth: an all-consuming love for music, phenomenal diligence, perseverance in achieving goals, brilliant organizational skills, and a wide range of interests.

In 1875, a sixteen-year-old young man entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory: first in the double bass class, then in special music theory, and a few years later (1880) in the practical composition class of Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov.

1882 is in many ways a milestone for Ippolitov-Ivanov: he leaves to work in Tiflis (Tbilisi). There, together with local musicians, Mikhail Mikhailovich opens a branch of the Russian Musical Society (1883), reorganizes the music school into a college, and also becomes one of the organizers of symphony concerts, conducts opera performances, promoting Russian classics, composes a lots, teaches.


Before Ipolitov-Ivanov, who headed the music classes of the Tiflis branch of the RMS, the task was to create a highly organized professional educational institution on the basis of them and thereby lay a solid foundation for music education and enlightenment in the Caucasus. To do this, it was necessary, first of all, to carefully develop and legitimize the new curriculum, expand and strengthen the staff of teachers and obtain a permanent financial subsidy from the state. The school, according to Ippolitov-Ivanov, was supposed to train choristers. musicians, singing teachers, bandmasters of military bands.

In accordance with the plan, Ippolitov-Ivanov gradually opened classes for woodwind and brass instruments, a double bass class at the school; introduced new musical disciplines: history of music, counterpoint, instrumental science, musical forms, general piano, obligatory viola for violinists; created an orchestral class and an ensemble class.

Ippolitov Ivanov selected teachers with special attention and seriousness. And over time, a strong and friendly team of teachers was formed at the school through the care of the director, which included H. Savaneli, A. Mizandari, K. Alikhanov, E. Epstein, G. Korganov, L. Beting, E Kolchin, I. Saradzhev, V. Zarudnaya, P. Lodii and others.


In 1886, thanks to the persistent efforts of Ippolitov-Ivanov, the school was declared a school and, most importantly, an annual financial subsidy was assigned to the school to ensure its existence.

At the school, Ippolitov-Ivanov worked with enthusiasm.

Colleagues at work - his like-minded people and friends - helped the young director to carry out his plan. And next to him, every day, from his youth and until the last days of his life (January 28, 1935, Moscow) was a sensitive friend, his wife, like-minded person and a wonderful musician - Varvara Mikhailovna Zarudnaya (5/17. KhN. 1857, Yekaterinoslav - 14. III.1939, Moscow).

V.M.Zarudnaya graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1882 in the singing class of Camillo Everardi. She possessed a “silver” soprano of amazing beauty in timbre, which, by the way, was very fond of P.I. Tchaikovsky, she was distinguished by her delicate taste and rare musicality. After graduating from the conservatory, Varvara Mikhailovna sang for some time at the opera houses of Kiev and Tiflis, and then took up pedagogy (1893-1924 - professor at the Moscow Conservatory).

Saying goodbye to the Tiflis period in the life of M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov and V.M. Zarudnaya, we can say, looking ahead, that in 1917 a conservatory was opened in Tiflis, which grew on the basis of this school. According to pianist M. L. Presman, “The Tiflis Musical College enjoyed a brilliant reputation and, after the Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories, was considered one of the best musical educational institutions in Russia.”

In 1893 Ippolitov-Ivanov was invited as a professor at the Moscow Conservatory. The further activity of Ippolitov Ivanov (1893-1935) is wholly connected with Moscow.

Mikhail Mikhailovich visited Tiflis one more time, in the winter of 1924, when he was sent to Tiflis at the request of the People's Commissariat for Education to reorganize the conservatory, and stayed here the entire winter season.

The move of Ippolitov-Ivanov to Moscow was facilitated by P.I. Tchaikovsky, V.I. Safonov, S.I. Taneev. The latter wrote: “... it would be highly desirable for me that Ippolitov-Ivanov be our professor. I have a very high opinion of him as a musician, I heard that he is an excellent conductor and that he is a very good person.”

At the conservatory, Ippolitov-Ivanov taught successively a class in music theory, compositions, led orchestral, choral and opera classes.

Mikhail Mikhailovich loved teaching work. He treated his duties as a teacher very conscientiously, respected discipline. He presented his demands to his students tactfully, in a mild manner, without resorting to punishment. The atmosphere of friendliness invariably dominated his lessons, which contributed to the contact between him and the students.


Work with the choir inspired Ippolitov-Ivanov to create choral works. Some of them were written by him specifically for pedagogical purposes. This is "10 choirs" op. 16, this is "15 children's choirs" op. 51. Especially for student choirs, Ippolitov-Ivanov also wrote choirs op. 32, cantatas dedicated to A.S. Pushkin, N.V. Gogol, “Hymn to Labor”.

Just as choral practice prompted Ippolitov-Ivanov to compose works of pedagogical repertoire, so the practice of teaching music theory and harmony brought to life the book "Teaching about chords, their construction and resolution." In twenty-three chapters of the book, Ippolitov-Ivanov touched on most of the topics currently being studied in harmony.


Even today, his book is a guide for developing an excellent voice-leading technique in a homophonic-harmonic style, it is “a statement of the rules for combining chords” that instills in students a “sense of proportion, legality and neatness” (Ippolitov-Ivanov “50 years of Russian music in my memories” ).

So, it should be said that in the lessons of harmony, Ippolitov-Ivanov always demanded from the students an explanation of the nature of the chords they used and a deep understanding of the logic of the sequences. He taught his students a clear harmonic language. “Everything great is simple,” he said, and drew attention “to those simple means by which great impressions are achieved in the works of great masters.” In student works, Ippolitov-Ivanov always achieved harmony and did not tolerate harmonic "dirt" and slovenliness of voice leading at all.


From 1895 to 1911 Ippolitov-Ivanov taught a free composition class at the conservatory. Mikhail Mikhailovich built his method of teaching composer's skill on the study and critical analysis of musical classics. In the classroom, together with his students, he carefully analyzed classical scores and, using their examples, explained to the students the laws of beauty, and then, often on the same evening, his students listened to these works conducted by Ippolitov-Ivanov in a theater or concert hall. In student works on composition, as well as in works on harmony, Mikhail Mikhailovich sought simplicity and clarity. He warned his students against the abuse of complicated harmonies, polyphonic tricks, "from composing scores for the eyes, not for the ears."

According to the memoirs of the students of Ippolitov-Ivanov, S.N. Vasilenko and N.S. Golovanov, their teacher had a special sensitivity to form. He always unmistakably pointed out errors in this respect in the student's papers.

Ippolitov-Ivanov taught his students to understand and appreciate folk music. He sought to instill in them the same deep love for folk art, which he himself inherited from N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov. The basis of many works by Ippolitov-Ivanov are folk melodies. Mikhail Mikhailovich used melodies of different nations in his works. We can safely say that none of his predecessors among Russian composers has such a realization of folk melodies in his own work, as in Ippolitov-Ivanov. The students of Ippolitov-Ivanov, in addition to being passionate about folk melodies, inherited from him a craving for programming, picturesqueness, and genre diversity.

According to the memoirs of the musicians, the methods of work of Ippolitov-Ivanov in the opera, choral and orchestral classes of the conservatory emerge.

Ippolitov-Ivanov's sympathies were on the side of the classics. Mikhail Mikhailovich bowed before Glinka, Bach, Beethoven. He adored the music of P.I. Tchaikovsky, was very fond of the art of the composers of the Mighty Handful, Mozart and Schubert were close to him, he highly appreciated Wagner.


Over the course of a number of years, Ippolitov-Ivanov taught Mozart's Marriage of Figaro, Beethoven's Fidelio, Weber's The Magic Shooter and Euryanta, Dargomyzhsky's The Stone Guest, Rubinstein's Feramors, Cui's Flibuster, The Windsor pranksters" Nicholas. The students also performed oratorios by Haydn and Mendelssohn, Mozart's Requiem, several cantatas by Bach and his immortal Passion for Matthew. Ippolitov-Ivanov dreamed of performing "Passion" for a long time. In 1912, together with his assistants I.I. Slatin and N.S. Golovanov, he began to learn the Passions. In drawing up the plan for the performance of the oratorio, S.I. Taneyev helped him a lot. "Passion" was performed, in addition to students of the conservatory, choristers and orchestra members of musical societies of Moscow, soloists of theaters. Great is the merit of Ippolitov Ivanov, who was the first in Russia to raise this grandiose work. "Passion" went with minor abbreviations in Russian (translated by A. Avramova) in 1913 and was repeated in 1914.


Choosing Bach's oratorio compositions for work with students, Ippolitov-Ivanov took into account not only their artistic value, but also the great benefit they could bring to young people: “The performance of oratorios, and especially Bach's cantatas, perfectly discipline mass classes, choral and vocalists in the sense of rhythmic distinctness, clarity of phrasing and purity of style, freeing the performance from theatrical pathos” (“50 years of Russian music in my memories”).

Studying with students, Ippolitov-Ivanov sought to develop in them the skills of accurately reading the parts, observing the tempo and nuances, and feeling the ensemble. Attaching great importance to the observance of tempo, Ippolitov Ivanov later wrote: “I am not a big fan of the performance tradition, there is a lot of superficiality in it ... but the traditions of tempo must be preserved, ... remembering that tempo is established from the first productions of operas, which in most cases go under the direction of the author.


At the rehearsals of a student group or a professional one, Ippolitov-Ivanov preferred to first listen to the work from beginning to end, throwing only short remarks as he went. He sought to create the unity of the ensemble in the transfer of the composer's intent. After the run, going from the whole to the particulars, Ippolitov-Ivanov carefully worked out individual details and weakly sounded fragments. Then Mikhail Mikhailovich again listened to the entire composition.

Conducting, Ippolitov-Ivanov invariably maintained calm and restraint. He greatly appreciated these two qualities in people and developed them in himself. He respected the musicians, understood their psychology well, never raised his voice, often repeated: “If you love music, love the musician too” or “You must always treat a musician kindly, and then he will play with soul, warmth.”


At the end of the year at the Bolshoi Theater, as a result of the work of the entire conservatory, an examination opera performance was staged. It was conducted by Mikhail Mikhailovich himself, conducted brightly and artistically.

And, of course, much can be said about the work of M.M. Ippolitova-Ivanov as director (first rector) of the Moscow Conservatory. I want to note only two points.

For seventeen years he directed the conservatory. Permanently. He was the first elected director of the conservatory. The term of directorship was determined by the charter of the conservatory at three years. It is significant that for 11 years Ippolitov-Ivanov was elected for the next term almost unanimously, as evidenced by the minutes of the Artistic Council of the Conservatory, which note the merits of M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov as the head of the conservatory. We add that Ippolitov-Ivanov also became the first elected rector of the conservatory (1919-1922).


In October 1922 The 40th anniversary of the musical activity of Ippolitov-Ivanov was solemnly celebrated, after which he left the rectorship, retaining only a professorship with the title of honored professor (the highest professorial title in pre-revolutionary Russia). He devoted his freed time to conducting at the Bolshoi Theater, which he had dreamed of all his life.

As a member of the Directorate of the RMS, Ippolitov-Ivanov continued to work on the curricula of music classes and schools, being in close contact with peripheral music schools, some of them (in Yekaterinoslavl, Ivanovo, Kostroma) were opened on his initiative.

According to Ippolitov-Ivanov's memos at the RMO, his letters, speeches at meetings of the Artistic Council of the Conservatory and at meetings of various commissions, it is clear how deeply he was interested in the reform of music education, in the reform of its highest level - the conservatory.

MM Ippolitov-Ivanov gave a lot of energy to musical education and enlightenment of youth. No wonder the music schools of Gatchina, Tbilisi, Rostov-on-Don, Kostroma, Moscow bear his name. Musical school them. M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov - now the State Musical and Pedagogical Institute named after M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov. I cannot but tell in more detail about the first years of the life of the M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov Musical College in Moscow. At the beginning of 1919, music schools for workers and their children began to open in Moscow. So, in 1919, among the first music schools in the working-class Rogozhsko-Simonovsky district, on Empty Street (now Marxistskaya), in the house N23, the 4th public school was opened. This school on Taganka was one of the best in Moscow. In 1923, she was named after the outstanding Russian musician M. M. Ippolitov-Ivanov.

Having become acquainted with the work of the school, Ippolitov-Ivanov wrote the following in September 1924: “Having visited the school of my name, I am happy to testify to its serious direction and the extraordinary love for their work of teachers who make up a close-knit family - this friendship and love is the key to lasting success in the future” .

Until the end of his days, the composer continued to intensively compose music. Creative heritage of M.M. Ippolitov-Ivanov in volume. His music is good for the richness of melodies, the simplicity and clarity of the musical language, sincerity and warmth.


His suite “Caucasian Sketches” is world famous, the symphonic poem “Mtsyri”, “Jubilee March”, cycles of romances to the words of R. Tagore, V. Solovyov, P. Verlaine, Japanese poets are very popular; "Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom", arias from the operas "Asya", "Ole from Norland", "Treason"; quartets and miniatures for string instruments, fantasy for balalaika and orchestra "At Gatherings", children's choirs, "Five Russian Songs" for voice and piano trio and other compositions.

MM. Ippolitov-Ivanov was one of the first in the country to receive the title of "People's Artist of the Republic" (1922).

Musicians of the 30s of the last century called Ippolitov-Ivanov "the last of the Mohicans of the brilliant period of the creation of Russian musical culture", "the grandfather of Russian music", "the headman of Soviet musicians". But more often they called Mikhail Mikhailovich the high, significant word "TEACHER". And this is absolutely fair.


MM. Ippolitov-Ivanov taught to see beauty, to understand it, to cherish it. He taught to create and do good. He taught to faithfully serve the ideals of great art, he was a believer, he indicated “Orthodox” in the questionnaire.

Even in his youth, he wrote: “What could be better than music, which alone can deliver so many inexplicably good minutes, for which I would give everything” (from a letter from Ippolitov-Ivanov to V.M. Zarudnaya dated 07/15/1881).

At the end of his life, in the book “50 Years of Russian Music in My Memoirs”, Mikhail Mikhailovich Ippolitov-Ivanov could rightfully say: “My whole life has been a continuous hymn to labor, and I would like the life of our musical youth to be also a continuous hymn to labor ... but ... labor alone is not enough, you must ... have a definite goal and strive for it, straining all your abilities and strengths.

MM Ippolitov-Ivanov. 50 years of Russian music in my memories