« PrejšnjaNaprej »
RUSSIA - RUSSIAN MUSIC (8)
opera attested to Russia's emancipation from of Russian composers. The leading represen, foreign musical domination. An impressionable tatives and guiding spirits of this great school musical genius, Glinka reflected not only the were Balakirev (1837–1910), Borodin (1843–87), influence of Russian folksongs, but also that Musorgsky (1839–81), Rimsky-Korsakov (1844 of Oriental and Spanish folktunes. In both 1908) and César Cui (1835–1918). Space forbids latter fields he has wrought his chef-d'æuvre, any consideration of the musical principles introducing new elements everywhere and which guided the work of this illustrious circle breathing new life into everything he utilized. of Nationalists. As their chief mission was the Sympathetic comprehension of the spirit of radical reform of opera along the lines marked Oriental music, which is so characteristic of out by Glinka and Dargomyzhsky (in the field many Russian composers, found in Glinka the of symphonic music they accepted the work of first and greatest embodiment.
its great Western masters), one cardinal prinBut Glinka was chiefly an instrumental com- ciple may be stated to indicate their general poser. Much as he did in this field — and he trend. In the words of Cui himself, this was actually created the modern Russian orchestra the principle that operatic music should always and introduced entirely new methods of orches- have sufficient intrinsic value as absolute music, tration - Glinka did not do much for vocal apart from the text to which it is written.” music. With this phase of musical development “Truth and Nationalism” was their persistent Alexander Dargomyzhsky (1813-69), Glinka's battle-cry. illustrious contemporary, concerned himself. Of the principles and methods of this school, Although Dargomyzhsky, too, began by imita- Balakirev was the most influential teacher, ting foreign musical models, he soon surpassed Cui the most aggressive exponent, and Muall these, and even Glinka himself, in the oper- sorgsky the best illustrator. The first two wrote atic field. Even his early opera, Russalka? little music, thus making the other three mem(the Mermaid, first produced in 1856), surpassed bers of the group the most prominent comGlinka's A Life for the Tsar) in some respects. posers of their school. But even though But his later works, the uncompleted opera
Balakirey and Cui do not rank high as com(Rogdana,' and especially The Stone Guest? posers - and the compositions of the first, es(first produced in 1872), fully revealed the great pecially the wonderful symphonic poem genius of this composer. “The Stone Guest,' Tamara,' are by no means negligible — they Dargomyzhsky's operatic masterpiece, shows occupy a very important place in the history of all the distinctive merits of his originality. Russian music — the former as the initiator and Although but a second rate instrumentalist, leading spirit of the great musical school we Dargomyzhsky made a lasting impression on are here considering, and the latter as the most Russian music. He not only perfected the me- vigorous and devoted literary champion of the lodic recitative introduced by Glinka, rendering principles for which it stood. Of the three it colorful and expressive alike of joy and sor- others, Musorgsky was chiefly a vocal comrow, but added a lively sense of humor entirely poser, Borodin an instrumentalist, while Rimskywanting in the works of the former. With as Korsakov worked prolifically in both fields. As strong an Oriental setting as Glinka's and an they have all won universal renown, a word even stronger nationalist element, Dargomy- characterizing the work of each will not be zhsky's works really placed the keystone in the amiss. great arch of Russian music which was begun Musorgsky was the direct musical descendby Glinka. While he lacked Glinka's melodic ant of Dargomyzhsky, whose theories and prininspiration and strong lyrical vein, no other ciples he followed so faithfully that he soon Russian composer save Musorgsky (to be con- excelled the work of his great master. Acceptsidered presently) made music express life ing Dargomyzhsky's musical creed concerning so veraciously and so passionately. Dargomyzh- the realistic representation of life, Musorgsky sky was a great realist. His constant watch- embraced also the principle that art is a means word was to fit the music to the word - each to an end, and not an end in itself. The end, period or sentence with the musical phrase best in the case of music, as in the case of the other adapted to it - and in this respect, too, he suc- arts, is the communication of thought. This ceeded far beyond Glinka and all his early was Musorgsky's guiding principle, which he foreign masters. In perfectly blending vocal successfully embodied in both song and opera, and orchestral elements so as to form a nat- neither of which have ever been surpassed. His ural and inseparable whole, Dargomyzhsky operas (especially Khovanstchina) and Boris took a great step in advance even of Wagner Godunov, both historical music-dramas) are as himself.
truly Russian in every respect as art could make So inspiring were the great works of them. By all means the most gifted and origiGlinka and Dargomyzhsky, that a whole school nal composer of the nationalist school, Musorgof Russian composers soon grew up which sky has extended the bounds of musical art strove consciously to imitate and interpret them. quite as much as did Berlioz or Wagner. CerBy continued and close study of Glinka's and tainly no Russian composer, before or since, Dargomyzhsky's masterpieces, this group. of
has done so much for musical realism. His composers - variously known as the Balakirev works are not only realistic and intensely Circle," "the Mighty Set, «the Invincible national in plot, inspiration and melodic texture, Band, and the Great Five) — mastered every but are also veritable studies in folk-psychology, essential principle embodied in them and clearly thus giving the spirit of the times as faultlessly formulated such others as may have lain en- as any historical novel. Hence Musorgsky's tirely unconscious in the minds of their adapted operas and songs, in both of which he displays masters. All these principles, judiciously com- truly Shakespearean insight into human nature, pounded with those of West European com- are human documents in the broadest and best posers, constituted the musical tenets of the sense of the word. Add to all this a pervading Young Russian School, the true national school sense of musical humor - a very uncommon
quality among Russian composers -- and great cle. The numerous and inevitable followers dramatic gifts, and Musorgsky's greatness and were, for the most part, uninspired imitators. historical importance become obvious even to Devoid of original ideas, they became a cult the casual student of musical history.
of mere formalists musical rhetoricians, as A far lesser genius was Borodin. Just as
Thus, the representatives of the Musorgsky continued the line of musical evo- second generation of nationalist Russian comlution begun by Dargomyzhsky, the vocalist, so posers, Glazunov (1865–) and Liadov (1855– Borodin worked along the lines laid down by 1914), both distinguished pupils of RimskyGlinka, the instrumentalist.. Borodin, unlike Korsakov, were very skilful technicians whose Musorgsky and Dargomyzhsky, devoted much musical inspiration hardly ever keeps up with time to absolute music, and sedulously culti- their mastery of form. Of the two, Glazunov vated the older musical forms discarded by the is the greater technician; Liadov, the greater latter. In his only opera, Prince Igor, melodist. Both have their followers and imitaBorodin is more lyrical than Glinka and more tors in Russian music. Mention might be made romantic than Musorgsky. In other words, he of Shtcherbatchev, Sokolov, Ladyzhsky, the stands somewhere between national lyricism and two Blumenfelds, Alferaky and others, who dramatic realism. Prince Igor, however, has should be classed in the school best represented great melodic inventiveness, national pictur- by Liadov. Among the followers of Glazunov, esqueness, and epical charm. If Borodin's music
most prominent are Vitol, Liapunov, Gretchis the most national after Glinka's, his use of aninov, Kapylov, Antinov and Yestafyev. But, Oriental melodies surpasses even his great mas- of course, none of these groups of younger ter's. But Borodin was essentially an orchestral nationalists suggest even remotely, the great composer, and it is as a symphonist that he has older generation of Russian composers in whom influenced the course of Russian musical de- the great nationalist school of Russian music velopment. Yet, though a great melodist and reached its culmination. Whether the vein Orientalist in color (especially in such a of nationalism has finally run dry, or whether masterly musical picture as In Central Asia,' other tendencies have ultimately replaced it, one of the mainstays of the modern concert cannot be discussed in the present article. Cerrepertoire), Borodin can hardly be ranked tain it is that the glorious illumination we have among the foremost Russian composers.
been considering in this section has not yet The orchestral development begun by Glinka found its like in Russian musical history, and furthered by Borodin, among others, at- The Western School.- Even while the natained seeming perfection in Rimsky-Korsa- tionalist illumination was at its height, the kov, at once the most brilliant and the most «New-Russian Schooldid not have the field prolific composer of the Balakirev Circle. An
all to itself. Not only then, but from its very apostle of musical beauty and a perfect master inception, this school or tendency had a forof form, this many-sided Russian composer midable rival in the Western school, represtands supreme in the history of modern Rus- sented by the two Rubinsteins, Serov and sian music, since not even the great Tchaikov- others. Indeed, the Western tendency antesky (to be considered in another section), dated the nationalist, being the more natural equals his powers of orchestration and his heir of the 18th century foreign-opera period. epical melodic charm. Rimsky-Korsakov is, The struggle between the two great schools first of all, an optimist (a composer in the constitutes a most interesting chapter in the major key) and an objectivist. Like all the history of Russian music. The traditions eslineal musical descendants of Glinka, he uses tablished by the leaders of each musical camp folk-melodies of several countries, setting them have not entirely died out yet, though naturoff in such gorgeous color and orchestrating ally the bitterness of earlier days has disthem with such luxuriance that one almost for- appeared. There are many Russian contempogets that the resulting kaleidoscopic beauty is a
rary composers who, consciously or work of art. Nor is it possible to say in which sciously, represent one or the other of these department, orchestral or vocal, Rimsky-Korsa- tendencies; and there are some, as we shall see kov really excels. He has produced first- presently, whose eclecticism embraces both. It class symphonic music (including the univer- is impossible to enter here into the details and sally admired suite, (Scheherazade) and many merits of this historic musical controversy, splendid operas (including such
gems which raged all through the second half of the Sniegurotcha'), besides volumes of songs, 19th century. Having already referred to the duets, choruses and cantatas. Besides being the leading representatives of the nationalists, the most versatile Russian composer and the great- Mighty Five, we must now consider, however est wizard of orchestration, producing endless briefy, the guiding spirits of the Western varieties of rich orchestral color, Rimsky-Kor- school, since Russian musical history is as insepsakov enjoys the additional distinction of be- arably connected with Serov and Rubinstein as ing the greatest Russian musical fabulist -a it is with the famous Balakirev Circle. great musical archeologist," he has been aptly Anton Rubinstein (1829-94), who was concalled — for the way he draws upon folklore servative as a composer, rendered his greatest and legends for his enchanting opera librettos. service to Russia's musical development as an
Manifestly, such splendid musical develop- educator. In country where systematic ment as was attained by this brilliant group musical education had been hitherto entirely of Russian composers could not continue in- unknown and where musical art was cultivated definitely. A period of decadence, which al- but by the few, Rubenstein's persistent and most always sets in after a particularly rich indefatigable educational efforts were sorely flowering out of any art, naturally followed needed, if not always appreciated. It was to the unprecedented musical progress made by him that Russia owed the establishment of its the foremost composers of the Balakirev Cir- first symphony concerts, the first Russian con
VOL. 24 - 3
RUSSIA – RUSSIAN MUSIC (8)
servatory of music, the Imperial Conservatory pretty much what the great Belinsky (q.v.) of Saint Petersburg, founded in 1862, and the did for Russian literature. For having lifted oldest Russian musical society, the Imperial Russian musical criticism to its professional Russian Musical Society, organized in 1859, per- level, a level well sustained by at least two haps the greatest musical organization in the other musical critics (Laroche and Ivanov), world. In the teeth of mu adverse criticism Serov's name deserves always to be rememRubinstein introduced into his conservatory the bered in the history of Russian music. But, principle of sound musical scholarship and broad being a subjective critic and by no means a Western musical education. His insistence on very consistent one, his four collected volumes this principle alone would have embittered the of musical criticism abound in misleading and members of the new national school, most of contradictory statements. many of them made whom were neither academic musicians nor in the heat of journalistic debate, for Serov professional composers. But, of course, Rubin- was a born and bitter controversialist. stein's musical tastes and predilections gave The Cosmopolitan or Eclectic School.them equal offense.
Neither the strictly nationalist nor the purely Just as he looked to the West for educa- Western tendency in Russian music proved tional guidance, so Rubinstein turned thither self-sufficient. Rubinstein has had no notefor musical models and inspiration. Being a worthy followers, while the nationalist illuminiclassicist both by temperament and by educa- nation owed most of its brilliancy to such tion, he followed almost religiously the musical rare geniuses Musorgsky and Rimskytraditions of the school of Beethoven and Korsakov. Whatever truth there was in the Mendelssohn, eschewing and detesting all two diverse views, neither of them contained musical innovations, Wagner's no less than the whole truth. The golden mean in this case those of the new Russian school. Lacking in was found by the great Tchaikovsky, the originality, however, Rubinstein remained a greatest Russian composer and the foremost mere imitator as a composer; and he may not representative of occidentalism” or Keclecticimproperly be classed with one or other of the ism” in Russian music. German schools of the 19th century. A truly Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky (1840–93), Russian composer Rubinstein never became, pupil of Rubinstein, did not actually belong to though he at times used national themes and the Balakirev Circle, though some of his works set to music several Russian texts - missing, embody principles formulated by the famous in both instances, the essential spirit of the "Five. He cannot properly be classed with national elements he employed. Moreover, he the new Russian school, since he persistently was a very careless composer, and most of his deviates from the straight and narrow path of works lack finish and depth. He was a very pure nationalism. Though Tchaikovsky unprolific composer, however, and produced many doubtedly had much in common with the Rusworks in every musical form. Though passages sian nationalists, his artistic tastes and leanings of exquisite beauty and even grandeur may be were too Western to be confined within the found everywhere, Rubinstein's longer com
bounds prescribed_by nationalism. positions suffer for want of sustained inspira- Thus it came about that in Tchaikovsky these tion, artistic finish and proper proportion, pro- two musical tendencies were happily combined. fuseness being one of his besetting sins. Much Like_his great contemporary, Rimsky-Koras he did for Russia's musical development as sakov, Tchaikovsky was a very prolific coman educator – and Rubinstein not only taught poser, having created numerous works in every in his conservatory, but also toured Russia as field of musical composition - orchestral, opmusical conductor and piano virtuoso, giving eratic, song, chamber music, concertos, etc. concerts and recitals of inestimable educational It is as an orchestral composer, however, that value — Rubinstein did very little for Russian Tchaikovsky's genius shows to greatest admusic as a composer. Mistaking mere eth
vantage; and it is as a symphonist that he nography for nationalism, he could never be- ranks among the greatest composers of the come a truly national composer.
world. Tchaikovsky's characteristic vein is Among the composers whom Anton Rubin- subjective — introspective. All his symphonies stein may be said to have influenced, the most but one are written in a minor key, while the prominent were his brother, Nikolai Rubin- three greatest are pervaded by a tone of intense stein (1835-81), also a great musical educator struggle and revolt. If Rimsky-Korsakov may and pianist; Edward Napravnik (1839–1916), be described as a musical optimist and an oba great operatic conductor, and Karl Davidov jectivist, Borodin as an epical composer, and (1839–89), perhaps the greatest violoncellist Musorgsky as a delightful realist, then TchaiRussia has ever produced.
kovsky may be characterized as a musical More important also as a musical educator pessimist and subjectivist. The lyrical vein of than as a composer was the other prominent Glinka, whose musical heritage he, naturally, opponent of the Balakirev Circle, Alexander shared, finds its highest expression in TchaiSerov (1820–71), the first well-educated pro- kovsky. The spirit of folksong, which perfessional music critic in Russia. Beginning vades the best melodies of Rimsky-Korsakov, with a series of essays and lectures interpret- yields in Tchaikovsky's typical music to sombre ing the meaning of Western composers themes steeped in introspection. Technically Mozart, Beethoven, Donizetti, Rossini, Meyer- and temperamentally he is an uneven beer, etc.- and ending with his whole-hearted poser, resembling in this respect the less gifted praise of the works of Richard Wagner, Serov Rubinstein. While Tchaikovsky's rhythms are did very much to spread musical knowledge in often capricious, his melodious vein seldom Russia. His influence on the reading public of runs dry, and his rare elegaic charm remains his day was inestimable. By raising musical forever fresh, while as a master of orchestraappreciation in Russia he did for Russian music tion he is second only to Rimsky-Korsakov.
RUSSIA - RUSSIAN MUSIC (8)
Just as the nationalist school of modern Less of a musical theorist and more of an Russian composers reached its highest develop- impressionist than Skriabin is Stravinsky, whose ment in Rimsky-Korsakov, its most brilliant great originality asserted itself from the very representative, so the cosmopolitan or eclectic first ("Scherzo Symphonique'). More than school attained its greatest glory in Tchaikov- any other Russian composer, Stravinsky resky, its most illustrous composer. In neither sembles Debussy and Schönberg. Proceeding case have followers or disciples sustained the to assert himself in subsequent compositions, he splendid attainments of their great masters. soon came to be generally regarded as the foreThe followers of Tchaikovsky are quite numer- most «Futurist," which meant that Stravinsky
They include Arensky (1861-1906), a had gone somewhat beyond legitimate impresfairly interesting melodist and a skilful har- sionism. monizer; Kalinnikov (1866-1900),
Harder to classify than either Skriabin or promising symphonist who died all too soon; Stravinsky is Prokofiev, the youngest of the Ippolitov-Ivanov (1859—), a great connois- three and seemingly the most immature. De
of Caucasian and Semitic melodies; cidedly under the influence of Schumann and Taniev (1856–), a composer best known for Brahms, he yet shows unmistakable traces of his chamber music, and Rakhmaninov (1873–), Reger. Though having little in common with the greatest and most promising follower of Stravinsky's general musical manner, he yet Tchaikovsky, if not the foremost living Rus- reveals internal traits strongly suggestive of his sian pianist and composer,
futurism. Prokofiev, evidently, has not yet Recent Tendencies.- Many and varied are found himself. the new tendencies that have appeared in Rus- The only one of these composers whose folsian music since the days of Tchaikovsky and lowers can be said to have formed a new school Rimsky-Korsakov. As these practically coin- is Skriabin. In both Petrograd and Moscow cide with the beginning of the present century, there are innumerable budding composers who they are all too new to have reached any very try to ape Skriabin's compositions, a task far definite development. It is, therefore, as im- beyond mediocrity. Of these imitators -- and possible to label such tendencies as it is to to some extent of all the impressionists and classify the contemporary Russian composers futurists - it may be said that their principal into "schools. The necessary historical er- shortcomings are the lack of thematic invenspective is altogether wanting for such a task. tion and solid musical scholarship. DisregardAll that can safely be attempted in this article ing fundamentals and seizing upon accidentals, is a very general outline of such few tendencies these ultra-moderns worship musical form as seem most pronounced and unmistakable at above spirit and substance, seeking dissonance this writing.
instead of consonance. The great advance made It seems to have been inevitable that the in modern orchestral technique enables these world-wide radical tendencies — (impression- composers to hide a woeful paucity of musical ism,) "futurism, and what not — prevalent in ideas under much belabored orchestration. The music, as in art generally, since the close of result, in most cases, is much ado about nothing. the 19th century, should have found their way Bibliography:- Considering the very iminto Russia. At any rate, we have in recent portant place Russian music now occupies in Russian music unmistakable echoes of Debussy, the concert halls and opera-houses of at least Ravel, and Dukas, in France, and of Reger, two continents, it is more than surprising that Richard Straus, and Schönberg, in Germany. there should be such a scarcity of literature on The three chief representatives of these new the subject in West European languages. In tendencies in Russia are, Skriabin (1872-1915). English this dearth is particularly disconcerting. Stravinsky.(1882-) and Prokofiev (1891–). Apart from periodical literature, which cannot Of course these three names do not exhaust the be listed here, five more or less comprehensive list for Russia any more than the preceding works (two by the same author and two in ones exhaust those of France and Germany; translation) are practically all that is available in but a brief characterization of the work of these English at this writing on the subject of Rusmore eminent ultra-modern Russian composers sian music generally: Cui, César, A Historiwill indicate the general direction their numer- cal Sketch of Music in Russia(in Century ous imitators are taking.
Library of Music, Vol. VII, New York 1901); Skriabin, whose earlier compositions are de- Montagu-Nathan M., A History of Russian lightfully Chopinesque, passed through a period Music and Contemporary Russian Composers' of Liszt-Wagnerism before becoming the (both London 1914 and 1917, respectively); musical extremist for which he is known the Newmarch, R., 'The Russian Opera' (New world over.
Thus it is in his last period that York 1914); and Pougin, A., A Short History Skriabin showed his unmistakable impression of Russian Music) (ib. 1915). In French the ism. Becoming more and more independent as list of such works is just as short. Besides a composer, he introduced more and more Pougin's history, already mentioned in its Engrevolutionary ideas into his works. For in- lish translation, the reader of French will find stance, in his symphonic poem, Prometheus,' the following variously interesting: Bruneau, A., the composer tries to prove the fancied rela- Musiques de Russie et Musiciens de France tionship between sound and color by introduc- (Paris 1903); Marliave, J., Musiciens Russes) ing what is known as the color-keyboard.” (In Études Musicales,' ib. 1917); and SouThis experimental fusion of auditory and other bies, A., Histoire de la Musique en Russie sense-impression was to be carried still further and Précis de l'Histoire de la Musique in a symphonic poem which would utilize per- Russe (both Paris 1898 and 1893, respectively). fume as well as color, but Skriabin's premature The most critical and comprehensive Russian death prevented its completion. There is no work on the subject is Berizovsky's (Saint telling what course this original composer would Petersburg 1898). There are, besides, a very have taken next, had he lived longer.
admirable series of essays by Engel (Moscow
RUSSIA – EDUCATION IN RUSSIA (9)
1911), a good historical sketch by Kashkin and six years for urban primary schools, the (ib. 1908), and that most authoritative if not latter including history, geography, geometry, unbiased sketch by César Cui mentioned above, the elements of physics, science and singing, bewhich is available in French as well as in sides the inevitable three R's and such special English.
subjects as were approved by the Minister of Of course, there is no end of literature treat- Education. The actual support of primary ing of various phases of the subject. But limi- schools devolved upon the central government, tations of space preclude all special and classi- local authorities and private societies, as the fied bibliographies, which may be found else- case might be. Certain Sunday schools, supwhere in this and other reference works. ported by private funds, also carried on regu
David A. MODELL, lar primary work with the approval of the Specialist in Russian Subjects.
Minister of Education. There were besides,
many denominational schools engaged in secu9. EDUCATION IN RUSSIA. Education
lar teaching throughout the country which ally, as in other respects, Russia has long were similarly authorized. Before the World lagged behind the more progressive countries War there were, all told, about 126,000 primary of both Europe and America. Neither in their schools in Russia, with a total enrolment exextensity nor in their diversity can the schools
ceeding 8,264,000 pupils. of Russia compare favorably with those of
The principal schools of secondary grade in Germany, England or the United States. Russia before the Revolution were Gymnasia History.- Russia had no schools worth
(classical high schools), Realschools (modern mentioning before the end of the 14th century, high schools), Progymnasia (junior high when the southwestern part of the country came schools) and commercial schools. The first into contact with Western civilization. Then, were intended to lead directly into the unifor the first time, well-organized schools ap- versities, while the second prepared pupils for peared in Russia. But these were in no sense the various technical schools. As many gymnational schools — and were not intended for nasia students never entered the university, a the general public. It was not before Peter new kind of secondary school – something bethe Great, three centuries later, that Russian tween the classical and the modern high school schools assumed Western characteristics. Up - was under consideration when the war broke to his time all schools and schooling had borne
out. Besides these types of secondary schools a decidedly ecclesiastical character and de
there were many others — teachers' institutes, pended wholly upon the clergy; but during this teachers' seminaries, girls' high schools (female monarch's reign Russian education was secular- gymnasia”), etc. A special kind of girls' secized, extended and rendered more practical.
ondary school, a sort of boarding school Under subsequent monarchs there were various similar to Roman Catholic convent schools, was periods of bitter struggle between educational established by Empress Maria, wife of Alexautonomy and state autocracy, induced by the ander II, which ultimately necessitated a sepashifting political aspects of the times, until the rate educational department assuming almost Great War and the proclamation of the Russian ministerial rank. This particular institution is Federated Republic inaugurated a new educa- believed to have been the forerunner of numertional era.
ous girls' high schools in Russia and thus The Minister of Education appointed by the promoted the education of women to no inconprovisional Kerensky government, Ignatiev, was siderable extent. The regular nigh-school a progressive educator, who planned many edu- course runs from seven to eight years, and in cational reforms for Russian schools -- includ- the case of girls includes no classical languages. ing the elective system, the professional training As in the case of primary schools, many high of teachers, etc. But these and other important schools are maintained by private organizations, educational projects were halted by the Civil but all are controlled or supervised by the War into which Russia was plunged by the government. The total number of secondary Bolshevist coup d'état of 1917, and naturally schools in Russia increased from 760 in 1909 to await the settled conditions of peace for de- 2,050 in 1914 and the number of enrolments velopment.
from 171,687 to about 685,601. Organization, Etc.- For educational pur- Russian universities resemble those of other poses monarchial Russia was divided into 15 countries in many respects. In imperial times districts, with the Ministry of Public Instruc- they had the usual faculties of law, philology, tion as the supreme central authority. The science, medicine, chemistry, etc., but foreigners Holy Synod exercised considerable control over were denied admission to all but musical conprimary schools, while the ministries of War, servatories. Private universities were the exMarine and Finance maintained their own edu- ception rather than the rule. The social spirit cational departments for the management of characteristic of the best European and Amerimilitary schools, naval academies and com- can universities has in the past been wanting in mercial institutes. Save in the Lutheran Russian universities, being replaced by intense parishes of the Baltic provinces, education in political activity - hence the government's reRussia was neither universal nor compulsory: pressive measures referred to earlier in this Although under the Primary School Law of article. The number of applicants for admis1864 children of every rank, race and creed were sion always greatly exceeding all possible ento be admitted to primary schools controlled rolments, a stiff competitive examination preby the state, not more than one-sixth of the cedes matriculation in Russian universities. As children of school age could be accommodated in many university graduates land in the civil Russia for lack of school facilities. Hence the service, there was always a close connection low average literacy — about 21 per cent through between the proverbial incompetence of governthe former empire. The course of study was ment officials and the unfortunate educational extended in 1872 to three years for ordinary situation just referred to, which often makes