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Author: Alexandra Yu. Belkind
Information about the author:

Alexandra Yu. Belkind, Doctoral student, Institute of Linguistics, Universitat Leipzig, Geisteswissenschaftliches Zentrum Beethovenstrasse 15, 04107 Leipzig, Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Author 2: Alexander L. Lifshits
Information about the author 2: Alexander L. Lifshits, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, National Research University Higher School of Economics, A-118, Staraya Basmannaya 21/4-1, 107078 Moscow, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8854-0479 E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


For citation:

Belkind, A.Yu., Lifshits, A.L. “Schwank on ‘One Moscow Patriarch’.” Germenevtika drevnerusskoi literatury [Hermeneutics of Old Russian Literature]. Issue 21. Ed.-in-chief O.A. Tufanova. Moscow, IWL RAS Publ., 2022, pp. 549–566. (In Russian) https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2022-21-549-566

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22455/HORL.1607-6192-2022-21-549-566
UDC: 821.161.1.0
Keywords: 17th century, European baroque, vocal composition, Muscovy, fabliau.
Date of publication: 16.12.2022


The work was carried out at the National Research University Higher School of Economics within the the project “Semiotics of Book and Non-book Text — the Slavic World between East and West.”


The article examines Schwank on “one Moscow patriarch.” Among the numerous pieces of literature printed on the territory of German states in the 17th century, one can still find unknown sources on the history of Russian-European relations. The vocal work, composed by the Baroque music theoretician, composer and writer Georg Daniel Speer (1636–1707), is one of them. It has all the features of the earlier Fastnachtsspiel, or fabliau set to music with a considerable number of immodest details. Quiproquo in the bedroom is a traditional plot of these stories known throughout Europe, but in this case, “one Moscow patriarch” acts as the main character of opus. However, nothing will distinguish him from a German priest or a French abbot. On the contrary, music that accompanies the vocal piece is called Moscow Dance and probably reflects the composer’s ideas about secular music of Muscovy state. All this gives evidence to the fact that by the last quarter of the 17th century, Muscovy in ordinary consciousness of Europeans was turning from an exotic and fabulous territory into a country in the neighborhood, about which familiar jokes are told.


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