Winner, University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies, ASEEES
Claudia R. Jensen presents the first unified study of musical culture in the court and church of Muscovite Russia. Spanning the period from the installation of Patriarch Iov in 1589 to the beginning of Peter the Great's reign in 1694, her book offers detailed accounts of the celebratory musical performances for Russia's first patriarch—events that were important displays of Russian piety and power. Jensen emphasizes music's varied roles in Muscovite society and the equally varied opinions and influences surrounding it. In an attempt to demystify what has previously been an enigma to Western readers, she paints a clear picture of the dazzling splendor of musical performances and the ways in which 17th-century Muscovites employed music for spiritual enlightenment as well as entertainment.