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"Romance" (in Spanish romance, literally - in Roman, that is in Spanish) - is a chamber composition with music and poetry for voice accompanied by music. This was the encyclopedic definition of romance.
In some languages romance and song are appeared in one word: in German - Lied, in English - Song, in French - Lais (epic folk songs). English "romance" means epic song-ballade, poem of chivalry. Spanish "romancero" - are folk romances (in most cases heroic romances), that were specially put in complete cycle. The word "romance"appeared in Russia in the middle of 18 century. At that time the romance was defined as "poem in French", which was obligatory played with music, but as a genre of Russian vocal-poetical culture romance was named differently - Russian song. This was the everyday romance, meant for solo performance with accompaniment of harpsichord, piano, psaltery and guitar.
The word "romance" appeared in Russia in the middle of 18 century. At that time the romance was defined as "poem in French", which was obligatory played with music, but as a genre of Russian vocal-poetical culture romance was named differently - Russian song. This was the everyday romance, meant for solo performance with accompaniment of harpsichord, piano, psaltery and guitar.
The main artistic forms of Russian romance culture defined in the middle of 19th century; they defined the culture for the future - chamber and vocal compositions, created by composers on literary text to performance by voice in accompaniment with piano in most cases, but also possible with guitar, harp, chamber-instrumental ensembles. Romances are often short, performed without loud voice and in most cases for small audience.
The meaning sense of romance is universal. In most cases it is lyrical confession, the story about love in its everlasting variations of the first date, jealousy, unfaithfulness, youthful shyness, hussar bravado, separation, leaving to another beloved and the memories of the lost love. These are the everlasting topics, which accept no time and space limits. Common to all mankind foundation of romance assumes removal of national borders, internationalization of genre with keeping separately the national originality of every composition.
The romances were written on the poems of the best Russian poets.
I loved you once, nor can this heart be quiet;
For it would seem that love still lingers here;
But do not you be further troubled by it;
I would in no wise hurt you, oh, my dear.
It's boring and sad, and there's no one around In times of my spirit's travail... Desires!...What use is our vain and eternal desire?.. While years pass on by - all the best years!
I do not regret the years squandered in vain, I do not regret the lilac blossom within my soul. In the garden, a fire of rowan-berries is burning, But it cannot warm anyone
Russian romance represents the songs that affect something in our soul; the feelings accompanied by music, it is the poetry that makes laugh and cry.
Russian romances are hard to compare with anything; they are separated among other songs and music.