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Pavlovsk Musical Station. 1862. E. Samokish-Gulkovskaya. Pavlovsk Musical Station.
1862. E. Samokish-Gulkovskaya.

J. Strauss in Pavlovsk. N. Stepanov. 1850-е. J. Strauss in Pavlovsk. N. Stepanov. 1850-е.

THE MUSICAL PAVLOVSK

The most important event in the history of Pavlovsk in 1830s was the laying of Russia's first ever passenger railway line and the construction of the Musical Station. Pavlovsk Railway Station (arch. Andrey Stackenschneider) was officially opened on 22 May 1838 and it later made a considerable contribution to the cultural life of the country.

Grand Duke Mickhail Pavlovich, the youngest son of Paul I and Maria Feodorovna, who inherited Pavlovsk in 1828, gave his permission for the construction of a railway line that ran right into the park, in the Great Star region. In order to attract St Petersburg society, concerts accompanied by dinner parties in the Large Room, were held in the Pavlovsk Station. The Viennese conductor Joseph Herrmann was invited to perform at the station, where garden music was performed alongside more serious music. It was here that Mikhail Glinka's Waltz Fantasia and Alexander Dargomyzhsky's Bolero were performed here for the first time. In the middle of the nineteenth century the Musical Station acquired great fame due to the concerts given there by Johann Strauss. He was first invited to Pavlovsk in 1856, where he performed ten concerts in all. An accomplished master violinist and composer of dance music, Strauss also compiled the programmes of concerts from the works of classical composers like Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, as well as modern composers such as Verdi, von Weber, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky. Feodor Dostoyevsky described the impression made upon him by the Musical Station in his outstanding novel The Idiot.

Concerts and musical performances were held at the Pavlovsk Musical Station for more than one hundred years, importance of their role in the development of Russian culture can scarcely be exaggerated. The Musical Station was rightfully called "the first Russian Philarmonical Society", "a musical oasis" of St Petersburg.

During the Nazi occupation the Musical Station (also known as Kursaal in the pre-war period) was completely destroyed. Only the cutting in the forest where the railway line passed can still be seen today.




© Pavlovsk, 1999-2006