J. B. Cardon’s Role in History of the Russian Harp School

This article is devoted to the Russian sojourn of one of the greatest representatives of Parisian harp school – Jean-Baptiste Cardon (1760-1803). This survey is based upon documents, first editions and manuscripts found by this article’s author in Moscow and St. Peterburg archives; with their help, many facts, previously unknown by researchers, about his art activity in Russia, are revealed. Composer’s penchant to Russian song is revealed in his sonatas, devoted to his highly-placed female students, and his pedagogical repertoire comprises 52 units of the weekly “Arriettes’ journal”, published by Cardon in St. Peterburg in 1797. This author’s extreme virtuosity as a composer, bright melodies, rhythmic variety and concert dimensions of Sonatas op. 10 and 11, written in Russia by the composer, elevate the Russian harp performance to the level of the best European harp schools of the 18th century.


Keywords: harp, Russian harp school, Jean-Baptist Cardon