Russian-based Italian musician recounts Dostoyevsky’s influence on childhood and local culture

ST. PETERSBURG (UrduPoint News / Sputnik – November 10, 2021) On the 200th anniversary of the birth of iconic Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a well-known Italian musician explained to Sputnik the impact of the novelist on his youth and his culture .

“Dostoevsky has been in my life from a surprisingly young age,” said Fabio Mastrangelo, renowned conductor and artistic director of Music Hall in St. Petersburg. “I still remember the cover of the book, illustrated with a color drawing from ‘Povera Gente’ (Poor Folk). The vividness of the image exerted a sort of ominous attraction to me – especially as I must have been 9 or 10 years old. “

His parents’ library was far from the only one to boast of Dostoyevsky’s titles, Mastrangelo explained, indeed it was a common sight at the time thanks to a successful TV adaptation of The Brothers Karamazov.

“I remember a legendary TV series from director Sandro Bolchi in 1969 that aired once a week on RAI 1,” Mastrangelo said. “My mom was a huge fan of it and not that long ago I learned it was a huge hit, reaching an all-time high of 15 million viewers. In fact, the book had a hit. strong increase in sales throughout Italy. “

The maestro went on to describe an affinity with Dostoyevsky even in his musical life, given that the Russian novelist always paid special attention to the place of classical music in his writing.

“What brings me closest to the figure of Dostoyevsky is his avid interest in classical music; Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini and, of course, (Mikhail) Glinka and especially his Life for the Tsar”, concluded the maestro.

During his life, Dostoevsky’s path crossed that of Glinka on several occasions, the writer being moved on several occasions by the musical performances of the latter’s creation, in the same way that Mastrangelo would draw inspiration from their two works almost 200 years later.

Dostoyevsky stands alongside Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov as icons of Russian prose to the global readership. His novels, such as Crime and Punishment, The Brothers Karamazov, The Idiot, among many others, are classics of world literature. Born in Moscow on November 11, 1821, Dostoyevsky led a painful life that took him from the high societies of Saint Petersburg to the Siberian prison camps and casinos in southern Europe.

His works have been translated into over 170 languages ​​and adapted into a wide variety of films, TV dramas, operas and have inspired many subsequent writers and philosophers.