Turgenev, Ivan Sergeyevich
- April Fitzlyon
(b Oryol, Nov 9, 1818; d Bougival, nr Paris, Sept 3, 1883). Russian novelist and dramatist. A liberal who sympathized with the culture of western Europe, he is usually considered to have been a realist, though his later works contain elements of fantasy. He was the first Russian novelist to become widely known in the West.
In 1843 Turgenev met the Spanish mezzo-soprano Pauline Viardot in St Petersburg, and formed a lifelong attachment to her and to her husband. From then on he spent much of his life outside Russia living with, or near, the Viardots, principally in France and Baden-Baden. Always passionately fond of music, he became very well informed about it through Pauline Viardot. He was personally acquainted with almost all the well-known musicians of his day, both in Russia and in the West. He contributed occasional articles on opera to Russian periodicals, and wrote librettos in French for operettas set to music by Pauline Viardot and performed by her pupils. One of these, ...