Шванк об «одном московском патриархе» (1688)
Among the numerous pieces of literature printed on the territory of the German states in the 17th century, one can still find unknown sources on the history of Russian-European relations. The vocal work, composed by the Baroque music theoretician, composer and writer Georg Daniel Speer (1636–1707), is one of them. It has all the features of the earlier Fastnachtsspiel, or fabliau set to music with a considerable number of immodest details. Quiproquo in the bedroom is a traditional plot of these stories known throughout Europe, but in this case, "one Moscow patriarch" acts as the main character of the opus. However, nothing will distinguish him from a German priest or a French abbot. On the contrary, the music that accompanies the vocal piece is called "Moscow dance" and probably reflects the composer's ideas about the secular music of the Muscovy state. All this gives evidence to the fact that by the last quarter of the 17th century, Muscovy in the ordinary consciousness of Europeans was turning from an exotic and fabulous territory into a country in the neighborhood, about which familiar jokes are told.