Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov

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Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (18 March 1844 - June 21 1908) was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five. The Five, also known as The Mighty Handful or The Mighty Coterie, refers to a circle of composers who met in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in the years 1856–1870: Mily Balakirev (the leader), César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Alexander Borodin.</ref> He was a master of orchestration. His best-known orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade—are staples of the classical music repertoire, along with suites and excerpts from some of his 15 operas. Scheherazade is an example of his frequent use of fairy tales and folk subjects.

Rimsky-Korsakov believed, as did fellow composer Mily Balakirev and critic Vladimir Stasov, in developing a nationalistic style of classical music. This style employed Russian folk song and lore along with exotic harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements in a practice known as musical orientalism, and eschewed traditional Western compositional methods. However, Rimsky-Korsakov appreciated Western musical techniques after he became a professor of musical composition, harmony and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1871. He undertook a rigorous three-year program of self-education and became a master of Western methods, incorporating them alongside the influences of Mikhail Glinka and fellow members of The Five. His techniques of composition and orchestration were further enriched by his exposure to the works of Richard Wagner.

For much of his life, Rimsky-Korsakov combined his composition and teaching with a career in the Russian military—at first as an officer in the Imperial Russian Navy, then as the civilian Inspector of Naval Bands. He wrote that he developed a passion for the ocean in childhood from reading books and hearing of his older brother's exploits in the navy. This love of the sea might have influenced him to write two of his best-known orchestral works, the musical tableau Sadko (not his later opera of the same name) and Scheherazade. Through his service as Inspector of Naval Bands, Rimsky-Korsakov expanded his knowledge of woodwind and brass playing, which enhanced his abilities in orchestration. He passed this knowledge to his students, and also posthumously through a textbook on orchestration that was completed by his son-in-law, Maximilian Steinberg.

Rimsky-Korsakov left a considerable body of original Russian nationalist compositions. He prepared works by The Five for performance, which brought them into the active classical repertoire (although there is controversy over his editing of the works of Modest Mussorgsky), and shaped a generation of younger composers and musicians during his decades as an educator. Rimsky-Korsakov is therefore considered "the main architect" of what the classical music public considers the Russian style of composition. His influence on younger composers was especially important, as he served as a transitional figure between the autodidactism which exemplified Glinka and The Five and professionally trained composers which would become the norm in Russia by the closing years of the 19th century. While Rimsky-Korsakov's style was based on those of Glinka, Balakirev, Hector Berlioz, and Franz Liszt, he "transmitted this style directly to two generations of Russian composers" and influenced non-Russian composers including Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas and Ottorino Respighi.

Song Cycles, Symphonies, Collections etc.

Poetu, op. 45

  • no. 1. `Ekho (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • no. 2. Iskusstvo (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • no. 3. Oktava (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • no. 4. Somnenije (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • no. 5. Po`et (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)

U morja, op. 46

  • no. 1. U morja (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • no. 2. Ne penitsja more, ne pleshchet volna (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • no. 3. Kolyshetsja more; volna za volnoj (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • no. 4. Ne ver' mne, drug (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • no. 5. Vzdymajutsja volny (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)

Vesnoj, op. 43

  • no. 1. Vesnoj (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • no. 2. Ne veter veja s vysoty (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • no. 3. Svezh i dushist tvoj roskoshnyj venok (Text: Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet)
  • no. 4. To bylo ranneju vesnoj (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)


VOCAL WORKS: ALPHABETICAL ORDER (BY TITLE)


A

  • Anchar - drevo smerti, op. 49 no. 1 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Angel i demon (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)


C

  • Chto v imeni tebe mojom?, op. 4 (Chetyre romansa) no. 1 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Cvetok zasokhshij, op. 51 no. 4 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)


D

  • Deva i solnce, op. 50 no. 1 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Dlja beregov otchizny dal'noj, op. 26 no. 3 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)


E

  • Eine kleine Wolke, op. 3 no. 3 (Text: Gottfried Wolters after Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov)
  • `Ekho, op. 45 no. 1 (in Poetu) (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • `Ekho, op. 27 no. 2 (Text: Sergei Arkad'evich Andreyevsky after François Coppée)


G

  • Gde ty, tam mysl' moja letajet, op. 8 no. 1
  • Gonec, op. 4 (Chetyre romansa) no. 2 (Text: Mikhail Larionovich Mikhailov after Heinrich Heine)
  • Gornimi tikho letela dusha nebesami, op. 27 no. 1 (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Grechanke, op. 55 no. 2 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)


I

  • Iskusstvo, op. 45 no. 2 (in Poetu) (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Iz sljoz mojikh mnogo, maljutka, rodilos' dushistykh cvetov, op. 2 (Chetyre romansa) no. 4 (Text: Mikhail Larionovich Mikhailov after Heinrich Heine)


J

  • Ja prishjol k tebe s privetom, op. 42 no. 2 (Text: Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet)
  • Ja umer ot schast'ja, op. 55 no. 4 (Text: after Johann Ludwig Uhland)
  • Ja v grote zhdal tebja, op. 40 no. 4 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Ja verju: ja ljubim, op. 8 no. 6 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Jel' i pal'ma, op. 3 no. 1 (Text: Mikhail Larionovich Mikhailov after Heinrich Heine)
  • Jeshchjo ja poln, o drug moj milyj, op. 50 no. 4 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Jevrejskaja pesnja, op. 7 no. 2 (Text: Lev Aleksandrovich Mey)
  • Juzhnaja noch', op. 3 no. 2 (Text: Nikolay Fyodorovich Shcherbina)


K

  • K mojej pesne, op. 25 (Dva romansa) no. 1 (Text: Mikhail Larionovich Mikhailov after Heinrich Heine)
  • Kak nebesa, tvoj vzor blistajet, op. 7 no. 4 (Text: Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov)
  • Kogda gljazhu tebe v glaza, op. 25 (Dva romansa) no. 2 (Text: Mikhail Larionovich Mikhailov after Heinrich Heine)
  • Kogda volnujetsja zheltejushchaja niva, op. 40 no. 1 (Text: Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov)
  • Kolybel'naja pesnja, op. 2 (Chetyre romansa) no. 3 (Text: Lev Aleksandrovich Mey)
  • Kolyshetsja more; volna za volnoj, op. 46 no. 3 (in U morja) (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Krasavica, op. 51 no. 4 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)


L

  • Ljublju tebja, mesjac, op. 41 no. 3 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)


M

  • Medlitel'no vlekutsja dni moji, op. 51 no. 1 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Mne grustno, op. 41 no. 2 (Text: Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov)
  • Moj golos dlja tebja i laskovyj i tomnyj, op. 7 no. 1 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Moja balovnica, op. 42 no. 4 (Text: Lev Aleksandrovich Mey after Adam Mickiewicz)


N

  • Na kholmakh Gruziji, op. 3 no. 4 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Na nivy zhjoltyje niskhodit tishina, op. 39 no. 3 (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Ne penitsja more, ne pleshchet volna, op. 46 no. 2 (in U morja) (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Ne poj, krasavica, pri mne, op. 51 no. 2 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Ne ver' mne, drug, op. 46 no. 4 (in U morja) (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Ne veter veja s vysoty, op. 43 no. 2 (in Vesnoj) (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Nenastnyj den' potukh, op. 51 no. 5 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Nespjashchikh solnce, grustnaja zvezda, op. 41 no. 1 (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count after George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron)
  • Nimfa, op. 56 no. 1 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Noch', op. 8 no. 2 (Text: Aleksey Nikolayevich Pleshcheyev)
  • Nochevala tuchka zolotaja, op. 3 no. 3 (Text: Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov)


O

  • O chjom v tishi nochej, op. 40 no. 3 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • O, jesli b ty mogla, op. 39 no. 1 (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Oktava, op. 45 no. 3 (in Poetu) (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)


P

  • Pesnja zjulejki, op. 26 no. 4 (Text: Ivan Ivanovich Kozlov after George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron)
  • Pevec, op. 50 no. 2 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Po nebu polunochi, op. 40 no. 2 (Text: Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov)
  • Po`et, op. 45 no. 5 (in Poetu) (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Posmotri v svoj vertograd, op. 41 no. 4 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Probuzhden'je, op. 55 no. 1 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Prorok, op. 49 no. 2 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Prosti! ne pomni dnej paden'ja, op. 27 no. 4 (Text: Nikolai Alekseyevich Nekrasov)


R

  • Redejet oblakov, op. 42 no. 3 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)


S

  • Shchekoju k shcheke ty mojej prilozhis', op. 2 (Chetyre romansa) no. 1 (Text: Mikhail Larionovich Mikhailov after Heinrich Heine)
  • Shjopot, robkoje dykhan'je, op. 42 no. 1 (Text: Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet)
  • Snovidenije, op. 55 no. 3 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin after Voltaire)
  • Somnenije, op. 45 no. 4 (in Poetu) (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Son v letnjuju noch', op. 56 no. 2 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Sosna (Text: Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov after Heinrich Heine)
  • Svezh i dushist tvoj roskoshnyj venok, op. 43 no. 3 (in Vesnoj) (Text: Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet)
  • Svitezjanka, op. 7 no. 3 (Text: Lev Aleksandrovich Mey after Adam Mickiewicz)


T

  • Tajna, op. 8 no. 3 (Text: after Adelbert von Chamisso)
  • Tikho more goluboje, op. 50 no. 3 (Text: Apollon Nikolayevich Maykov)
  • Tikho vecher dogorajet, op. 4 (Chetyre romansa) no. 4 (Text: Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet)
  • To bylo ranneju vesnoj, op. 43 no. 4 (in Vesnoj) (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Tuchi (Text: Mikhail Yur'yevich Lermontov)
  • Ty i vy, op. 27 no. 3 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)


U

  • U morja, op. 46 no. 1 (in U morja) (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Usni, pechal'nyj drug, op. 39 no. 4 (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)


V

  • V carstvo rozy i vina -- pridi, op. 8 no. 5 (Text: Afanasy Afanas'yevich Fet after Georg Friedrich Daumer)
  • V poryve nezhnosti serdechnoj, op. 26 no. 1 (Text: Ivan Ivanovich Kozlov after George Gordon Noel Byron, Lord Byron)
  • V temnoj roshche zamolk solovej, op. 4 (Chetyre romansa) no. 3 (Text: Ivan Savvich Nikitin)
  • Vakkhicheskaja pesnja (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Vesnoj, op. 43 no. 1 (in Vesnoj) (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)
  • Voron k voronu letit (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin after Anonymous)
  • Vostochnyj romans, op. 2 (Chetyre romansa) no. 2 (Text: Aleksey Vasil'yevich Kol'tsov)
  • Vstan', sojdi! Davno dennica, op. 8 no. 4 (Text: Lev Aleksandrovich Mey)
  • Vzdymajutsja volny, op. 46 no. 5 (in U morja) (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)


Z

  • Zaklinanije, op. 26 no. 2 (Text: Aleksandr Sergeyevich Pushkin)
  • Zapad gasnet v dali bledno-rozovoj, op. 39 no. 2 (Text: Aleksei Konstantinovich Tolstoy, Count)