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Reinventing a Past

Donald Macleod describes how Rimsky-Korsakov drew vital inspiration for his operas from an evocative branch of Russian folklore.

How much can you tell about the way someone walks? Today we find Rimsky-Korsakov adorning a jubilee concert with his music and adopting an unusually solemn gait, a suggestion perhaps that even in these final decades his was typically more fleet of foot?

His music is finding a new pace too, inspired by the wonderfully evocative 'bylinas' from Russian folklore. As Donald Macleod discovers, these were to prove vital ingredients for the composer's operas.

A Toast
Moscow Symphony Orchestra
Igor Golovschin, conductor

Bylina of Dobrynia Nikitich
Russian Folk Song Chorus
Valentina Leonov, soloist
A Sveshnikov, director

Sadko - Tableau 1, excerpt
Larissa Diadkova, mezzo-soprano (Nezhata
Kirov Opera Chorus and Orchestra
Valery Gergiev, conductor

By the Sea
Mikhail Lanskoy, baritone
Ilya Scheps, piano

Christmas Eve (Tableau 3)
Elena Zaremba, mezzo-soprano (Solokha)
Viatcheslav Vionarovski, tenor (Le Diable)
Viatcheslav Verestnikov, baritone (Le Maire)
Alexei Maslennikov, tenor (Le Sacristain)
Stanislav Souleimanov, bass (Tchoub)
Vladimir Bogatchov, tenor (Vakoula)
Yourlov Academic Chorus
Forum Theatre Orchestra
Mikhail Yurovski, conductor

Producer: Michael Surcombe.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    A Toast

    Performer: Moscow S O. Conductor: Igor Golovchin.
    • NAXOS : 8.553789-.
    • NAXOS.
    • 20.
  • Russian Folk Song Chorus, Valentina Leonov & Alexander Sveshnikov

    Bylina Of Dobrynia Nikitich

    • Soviet 163.
    • Soviet.
    • 1.
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Sadko - Tableau 1 (excerpt)

    Singer: Bulat Minjelkiev. Singer: Gegham Grigorian. Singer: Alexander Gergalov. Singer: Larissa Diadkova. Singer: Nicolai Gassiev. Singer: Vladimir Ognovenko. Singer: Vladimir Galusin. Choir: Kirov Theatre Chorus. Orchestra: Mariinsky Orchestra. Conductor: Valery Gergiev.
    • PHILIPS : 442 139-2.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 2.
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    U Moya [by The Sea] Op.46

    Performer: Ilya Scheps. Singer: Mikhail Lanskoy.
    • CHANT DU MONDE: LDC28803840.
    • 6.
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Christmas Eve - Tableau 3

    Singer: Elena Zaremba. Singer: Viatcheslav Voinarovsky. Singer: Alexei Maslennikov. Singer: Vladimir Bogachov. Orchestra: Moscow Forum Theatre Orchestra. Conductor: Mikhail Yurovsky.
    • CHANT DU MONDE: LDC2880012.
    • 8.


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