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Donald Macleod examines the acts of rebellion which pepper Rimsky-Korsakov’s life, exploring his dual roles as establishment stalwart and revolutionary hero

Donald Macleod delves into the life and work of one of the most important Russian composers of his age – Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Rimsky-Korsakov’s music is filled with lush orchestration and hints of orientalism and folk music. These elements and his role as a leading member of “The Mighty Handful” of composers who sought to forge a truly nationalistic music has led him to be regarded as the main architect of the Russian style of composition we know today. In Wednesday’s programme, Donald examines the acts of rebellion which pepper Rimsky-Korsakov’s life, exploring the composer’s dual roles as establishment stalwart and revolutionary hero, a position which led, at one point, to the banning of his music in St. Petersburg.

Allegro in B flat major (Les Vendredis, Book II)
Vertavo Quartet

Overture on Russian Themes, Op 28
Seattle Symphony
Gerard Schwarz, conductor

Symphony No 3: II. Scherzo
London Symphony Orchestra
Yondani Butt, conductor

Kashchey the Immortal: Tableau 3
Konstantin Pluzhnikov, tenor (Kashchey)
Marina Shaguch, soprano (The Princess)
Larissa Diadkova, mezzo-soprano (Kastcheyevna)
Alexander Morozov, baritone (Prince Ivan Korolovitch)
Alexander Gergalov, bass (The Storm-Knight)
Chorus of the Kirov Opera, St. Petersburg
Orchestra of the Kirov Opera
Valery Gergiev, conductor

Suite from “The Golden Cockerel”: IV. Wedding Feast – Death of King Dodon - Finale
Scottish National Opera
Neeme Järvi, conductor

Produced by Sam Phillips for BBC Wales

59 minutes

Music Played

  • Nicolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov

    Allegro in B flat for string quartet (Les Vendredis)

    Ensemble: Vertavo Quartet.
    • SIMAX PSC1178.
    • Simax.
    • 1.
  • Nicolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov

    Overture on Russian Themes, Op 28

    Performer: Seattle Symphony. Conductor: Gerard Schwarz.
    • NAXOS 8572788.
    • NAXOS.
    • 1.
  • Nicolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov

    Symphony No 3 in C major, Op 32 (Scherzo)

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: Yondani Butt.
    • ASV CDDCA1025.
    • ASV.
    • 2.
  • Nicolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov

    Kashchey the Immortal: Tableau 3

    Performer: Kirov Opera Chorus And Orchestra. Singer: Konstantin Pluzhnikov. Singer: Marina Shaguch. Singer: Larissa Diadkova. Singer: Alexander Morozov. Singer: Alexander Gergalov. Conductor: Valery Gergiev.
    • PHILIPS 4467042.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 9.
  • Nicolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov

    The Golden Cockerel: Finale

    Orchestra: Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Conductor: Neeme Järvi.
    • CHANDOS CHAN103692X.
    • CHANDOS.
    • 12.

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