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Thread: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

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    Junior Member Conductor's Avatar
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    Default Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    What do you think of this Russian great?

    His "Capriccio Espagnol" was amazing, and I quite enjoyed his "Scheherazade."
    "The symphony must be like the world; it must contain everything."
    -Gustav Mahler

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Default Props for Rimsky-Korsakov!

    He is probably my favorite of the "Russian Five" (a.k.a.: Mighty Five/Mighty Handful).

    In additional to the obvious (but still great) Scheherazade & Capriccio Espagnol, there is a considerable opera literature, apparently thriving in Russia and overdue for advocacy here.

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    i greatly enjoy his music.

    dj

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    Senior Member Moldyoldie's Avatar
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    I've long had an infatuation with the Russian Easter Overture as well as Scheherazade.

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    Senior Member oisfetz's Avatar
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    IMHO,his piano trio and his string sextet are some of the best of the 19th,century.
    The mouvements he wrote for "Birthday","B-La-F" SQ and "Fridays" are just lovely
    But all of then drank too much.

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oisfetz View Post
    ...all of them drank too much.
    I have an off-topic anecdote concerning this, but I think it's good enough to share...

    Excessive drinking in the Motherland continued (continues) to be an issue. During the time of Communist rule, former world chess champion Mikhail Tal received advance notice of a government sponsored campaign titled "State vs. Vodka." In response to this, he replied "I'll play for the VODKA team!"

    (And now for something on-topic...) Some of the seminal Mussorgsky compositions became well-known via workings arranged by Rimsky-Korsakov- though in the current spirit of originalism, it seems that the first thoughts of Mussorgsky are working their way back to the preferred choice in the repertoire.
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

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    Default Nikolai Rimsky Korsakov

    What do I think of him? He is one of the greatest orchestrators of all time despite his limited output. If he had written nothing but Scheherazade, he would have still remained a legend.
    Few days back, I was listening to Ernest Ansermet conducting his Christmas Eve Suite with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande on Decca. The suite is beautiful.
    And, as you say, his Capriccio Espagnol is probably one of the most colourful capriccios ever written along with Tchaikovsky's Capriccio Italien and Dvorak's Scherzo Capriccioso.

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    Senior Member jhar26's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chi_town/Philly View Post
    He is probably my favorite of the "Russian Five" (a.k.a.: Mighty Five/Mighty Handful).

    In additional to the obvious (but still great) Scheherazade & Capriccio Espagnol, there is a considerable opera literature, apparently thriving in Russia and overdue for advocacy here.
    I LOVE his opera Sadko. His second symphony 'Antar' is also interesting and one that fans of Scheherazade should check out because I think they would enjoy it.

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    Senior Member bassClef's Avatar
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    Do people here have a clear favourite interpretation of Scheherezade?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jezbo View Post
    Do people here have a clear favourite interpretation of Scheherezade?
    My favorite is this one by Fritz Reiner and the CSO:



    I would also check this one out with Yuri Temirkanov and the NY Philharmonic:


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    He was also a great teacher, nurturing the future generation of Russian composers. Many of his pupils would become the leading composers later such as Ippolitov Ivanov, Lyadov, Glazunov, Myaskovsky, Stravinsky & Prokofiev.

    &, in parts, Scheherazade sounds almost as impressionistic as something composed by Debussy. So he not only absorbed the Western European influences of his time, but pointed towards future developments.

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    Senior Member Tapkaara's Avatar
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    I want to pick up his book on orchestration. Has anyone read it?
    "Music is not philosophy." --Akira Ifukube

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    Senior Member handlebar's Avatar
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    Very underrated composer. I value his Symphonies very much.Scheherazade is a bit over played but nice.

    Jim

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    One of my favorite composers. A sublime orchestrator and an excellent tunesmith. His opera Sadko is extremely beautiful.

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    Senior Member Weston's Avatar
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    It's odd. In spite of the popularity of Scheherazade, I can barely remember many melodies from it. I remember the Sinbad crashing the ships on the rock segment, but I can't hear the rest of it in my head -- maybe the opening few seconds. I should listen to it again soon.

    I really enjoy the Le Coq d'Or suite, it being among the earliest music I ever heard as a toddler -- in a scratchy mono LP! I have a much better version today, and I still love it, though it's not considered his best.

    He was a great orchestral colorist and had a knack for the exotic. I think there was a big fad of Orientalsim in the arts during that time. It had its own separate genre in painting. I wonder if Rimsky-Korsakov was tapping into that.

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