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Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (Russian: Николай Андреевич Римский-Корсаков, IPA: [nʲɪkəˈlaj ɐnˈdrʲejɪvʲɪtɕ ˈrʲimskʲɪj ˈkorsəkəf] (listen); 18 March [O.S. 6 March] 1844 – 21 June [O.S. 8 June] 1908) was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five. 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-tale and folk subjects.

Rimsky-Korsakov believed in developing a nationalistic style of classical music, as did his fellow-composer Mily Balakirev and the critic Vladimir Stasov. 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. 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. Rimsky-Korsakov's 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 may have influenced him to write two of his best-known orchestral works, the musical tableau Sadko (not to be confused with his later opera of the same name) and Scheherazade. 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 exemplified by 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, Franz Liszt and, for a brief period, Wagner, 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.

Birth and Death Data: Born March 18th, 1844 (Tikhvin), Died June 21st, 1908 (Lyubensk)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1902 - 1950

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, orchestrator, lyricist

Recordings (Results 126-150 of 208 records)

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia 48738 12-in. 4/27/1916 Danza de los bufones Ernest Ansermet ; Serge de Diaghileff's Russian Ballet Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 49100 12-in. 1/24/1917 Capriccio espagnol Philharmonic Orchestra of New York ; Josef Stransky Orchestra composer  
Columbia 49386 12-in. 4/29/1918 Salut a'toi soleil Maria Barrientos Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia 49532 12-in. 10/19/1918 Capriccio espagnol André Messager ; Paris Conservatory Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 49699 12-in. 11/28/1919 Scheherazade : First movement Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra ; Eugène Ysaÿe Orchestra composer  
Columbia 49711 12-in. 11/29/1919 Scheherazade : Third movement Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra ; Eugène Ysaÿe Orchestra composer  
Columbia 49920 12-in. ca. late 1920-early 1921 A song of India Rosa Ponselle Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W142110 10-in. 4/28/1926 Song of India Maria Kurenko Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W142187 10-in. 5/11/1926 Hymn to the sun Maria Kurenko Soprano vocal solo, with orchestra composer  
Columbia W144595 10-in. 8/30/1927 Hymn to the sun Eddy Brown Violin solo, with piano composer  
Columbia W144596 10-in. 8/30/1927 Chanson hindoue Eddy Brown Violin solo, with piano composer  
Columbia W150591 10-in. 6/13/1930 A song of India Anna Case ; Carroll Hollister Soprano vocal solo, with piano composer, lyricist  
Columbia W98226 12-in. 2/3/1926 Capriccio espagnol Walter Damrosch ; New York Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia W98281 12-in. 6/15/1926 Chanson arabe Emanuel Bay ; Toscha Seidel Violin solo, with piano composer  
Columbia W98653 12-in. 4/25/1929 Song of India Paul Whiteman Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
Columbia 6604 12-in. approximately 1915 Symphony no. 2 - Antar Beecham Symphony Orchestra ; Thomas Beecham Orchestra composer  
Columbia 74186 12-in. 4/29/1921 Scheherezade : 2nd movement, part 1 Eric Coates ; London Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 74187 12-in. 4/29/1921 Scheherezade : 2nd movement, part 2 Eric Coates ; London Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 75257 12-in. approximately 1916 Caprice espagnole, pt. 1 New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra composer  
Columbia 75258 12-in. approximately 1916 Caprice espagnole, pt. 2 New Queen's Hall Orchestra ; Henry J. Wood Orchestra composer  
Columbia 76742 12-in. 12/11/1919 Scheherezade, 4th movement, part 1 Albert Coates ; London Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 76743 12-in. 12/11/1919 Scheherezade, 4th movement, part 2 Albert Coates ; London Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 76744 12-in. 12/11/1919 Scheherezade, 4th movement, part 3 Albert Coates ; London Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
Columbia 76745 12-in. 12/11/1919 Scheherezade, 4th movement, part 4 Albert Coates ; London Symphony Orchestra Orchestra composer  
OKeh S-70364 10-in. Dec. 1921 Song of India Glantz and his Orchestra Jazz/dance band composer  
(Results 126-150 of 208 records)

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay," accessed October 24, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102531.

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 24, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102531.

"Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolay." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 24 October 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102531

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