NIKOLAI ANDREEVICH ROMAN-KORSAKOV
Rimsky-Korsakov – an outstanding composer, music and public figure and teacher – left a huge creative legacy. It includes 15 operas, 3 symphonies, a number of orchestral works (among them the symphonic suite “Scheherazade”, 1888 and “The Spanish Capriccio”, 1887), numerous romances and other works are most popular. He also owns two collections of Russian folk songs, the fundamental work “Fundamentals of Orchestration,” a textbook of harmony, a meaningful “Chronicle of my musical life,” articles and notes on various issues of musical art.
The individuality of Rimsky-Korsakov was most fully revealed in his operas. They are marked by a keen interest in national features of the spiritual appearance, history, everyday life, poetic ideas and customs of the people. They widely used the motifs of natural epic tales and fairy tales, treasures of Russian song folklore. Nikolai
Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov was born on March 6 (18), 1844 in the city of Tikhvin. The musical abilities of the boy appeared early, but, according to the family tradition, at the age of twelve he was identified in the Marine Corps in Petersburg. In 1861, close creative ties were established with the circle of M. A. Balakirev (“The Mighty Handful”), which included Ts. A. Cui, M. P. Mussorgsky, and somewhat later – A. P. Borodin. Rimsky-Korsakov’s association with Balakirev’s circle was temporarily interrupted by a two-year round-the-world voyage, which was the source of various impressions, reflected in his work. The most significant works of this period are the symphonic picture “Sadko” (1867) and the opera “Pskovityanka” (based on the drama of the same name by L. Mey, 1872).
In 1871 Rimsky-Korsakov was invited to the number of professors of the St. Petersburg Conservatory and held this position for almost four decades. A close study of Russian folk songs brought to life the operas “May Night” (according to Gogol, 1879) and “The Snow Maiden”
(according to Ostrovsky, 1881), reflecting the deep enthusiasm of Rimsky-Korsakov with national fairy-tale and pagan mythology.
The period of the most intense creativity begins in 1889 with the creation of a fantastic opera-ballet “Mlada.” She was followed by the opera “Night Before Christmas” (according to Gogol, 1894), the opera-epic “Sadko” (1895-1896), the lyric operas “Boyarynya Vera Sheloga” (one-act, the prologue to “Pskovityanka”, 1898) and ” The Tsar’s Bride “(based on L. Meiu, 1898). At the turn of the 20th century, the composer’s attention was again drawn to the opera fairy tale, but under the influence of new sentiments in Russian society, it acquired a different, than before, ideological meaning. The irony in the portrayal of the unlucky king in the Tale of Tsar Saltan (according to Pushkin, 1899) gave way to an ominous political allegory in the “autumn fairy tale” Kashchei the Immortal (1902), and then the caustic, evil satiric “Golden Cockerel” (according to Pushkin, 1907). The last period of Rimsky-Korsakov’s creative work is also the dramatic opera legend “The Tale of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia” (1903), which tells of ancient events of the Tatar invasion era.
Rimsky-Korsakov died on June 8 (21), 1908, at the Lubensk estate near St. Petersburg