Poll

What is your favorite Rimsky-Korsakov opera?

Christmas Eve
0 (0%)
Kaschey The Deathless
2 (20%)
The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevroniya
2 (20%)
May Night
1 (10%)
Mlada
1 (10%)
Mozart and Salieri
0 (0%)
Pan Voyevoda
0 (0%)
Sadko
2 (20%)
Servilia
0 (0%)
The Golden Cockerel
2 (20%)
The Maid of Pskov
0 (0%)
The Noblewoman Vera Sheloga
0 (0%)
The Snow Maiden
0 (0%)
The Tale of Tsar Saltan
0 (0%)
The Tsar's Bride
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Author Topic: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera  (Read 252 times)

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Offline Alberich

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Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« on: August 17, 2018, 07:01:44 AM »
Hope I listed them all, I'm still relatively new to Rimsky-Korsakov (except for The Golden Cockerel which I've known for a longer time). I haven't listened to even the half of his operatic output yet I am blown away by almost every single one I've heard so far (except for Mozart and Salieri). I have listened most of his most well-known ones.

I have to vote for Sadko. It's such a magical work.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2018, 07:27:33 AM »
As good as the rest are, Kitezh is beyond a masterpiece!
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Offline relm1

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2018, 02:46:18 PM »
As good as the rest are, The Golden Cockerel is beyond a masterpiece!

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2018, 06:31:23 PM »
One of the greatest operas of the 20th century. Beyond criminally neglected.



Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline kyjo

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2018, 06:59:36 PM »
I have the Gergiev/Kirov Decca box set of five of the Rimsky operas - Kashchey the Immortal, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, The Maid of Pskov, Sadko, and The Tsar's Bride. It's been a while since I've listened, but if I recall correctly, I made it through the entirety of Kashchey and Kitezh and about half of Sadko. Despite not being a huge opera fan, I enjoyed these works, due in no small part to Rimsky's masterful orchestration. Of those that I heard, I especially liked Kashchey for its concision and darkly magical atmosphere which very much foreshadows Stravinsky's Firebird.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Hattoff

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2018, 10:13:32 PM »
I know all the opera and absolutely love them all. My only just favourite is Mlada, the story is not good but the music is some of the most beautiful I've heard in my 60 years of music. Kitezh would be next in line.

Prokofiev and Stravinsky stole wholesale from them and are much the better for it.

Offline Draško

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2018, 01:51:52 AM »
May Night. Probably not the greatest, the tone goes from folksy to satirical and back, but has two amazingly beautiful tenor arias. 

Offline Cato

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2018, 02:27:21 AM »
One of the greatest operas of the 20th century. Beyond criminally neglected.





Amen to that!  0:)

YouTube offers a 1948 recording:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Fwrp8cN8EWg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Fwrp8cN8EWg</a>
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2018, 05:29:33 PM »
YouTube offers a 1948 recording:


Beautiful, indeed! Great singing.
Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline relm1

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2018, 03:49:14 PM »
Amen to that!  0:)

YouTube offers a 1948 recording:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/Fwrp8cN8EWg" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/Fwrp8cN8EWg</a>

Guys, thanks for the recommendation.  I never heard of this opera but enjoyed it so much!  Aside from the beautiful lyricism and accomplished orchestration, the most important aspect of it I think is the structure.  If I am not mistaken, it is a very short opera, maybe 70 minutes or so.  It reminds me so much of the fabulous Rachmaninoff operas of the same duration and time frame.  Similarly they deal with folk myths and clearly they are under the shadow of R-K as Stravinsky would be.  My belief is this isn't better known because the time frame is inconvenient for an opera company to mount.  It is quite long for one work and not long enough for a full concert.  But hearing it in a single setting, what I loved most is its structure and how it builds up to the dramatic/emotional climax at roughly 2/3 of the way through.  R-K was a natural dramatist.  I still prefer The Golden Cockerel because of the sophistication of its expressive and musical language but find Kashchey yet another example of R-K being extremely under-represented in the discography and concert stage.  Golden Cockerel is also severely under represented as I searched for good recordings for a very long time till I bought a fine used recording by Evgeny Svetlanov to even be able to hear it. 

Offline Cato

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Re: Your Favorite Rimsky-Korsakov Opera
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2018, 04:16:51 PM »
Guys, thanks for the recommendation.  I never heard of this opera but enjoyed it so much!  Aside from the beautiful lyricism and accomplished orchestration, the most important aspect of it I think is the structure.  If I am not mistaken, it is a very short opera, maybe 70 minutes or so.  It reminds me so much of the fabulous Rachmaninoff operas of the same duration and time frame.  Similarly they deal with folk myths and clearly they are under the shadow of R-K as Stravinsky would be. My belief is this isn't better known because the time frame is inconvenient for an opera company to mount.  It is quite long for one work and not long enough for a full concert. But hearing it in a single setting, what I loved most is its structure and how it builds up to the dramatic/emotional climax at roughly 2/3 of the way through.  R-K was a natural dramatist.  I still prefer The Golden Cockerel because of the sophistication of its expressive and musical language but find Kashchey yet another example of R-K being extremely under-represented in the discography and concert stage.  Golden Cockerel is also severely under represented as I searched for good recordings for a very long time till I bought a fine used recording by Evgeny Svetlanov to even be able to hear it. 

Yes!  We need more recordings of the lesser-known operas!

The Metropolitan Opera once offered a double-bill of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle and Schoenberg's Erwartung.  (Jessye Norman sang in both of these works.)   A double-bill with Kaschey the Immortal and Rachmaninov's The Miserly Knight could work in the same way.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)