Author Topic: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)  (Read 30232 times)

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Offline Maestro267

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #120 on: June 27, 2017, 10:45:51 PM »
His most famous works sound too much to me as some film music for some holywood blockbuster,

Of course, you mean that film music sounds like R-K's most famous works. They came long before Hollywood blockbusters.

I'm inclined to agree that the lesser-known works have less "pull" to them than the famous ones. I've tried a few, even the likes of Antar, and they don't quite grab me in the way that a work like Scheherazade does.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #121 on: June 28, 2017, 12:58:28 AM »
His best works are probably the late operas but I admit that I also know mostly/only the suites. I find Sheherazade more repetitive than Antar or the suites. Another great favorite is the "Christmas Eve" suite which has polonaise as good as the famous one from Eugen Onegin.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 05:59:42 AM by Jo498 »
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cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #122 on: June 28, 2017, 05:47:42 AM »
Yet,Antar has allot of admirers,judging from posts here,and at other sites,over the years, I love the score,of which I have several recordings and definitely prefer it to Scheherazade. I find it more subtle. I like the atmosphere of the piece and the storyline. Antar has always had it's exponents;but look at all the recordings of scheherazade! Despite advocacy by several talented conductors over the years,Antar remains in it's shadow. I can understand why this is so. For one thing the tunes are more memorable. Scheherazade has the catchy,hit tunes. Also,the scoring is more obviously spectacular. The program behind it has also helped enormously. You only have to think of all the movies along those lines. It obviously has allot of appeal for people. That doesn't mean Antar is necessarily inferior,however. The more refined scoring of Antar,and the fact that it is less reliant on catchy tunes and melodramatic effect is one of the reasons I prefer it. It also has a mysterious atmosphere which evokes a remote past and fairy tale atmosphere which strongly appeals to me. Imho,Antar is a wonderful score,which will always provide pleasure to those who love it.

Offline Jo498

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #123 on: June 28, 2017, 06:02:30 AM »
I largely agree with your evaluation of Antar and the comparison to Sheherazade. Antar and the Christmas Eve Suite are my top recommendations for R-K's orchestral pieces. I don't deny that Sheherazade and Tsar Saltan are orchestrally more spectacular but most people already know them... ;)
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #124 on: June 28, 2017, 07:09:19 AM »
I must admit I do like The Tale of Tsar Saltan-suite. Again I find the fairy tale atmosphere and painting more subtle,more refined than that of Scheherezade. It's not it's fault it's so popular!! ;D The story appeals to me,too. I bought the Melodiya recording of the opera about two years ago and it was fascinating to hear the famous music,including the Bumblee (which is,as you probably know,not actually a part of the suite) fits into the 'action'! There is no libretto with the Melodiya set,but I don't usually bother with them anyway. I do find it strange that an opera filled with such beautiful music has been so neglected. Lot's of lovely choruses and pretty writing for voices and a folksy,fairy tale atmosphere with those wonderful voices you get from that era keep your attention. Mono sound,but good for it's time. It really does needs a modern recording,though! Not sure if those old Soviet era performers could be bettered,though! The Snow Maiden has allot of lovely music in it,too. I used to have the Lp set when I was a youngster. I do like a happy ending,though!! ??? :( ;D I like Sadko,too. I must try and find the money for Melodiya's release of The Golden Cockerel,too. The suite from that opera is another favourite of mine. Beecham and Markevitch are particularly good.

cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #125 on: June 28, 2017, 07:35:23 AM »
Thought I'd have another go at his third symphony. I really need Svetlanov in this territory,though,I fear! Jarvi sounds pretty good,mind. The sound is very good,the strings nice and lush. Some nice 'fairy tale' writing in the second movement,right now. Actually,I'm quite enjoying the score this time around. Nice artwork,I must say!


cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #126 on: June 28, 2017, 08:51:37 AM »
Reading the booklet notes. I forgot that Antar had an unhappy ending! :( ;D I'm quite enjoying RK's third symphony,actually. Nice,lively,spirited writing for the orchestra. I like the second movement. That's the one I was referring to in my previous post. My excuse? I'm using cordless headphones and the cd player is downstairs. I do like this movement. Parts of it come closest to that 'fairy tale' RK we know so well. Very nice,indeed. He obviously felt constricted in this kind of form,but I think there's some lovely orchestration here. A bracing finale bringing it to a close. I have read some good things about this symphony in the past. I think I might even add it to the list of RK's compositions that I do like.

cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #127 on: June 28, 2017, 10:14:58 AM »
On the other hand,RK's First Symphony got switched off partway!! The first movement is quite spirited,but the remainder is a bit of a dull exercise in forgettable themes,I fear! I did actually enjoy the third,though. I notice that the 2cd set of Svetlananov condcting the symphonies is coupled with the third. I wouldn't mind hearing that pairing. ::) ;D

cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #128 on: June 29, 2017, 10:30:40 AM »
I did quite enjoy Rimsky Korsakov's third yesterday. The first ever,mind! And particularly the Scherzo. That is nice! To be fair,Rimsky Korsakov doesn't seem to have liked composing symphonies much,and it was just something he 'needed' to do!
On the other hand,this is a less well known Russian Symphony I really did enjoy. Rousing and colourfully orchestrated with a really exciting finale. And it's not supposed to be as good as his First! Well,for a not supposed to be as good symphony,I think it's pretty great! Excitingly performed too,with top notch Chandos sound. Excellent! How tragic his untimely death,and what a sad loss to music! :(


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #129 on: June 29, 2017, 09:21:07 PM »
How tragic his untimely death,and what a sad loss to music! :(


+1 it would have been fascinating to hear how Kalinnikov's music would have developed had he lived on. I like both symphonies, especially No.1.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Cato

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #130 on: June 30, 2017, 12:37:36 AM »
I'm quite enjoying RK's third symphony,actually. Nice,lively,spirited writing for the orchestra. I like the second movement. ....I do like this movement. Parts of it come closest to that 'fairy tale' RK we know so well. Very nice,indeed. He obviously felt constricted in this kind of form,but I think there's some lovely orchestration here. A bracing finale bringing it to a close. I have read some good things about this symphony in the past. I think I might even add it to the list of RK's compositions that I do like.

On the other hand,RK's First Symphony got switched off partway!! The first movement is quite spirited,but the remainder is a bit of a dull exercise in forgettable themes,I fear! I did actually enjoy the third,though. I notice that the 2cd set of Svetlananov condcting the symphonies is coupled with the third. I wouldn't mind hearing that pairing. ::) ;D

I have tried to like the Third Symphony several times, but have always found it lacking interest for my ears and mind, while the First was much more of a success!   ;)

However, thanks to your comments, I think t is time to try the Third Symphony again: I have the DGG set, but should seek the Svetlanov set..

Yes, to Kalinnikov!  He might have been quite prolific: what he had accomplished by age 35 is excellent.
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cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #131 on: June 30, 2017, 02:47:40 AM »
I've tried listening to his third symphony several times before;this was the first time I enjoyed it. Not that I was bowled over! It could have been the mood I was in;but I just felt it was quite a pleasant listen. The Scherzo is the stand out. If the rest was as good as that! Let's say I've heard worse. Case in point! I actually do quite like this symphony!! ??? ::) ;D



vandermolen. I think I'll reply to your post on the Kalinnikov thread. If only to make it a little longer!! ;D

Offline Scion7

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #132 on: July 01, 2017, 03:02:08 AM »
Scion like R-K.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #133 on: July 01, 2017, 04:51:41 AM »
I've tried listening to his third symphony several times before;this was the first time I enjoyed it. Not that I was bowled over! It could have been the mood I was in;but I just felt it was quite a pleasant listen. The Scherzo is the stand out. If the rest was as good as that! Let's say I've heard worse. Case in point! I actually do quite like this symphony!! ??? ::) ;D



vandermolen. I think I'll reply to your post on the Kalinnikov thread. If only to make it a little longer!! ;D
OK see you on the Kalinnikov thread cilgwyn.  8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #134 on: July 18, 2017, 11:48:34 PM »
One of the advantages of having a sort-out of one's CD collection is that you come across (or at least I do) CDs that you had forgotten about. Such is the excellent one below (should the image appear). If not it is an excellent two CD set entitled 'Rimsky-Korsakov: The Spirit of Russia' on the Vox label. I have a soft spot for Vox/Turnabout as it was an inexpensive way, on LP, for my youthful self to discover some great material including Bruckner's 7th and 8th symphonies (Horensten in No.8 in an IMHO unrivalled performance). Also it introduced me to new composers such as Vagn Holmboe, whose 8th Symphony was my introduction to his music (never released on CD) and Hilding Rosenberg's 6th Symphony 'Semplice' (which is on CD).
Anyway, back to RK this set includes The Invisible City of Kitezh (Suite) one of my favourite RK works which I first discovered in this performance on a Turnabout LP (Philharmonia Hungarica, Richard Kapp). Also included is the suite from Mlada, May Night, Overture, Christmas Eve Suite No.2, Overture on Russian Themes, Szazka (Fairy Tale), Sadko, Piano Concerto and Concert Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra - a great collection and not too expensive on Amazon (under £2.00 on Amazon US for a second-hand copy).


Having just listened to it again I think that the performance of the Suite No.2 from 'Christmas Eve' is even more magical than the fine Ansermet recording on Decca - definitely one of my other favourite RK scores. The Overture on Russian Themes is excellent too - I don't recall hearing it before.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 12:45:54 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #135 on: July 19, 2017, 11:09:53 AM »
I have tried to like the Third Symphony several times, but have always found it lacking interest for my ears and mind, while the First was much more of a success!   ;)

I think the same about the 3rd, I prefer the first two by far.

One of the advantages of having a sort-out of one's CD collection is that you come across (or at least I do) CDs that you had forgotten about. Such is the excellent one below (should the image appear). If not it is an excellent two CD set entitled 'Rimsky-Korsakov: The Spirit of Russia' on the Vox label. I have a soft spot for Vox/Turnabout as it was an inexpensive way, on LP, for my youthful self to discover some great material including Bruckner's 7th and 8th symphonies (Horensten in No.8 in an IMHO unrivalled performance). Also it introduced me to new composers such as Vagn Holmboe, whose 8th Symphony was my introduction to his music (never released on CD) and Hilding Rosenberg's 6th Symphony 'Semplice' (which is on CD).
Anyway, back to RK this set includes The Invisible City of Kitezh (Suite) one of my favourite RK works which I first discovered in this performance on a Turnabout LP (Philharmonia Hungarica, Richard Kapp). Also included is the suite from Mlada, May Night, Overture, Christmas Eve Suite No.2, Overture on Russian Themes, Szazka (Fairy Tale), Sadko, Piano Concerto and Concert Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra - a great collection and not too expensive on Amazon (under £2.00 on Amazon US for a second-hand copy).


Having just listened to it again I think that the performance of the Suite No.2 from 'Christmas Eve' is even more magical than the fine Ansermet recording on Decca - definitely one of my other favourite RK scores. The Overture on Russian Themes is excellent too - I don't recall hearing it before.

Excellent compilation of works! The suite of 'The Invisible City of Kitezh' is just magnificent, one of the best along with the suites of 'The Golden Cockerel', 'Mlada', 'Tsar Saltan', and 'Christmas Eve' (so far just the suites, I don't like operas); the Russian Easter Festival Overture is one of my all time favorite overtures, absolutely magical, resplendent and brilliantly scored.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #136 on: July 19, 2017, 12:24:47 PM »
I think the same about the 3rd, I prefer the first two by far.

Excellent compilation of works! The suite of 'The Invisible City of Kitezh' is just magnificent, one of the best along with the suites of 'The Golden Cockerel', 'Mlada', 'Tsar Saltan', and 'Christmas Eve' (so far just the suites, I don't like operas); the Russian Easter Festival Overture is one of my all time favorite overtures, absolutely magical, resplendent and brilliantly scored.
Agreed although unfortunately the Russian Easter Festival Overture is not included in the Vox set. It is still brilliant however - I listened to both CDs right through and enjoyed every work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #137 on: July 19, 2017, 12:56:22 PM »
I'll certainly look out for that one. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Michael Ponti,I know from his  interpretations of Scriabin and the  Raff Piano Concerto. The good thing about this collection,also,is the fact that there are quite a few pieces that I don't have in my collection,at present.

cilgwyn

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #138 on: July 19, 2017, 01:21:23 PM »
AS someone who does like some operas,I will certainly be looking forward to acquiring this very exciting (imho! ;D) recent release from Melodiya to add to my two other classic,old,Soviet recordimgs of The Tale of Tsar Saltan (on Melodiya) and Sadko (my copy is on the Cantus Classics label). I remember looking for a recording,last year I think (?) and being a bit miffed to find that there wasn't a Russian recording available,of this opera,from that era on cd,from Melodiya,or any other label. And now suddenly I see this in Presto's lists (and Amazon,now). There will undoubtedly be no accompanying English libretto;but after a cursory scan of the storyline,and the occasional peek at the descriptions of the 'action' unfolding in each act,I rarely follow them,anyway! I just enjoy the singing and the music;and Rimsky Korsakov's operas are full of lovely music. The singers from that golden era of Soviet recording are incomporable in this repertoire,imho. I like the artwork for this reissue,too. Bold,striking,simple and colourful!! Now,maybe a bit of busking in the town centre?!! ::) ;D

 

I also hope that Melodiya will begin reissuing some of their rarer back catalogue,as time goes on. Those old Collets,and Russian Record Catalogues,and lists,were simply bulging with stuff that has yet to be released!!








Offline Cato

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Re: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov(1844-1908)
« Reply #139 on: July 21, 2017, 12:39:04 PM »
AS someone who does like some operas,I will certainly be looking forward to acquiring this very exciting (imho! ;D) recent release from Melodiya to add to my two other classic,old,Soviet recordimgs of The Tale of Tsar Saltan (on Melodiya) and Sadko (my copy is on the Cantus Classics label). I remember looking for a recording,last year I think (?) and being a bit miffed to find that there wasn't a Russian recording available,of this opera,from that era on cd,from Melodiya,or any other label. And now suddenly I see this in Presto's lists (and Amazon,now). There will undoubtedly be no accompanying English libretto;but after a cursory scan of the storyline,and the occasional peek at the descriptions of the 'action' unfolding in each act,I rarely follow them,anyway! I just enjoy the singing and the music;and Rimsky Korsakov's operas are full of lovely music.

I also hope that Melodiya will begin reissuing some of their rarer back catalogue,as time goes on.

Amen!  In that catalogue are composers like Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov whose works have basically disappeared outside of YouTube.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

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