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CD Spotlight

RUSSIA'S ROOTS

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'... generally this is a recording well worth having.'

The colourful world of Rimsky-Korsakov
and Russian folk music -
by PATRIC STANDFORD

 

It is always a pleasure to hear more of Rimsky-Korsakov than the over exposed Sheherazade, something more from that dazzling musician whose work is rich with orchestral colour and folk-lore, an invaluable bequest carried with excitement and inspiration by immediate disciples like Prokofiev and Stravinsky, and indirectly but just as vividly in the work of Ravel, Debussy, Respighi, Szymanovski and other composers equally as exotic.

It was Rimsky-Korsakov's passionate study of Russian folk music which is at the heart of his colourful musical world. When he was about 30, Rimsky-Korsakov made the acquaintance of T I Filippov, an enthusiastic folk singer who needed the services of an educated musician to notate the songs he had collected by ear. His interest was fired. Songs that his friends had taken for granted were material for his transcription, though it was not always a simple task. A wedding song sung to him by Borodin's maid, Dunyasha Vinogradova, took him several hours to notate. Early in his research he discovered the folk-song collections of Johnann (or Ivan) Prach, a Czech who died in St Petersburg in 1818 and was the source of material for Beethoven's Razumovsky Quartets. Discovering other collectors like Daniil Kashin, Stakhovitch and Kirsha Danilov (the pseudonym of an unknown folk-song enthusiast collecting in the late 18th century), was a stimulus to both curiosity and creativity.

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Copyright © 4 August 2001 Patric Standford, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK

 

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CD INFORMATION - NAXOS 8.553513

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