Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov
The most popular of all Russian composers, the founder of the composer school that is still in demand today, the professor of the conservatory without conservatory education, the patriot of the native culture of his country - Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov. In the age of technical progress and grandiose state transformations, at the break of epochs, his inspiration drew his strength not from industrial civilization or human passions, but from Russian nature, the melodies of his native land, simple scenes of epics, legends and fairy tales known since childhood. His creative heritage is truly priceless, as even after a hundred years it continues to delight listeners not only in our country, but also beyond its borders.
A brief biography of Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov and many interesting facts about the composer can be found on our page.
Brief biography of Rimsky-Korsakov
The city of Tikhvin is known outside of the Leningrad region, perhaps two events: in the 14th century, the icon of the Tikhvin Mother of God appeared here, and on March 18, 1844, the son of 60-year-old retired official Andrei Petrovich Rimsky-Korsakov and his 41-year-old wife Sofia Vasilyevna were born. , who was named Nicholas. The boy began to study music from early childhood, but he dreamed not of her, but of the sea: the elder brother was an officer of the fleet, and Nick, as they called him at home, wanted to be like him. Therefore, at the age of 12, he entered the capital Naval Cadet Corps. In St. Petersburg, a young man meets with MA Balakirev and becomes a member of his composer circle "The Mighty Handful", along with the Ts.A. Cui, A.P. Borodin and M.P. Mussorgsky. But he barely passed 17!
In 1862, the midshipman Rimsky-Korsakov began to serve in the navy. Having visited several continents on a ship in three years, he continues to serve on the shore and at the same time is engaged in writing music — his true vocation. According to the biography of Rimsky-Korsakov in 1871, the self-taught composer is invited to teach at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. He agrees, recognizing that, despite his sufficient practical experience, he does not have the necessary theoretical training. And he sits at the desk on a par with his students to study the academic foundations of music. In 1872 Nikolai Andreevich marries pianist Nadezhda Nikolaevna Purgold. Married were 7 children.
The composer’s public activities are becoming more intense: he runs the Free Music School, during one of which’s concerts he stands at the conductor’s stand, has been working in the Court Singing Chapel for 12 years, and is leading the Belyaev group. The events of 1905 found a response in conservative circles: students demanded the resignation of the leadership of the conservatory, the leading teaching staff, including Rimsky-Korsakov, left the educational institution. Only by the end of the year, when the student of composer AK was appointed director. Glazunov, he returned to his native walls.
Already at the end of his life, Rimsky-Korsakov received international recognition by performing as a composer and conductor at the Russian Historical Concerts at the Paris Grand Opera. Concerts were organized by his student, SP Dyagilev. As a professor of composition, he became a mentor to many prominent musicians, including I.F. Stravinsky and S.S. Prokofiev. In the spring of 1908, Nikolai Andreevich's heart disease sharply worsened. And yet he did not leave work for a single day. Last summer he met in his own manor in Pskov. June 8, 1908 composer was gone.
Interesting facts about Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov
- While Nicholas studied at the Naval Cadet Corps, Voin Andreevich, his brother, was appointed director of the school.
- Rimsky-Korsakov could write music without an instrument. So, most of the opera "Servilia" was written during the composer's foreign trip with his wife, when the piano was not available to him.
- The "mighty handful" broke up by 1874. Moreover, the ways of its members diverged both creatively and personally: Rimsky-Korsakov stopped communicating closely with Mussorgsky, and relations with Cui and Balakirev were cooled down to complete hostility.
- In 1898, the couple of the Rimsky-Korsakovs was invited to the Moscow apartment of L.N. Tolstoy. Between the writer and the composer there was a fierce debate about art. Tolstoy argued that all music is harmful and shameful, and Nikolai Andreevich opposed him no less rigidly.
- Rimsky-Korsakov is the 26th most-performing opera composer in the world. Last season the productions of his operas were shown over 650 times. The most performed work is “The Tsar's Bride”, it is included in the hundred most popular operas of the world.
- St. Petersburg Conservatory, in which N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, now bears his name.
- The production of "The Tsar's Bride" actually saved the Moscow Private Opera from complete ruin and collapse. S.I. Mammoth at that time was under arrest and was declared bankrupt.
- In 1910, within the framework of the "Russian Seasons", Mikhail Fokin staged the ballet "Scheherazade" to the music of Rimsky-Korsakov's suite in the Paris Grand Opera. In 1993, the ballet was resumed in Russia, since 1994 - in the repertoire of the Mariinsky Theater.
- With great love and absolute satisfaction, the composer was concerned only with two of his operas - "The Snow Maiden" and "The Tsar's Bride".
- The two most prominent students of Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky and Prokofiev, spoke ambiguously about his studies. Igor Fedorovich loved his teacher humanly, but did not find depth in his music and did not share his atheistic convictions. Sergey Sergeevich considered the lessons with the master superficial, he lacked mutual communication. That is why Prokofiev did not call himself a student of Rimsky-Korsakov. At the same time, the music "Tales ..." and "Snow Maiden" shocked and creatively inspired the young composer.
- The Mariinsky Theater honors historical ties with the works of Rimsky-Korsakov: in his current repertoire there are 8 operas by the composer and the ballet "Scheherazade".
- Out of 10 representatives of the sixth generation of the composer’s descendants, only two - Andrei Vladimirovich and Alexander Vladimirovich bear his last name. They are the great-great-grandsons of Vladimir Nikolayevich, his third son. Among the great-great-grandsons of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakova - Olga Favorskaya, singer and composer.
Creativity Nikolai Andreevich Rimsky-Korsakov
One of the most striking features of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov was an incredible ability to experience. It is believed that the basis of his work - folk culture. This is true, but did not the ideas of Balakirev be heard in his First Symphony, in the early works - the influence of Liszt and Schubert? Do they not call "The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh ..." the Russian "Parsifal"?
In the modern view, Rimsky-Korsakov is primarily the author of many popular operas. But since the formation of the "Mighty Handful" and until the end of the 80s of the 19th century, contemporaries saw in him primarily a symphonist. This is true from the point of view that after the 80s the composer focused entirely on the operatic genre. And before that - he created several major symphonic works. He wrote the first symphony (1862-1865) before all his fellow Kruchkists. She became the second symphony written by Russian composers. But, in the words of C. Cui, the first truly Russian. It traces the harmony of national music, and one of its parts is written on the theme of a folk song. In the following symphonic works the composer continued the development of Slavic melodies.
In 1867, Rimsky-Korsakov first turned to the subject of the old Russian epic song "Sadko" - the symphonic picture of the same name was written. After that, work began on the Second Symphony. The plot served as a fairy tale - another creative symbol of the composer. Years later, he will rename his brainchild into a symphonic suite "Antar". In the early 1870s, the Third Symphony was written, which was not very successful, and in the mid-80s was completely reworked.
In 1873 the premiere of the first opera of the composer took place - "Pskovyanka“However, he was not quite satisfied with the result of his work and almost returned to it for almost 20 years, rewriting some fragments. And in 1897 he created“ Boyaryn Vera Sheloga ”, the prologue to“ Pskovytinka. ”It is noteworthy that this and many subsequent librettos operas composer writes independently. "May night", published in 1880, opens a new stage in the work of Rimsky-Korsakov. His conservatory lessons were not in vain - he mastered counterpoint, began to better understand the principles of orchestration, expanded knowledge in the field of folk songs. Almost immediately after" May Night "appears"Snow Maiden"- an opera based on the fairy tale by A.N. Ostrovsky. Nikolai Andreevich personally agreed with the playwright about using his plot for the libretto. The opera was written in the summer in the village of Stelevo. The composer was inspired by nature, simple life, and surroundings. Probably that is why" Snegurochka "was written in just 2.5 months. As early as February 10, 1881, its premiere took place at the Mariinsky Theater, rather unsuccessful, although warmly received by AN Ostrovsky.
The next decade was spent working on symphonic works, the most famous of which were "Spanish capriccio"and"Scheherazade", and also - over the last operas of his friends:" Khovanshchina "by MP Mussorgsky and" Prince Igor "by AP Borodin, which remained unfinished after their death. He dedicates to Mussorgsky and Borodin Sunday Sunday Overture for Orchestra The composer is also engaged in remaking his early works. Only 8 years after “The Snow Maiden” his name reappears on the premiere posters: opera ballet "Mlada".
At the turn of the century, Rimsky-Korsakov creates most of his operas. In 1895 it is released "Christmas Eve“Gogol's plot was used two decades earlier by PI Tchaikovsky in the opera“ The Blacksmith Vakula ”(after processing -“ Cherevichki ”), at the same time Rimsky-Korsakov became interested in him. The writing of his colleague Nikolai Andreevich was considered weak, but he did not dare during Tchaikovsky’s life to take up this story in order not to provoke a conflict situation. After the sudden death of Pyotr Ilyich, he immediately set to work. Contemporaries compared The Eve before Christmas with his previous operas and, alas, not in favor of the latter.
Despite the setback, the composer takes the epic story already familiar to him - "Sadko". Creating a libretto this time was entrusted to V.I. Belsky, with whom they worked on the previous opera. This creative duo will continue in the future. "Sadko" was written with inspiration, it was launched in Vechash - a manor in Pskov, which the Rimsky-Korsakovs were shooting for the summer. The beauty of these places exclusively possessed creativity. In the autumn of 1896, the opera was completed and published. But the Mariinsky Theater refused to install it - that was the decision of Emperor Nicholas II himself. However, the composer met a major industrialist and philanthropist S.I. Mamontov, who had his own opera in Moscow. Mammoths turned out to be a fan of his art and set up Sadko in early 1898. The premiere was a big success. The artist of the performance was K.A. Korovin, and the part of the Varyazh guest was performed by F.I. Shalyapin.
Having found support in the face of Mamontov, Rimsky-Korsakov creates a one-act opera "Mozart and Salieri"on Pushkin's plot and proceeds to the embodiment of his long-standing idea -"Tsar's bride"according to the drama by LA May. This is one of the few operas based on a realistic plot. It was written in 10 months and less than a year later, at the end of 1899, it was staged by the Moscow private Russian opera in the sets by MA Vrubel. The master’s new work was so different from the rest that he was accused of deviating from the principles of the “Mighty Handful” and returning to the traditional operatic form with cantilena and arias. However, Nikolai Andreyevich wanted to see this story with singing monologues and complete vocal ensembles. Among the irreconcilable even his spouse turned out to be critics of the opera, but the public accepted The Tsar's Bride better than all his previous works, and the beauty of the lyrical melodies ensured their popularity and recognition.
On the centenary of the birth of A.S. Pushkin's composer timed "The Tale of Tsar Saltan," written in collaboration with Belsky and continuing a series of fairy-tale plots begun by "The Snow Maiden." The opera turned out to be bright and joyful, was well received by the public, and was among the favorites of the author. It was staged by the Moscow private opera in 1900. Subsequent work - "Servilia"and"Pan Voyevoda"were, in the words of Rimsky-Korsakov himself, very average. But fate"Kashchei the Immortal“- truly dramatic. The Moscow premiere of the opera on a plot that is so uncharacteristic for the composer, in which evil triumphs over good, was warmly welcomed by the public. The Petersburg staging by the conservatory students took place on March 27, 1905 and turned into a political manifesto against the actions of the authorities on January 9. After that most of the works of the composer were banned for execution.
Despite the composition of three operas, the period of the early 1900s was marked by the main event - preparation for writing "Tales of the Invisible City of Kitezh and the Maiden Fevronia"The libretto was completed by 1903. A little more than a year they took up writing and orchestrating. On February 7, 1907, the premiere took place at the Mariinsky Theater. Various historical sources give opposite opinions about the public reaction, from grand reception to perplexity about excessive seriousness and unhurried pace plot development. It was unanimously noted that the libretto of VI Belsky is a unique example of an independent literary work for musical theater. Many critics call it the best in Russian music. "Legend ..." on the right is considered the top creative composer and one of the most famous operas of the 20th century.
His last opera, The Golden Cockerel, Nikolai Andreevich never saw on stage. Too sharp political satire in the libretto did not give her the opportunity to overcome the ban on censorship. Two days before his death, the composer received an official letter from the Directorate of the Imperial Theaters about the refusal of the production. Only in 1909 this rarely beautiful satirical opera was shown in Moscow with notes, to which Rimsky-Korsakov would never give consent. The creative heritage of the great composer, in addition to works of large forms, includes vocal compositions, collections of Russian songs and books.
Music of Rimsky-Korsakov in the cinema
The main melodies of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, demanded by the cinema - "Flight of the Bumblebee" from the opera "The Tale of Tsar Saltan" and "Indian Guest Aria" from "Sadko". The music of the composer is heard in more than one hundred and fifty films, the most notable of which are:
- Long live Caesar! (2016)
- 1+1 (2011)
- Brokeback Mountain (2005)
- Gloss (1996)
- Casino (1995)
- Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown (1988)
- A Clockwork Orange (1971)
- The Big Bang Theory (2007-present)
- How I met your mother (2005-2014)
- The Master and Margarita (2005)
- Colombo (1971-2003)
- The Muppet Show (1976-1981)
Soviet film of 1953 "Rimsky-Korsakov" - the only biopic about the life of the great composer. He was shot at the Lenfilm studio by Gennady Kazan and Grigory Roshal on the biography of Rimsky-Korsak. The title role was played by Grigory Belov, in the rest of the roles prominent artists of their time were shot - N. Cherkasov, A. Borisov, L. Gritsenko, L. Sukharevskaya. The film tells about the second half of the composer's life, a lot of screen time in it is set aside for music - scenes from the largest operas are shown. Unfortunately, the scenario did not escape the political conjuncture — much attention was paid to the revolutionary moods and events of 1905, and the businessmen of Mammoths and Dyagilev are depicted in a negative light.
Screenshots of operas there is almost no composer either. In the 1950s, the animated films “The Night Before Christmas” and “The Snow Maiden” were created, as well as the feature film by A. Ptushko “Sadko”, in which the music of operas of the same name sounded. In the 1960s, director Vladimir Gorikker released two films-operas: "Mozart and Salieri" and "The Tsar's Bride". There are also several DVD versions of theatrical productions: "Sadko" of the Mariinsky and Bolshoi Theaters, "The Tsar's Bride" of the German State Opera and others.
ON. Rimsky-Korsakov was not only a distinctive creator, but also a master of orchestration, without whom we would not know either Prince Igor, or part of the works of Mussorgsky and Dargomyzhsky. Until the end of his days, he remained faithful to his understanding of Russian music and became one of the last representatives of the great Russian musical culture of the 19th century.