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Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov:
Russian Operas

Many pieces of music from Russian operas have become much more famous in the concert hall than on the opera stage. Some of these pieces include Tchaikovsky's Waltz and Polonaise from Eugene Onegin, Alexander Borodin’s Polovstian Dances from Prince Igor, and Sergei Prokofiev’s march from The Love for Three Oranges.

Music heard in this episode:
Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla Overture
Rimsky-Korsakov: Mlada – Procession of the Nobles
Prokofiev: Love for Three Oranges – March
Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin – Waltz
Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov – Polonaise
Borodin: Polovtsian Dances
Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumblebee

Other shows about Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov:
About Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
The Tale of Tsar Saltan
The Bees and the Birds
Composer Teachers and their Students

Download this month's activity sheet

About Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
3/18/1844 - 6/21/1908
Born in Russia

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov was born in the Russian town of Tikhvin. During his childhood, Nikolai enjoyed listening to Russian folk songs, church music, and opera.

When he was older, Nikolai followed his brother to the naval college in St. Petersburg. While he was there, he also studied music. Rimsky-Korsakov composed his first symphony while on a navy ship.

After he left the navy, Rimsky-Korsakov was asked to teach at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, which is now called named for him. Rimsky-Korsakov was also one of a group of five famous Russian composers known as "The Mighty Handful" (as in five fingers).

Rimsky-Korsakov wrote operas, choral music, chamber music, and works for piano. One of his most famous pieces is the Flight of the Bumblebee, from the opera Tsar Saltan. In the opera, this music is played when a prince disguises himself as bee.

See other composers born in Russia


This Week's Quiz:

1. What is the name of Prokofiev's famous opera?

The Mikado

La Boheme


The Love for Three Oranges

2.Who wrote Prince Igor?

Modest Mussorgsky

Cesar Cui

Alexander Borodin

Igor Stravinsky

3. Alexander Borodin was a professor who only wrote music in his spare time.




Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Flight of the Bumblebee

Composed in 1899
Performed by CSR Symphony Orchestra
Anthony Bramall, conductor

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