Tag Archives: valentin serov

Sergiu Celibidache – Munchener Philharmoniker – Ravel: Bolero – Japan, 1994


 
 
This article is about Ravel’s piece for orchestra. For Latin music, see Bolero. For other uses, see Bolero (disambiguation).

Ida Rubinstein, the inspiration behind Boléro. Portrait by Valentin Serov.

A scene from Maurice Béjart’s production of Boléro. The leading ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem makes a leaping movement on a table, which is similar to the original 1928 choreography of Bronislava Nijinska.[1]

Boléro is a one-movement orchestral piece by Maurice Ravel (1875–1937). Originally composed as a balletcommissioned by Russian ballerina Ida Rubinstein, the piece, which premiered in 1928, is Ravel’s most famous musical composition.[2] Before Boléro, Ravel had composed large scale ballets (such as Daphnis et Chloé, composed for the Ballets Russes 1909–1912), suites for the ballet (such as the second orchestral version of Ma Mère l’Oye, 1912), and one-movement dance pieces (such as La Valse, 1906–1920). Apart from such compositions intended for a staged dance performance, Ravel had demonstrated an interest in composing re-styled dances, from his earliest successes (the 1895 Menuet and the 1899 Pavane) to his more mature works like Le tombeau de Couperin (which takes the format of a dance suite).

Boléro epitomises Ravel’s preoccupation with restyling and reinventing dance movements. It was also one of the last pieces he composed before illness forced him into retirement: the two piano concertos and the Don Quichotte à Dulcinée song cycle were the only compositions that followed Boléro.
++++++++++=============+++++++++++++===========

Sergiu Celibidache (Romanian: [ˈserd͡ʒju t͡ʃelibiˈdake]; 11 July [O.S. 28 June] 1912 – 14 August 1996) was a Romanian conductorcomposer, and teacher. Educated in his native Romania, and later in Paris and Berlin, Celibidache’s career in music spanned over five decades, including tenures as principal conductor for the Munich PhilharmonicBerlin Philharmonic and several European orchestras. Later in life, he taught at Mainz University in Germany and the Curtis Institute of Music in PhiladelphiaPennsylvania. Continue reading

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Sherezade (Kirov) – Svetlana Zakharova – Farukh Ruzimatov (2002)


 
 
“Rimsky-Korsakov” redirects here. For other uses, see Rimsky-Korsakov (disambiguation).
Head of a man with dark greying hair, glasses and a long beard

Portrait of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov in 1898 by Valentin Serov (detail)

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (Russian: Никола́й Андре́евич Ри́мский-Ко́рсаков, Nikolaj Andreevič Rimskij-KorsakovRussian pronunciation: [nʲɪkəˌlaj ˌrʲim.skʲɪj ˈkorsəkəf], 18 March [O.S. 6 March] 1844,[a 1] – 21 June [O.S. 8 June] 1908) was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five.[a 2] He was a master of orchestration. His best-known orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, theRussian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade—are staples of the classical music repertoire, along with suites and excerpts from some of his 15 operas. Scheherazade is an example of his frequent use of fairy tale and folk subjects.

Rimsky-Korsakov believed, as did fellow composer Mily Balakirev and critic Vladimir Stasov, in developing a nationalistic style of classical music. This style employed Russian folk song and lore along with exotic harmonic, melodic and rhythmic elements in a practice known as musicalorientalism, and eschewed traditional Western compositional methods. However, Rimsky-Korsakov appreciated Western musical techniques after he became a professor of musical composition, harmony and orchestration at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in 1871. He undertook a rigorous three-year program of self-education and became a master of Western methods, incorporating them alongside the influences of Mikhail Glinka and fellow members of The Five. His techniques of composition and orchestration were further enriched by his exposure to the works of Richard Wagner.

For much of his life, Rimsky-Korsakov combined his composition and teaching with a career in the Russian military—at first as an officer in theImperial Russian Navy, then as the civilian Inspector of Naval Bands. He wrote that he developed a passion for the ocean in childhood from reading books and hearing of his older brother’s exploits in the navy. This love of the sea might have influenced him to write two of his best-known orchestral works, the musical tableau Sadko (not his later opera of the same name) and Scheherazade. Through his service as Inspector of Naval Bands, Rimsky-Korsakov expanded his knowledge of woodwind and brass playing, which enhanced his abilities in orchestration. He passed this knowledge to his students, and also posthumously through a textbook on orchestration that was completed by his son-in-law, Maximilian Steinberg.
Rimsky-Korsakov left a considerable body of original Russian nationalist compositions. He prepared works by The Five for performance, which brought them into the active classical repertoire (although there is controversy over his editing of the works of Modest Mussorgsky), and shaped a generation of younger composers and musicians during his decades as an educator. Rimsky-Korsakov is therefore considered “the main architect” of what the classical music public considers the Russian style of composition.[1] His influence on younger composers was especially important, as he served as a transitional figure between the autodidactism which exemplified Glinka and The Five and professionally trained composers which would become the norm in Russia by the closing years of the 19th century. While Rimsky-Korsakov’s style was based on those of Glinka, Balakirev, Hector Berlioz and Franz Liszt, he “transmitted this style directly to two generations of Russian composers” and influenced non-Russian composers including Maurice RavelClaude DebussyPaul Dukas and Ottorino Respighi.[2]