Rimsky Korsakoff

Express To The Music Links

6 March 1844, Tikhvin – 21 June 1908, Lubensk estate near Luga (modern day Plyusski district of the Pskov region) was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five. He was a master of orchestration. His best-known orchestral compositions—Capriccio Espagnol, the Russian Easter Festival Overture, and the symphonic suite Scheherazade—are considered 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 musical orientalism, 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 the Imperial 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 wind 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. His influence on younger composers was especially important. 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 Ravel, Claude Debussy, Paul Dukas and Ottorino Respighi.

The midi's on the web site are cut. Most of the mp3 files are complete. All of these are available as midi, .pdf files, printed sheet music recorded on tape or CD.

Why midi and mp3 files? Midi files contain information, not sound. This information is sent to your sound card or synth. What you hear is the result of your hardware, not neccesarily what I hear.
I have recorded many, not all of my midi files, using my synths. The mp3 files allow you to hear what I intended not what your hardware defines.
Mp3 files are compressed sound files, not quite as good as original .wav files. If you order the cd - you will get the best sound as I intended it to be.

For an out of date, incomplete list of midi files click here

To order anything click here

Music Links

1. midi Flight Of The Bumble Bee (Piano Solo)

1a. mp3 Flight Of The Bumble Bee (Piano Solo) my synths

2. mp3 Flight Of The Bumble Bee
(Piano Solo orchestrated and recorded using my synths)

On one occasion I created background tracks for a violinist who wanted to play this song. The cd I mailed contained the original tracks + the background tracks and .pdf files of the piano sheet music. The next link demonstrates the background. Perhaps you would like to play along.

3. mp3 Flight Of The Bumble Bee
(Piano Solo) my synths - accompaniment only

midi Hindu Chant (Song Of India)

Transcribed for violin and Piano by Fritz Kreisler 1919

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