Garben, Cord; Prudenskaya, Marina
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov assumed a professorship in instrumentation and composition at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1871 and was a member of the young Russian school formed by “The Mighty Handful” along with Balakirev, César Cui, Modest Mussorgsky, and Alexander Borodin. He dedicated a great deal of time and energy to his duties as a teacher. Nevertheless, he found the time to compose great operas and symphonic poems. Although his songs are not very frequently performed, his songs with piano accompaniment or, as the master himself termed them, the “romances,” account for a substantial share of his overall oeuvre. Rimsky-Korsakov’s song artistry is first and foremost a musical one. In the miniaturistic formats of his romances he fundamentally endeavored to interrelate the poetic statement and vocal interpretation. He was never interested in illuminating the darkest and innermost corners of psychic labyrinths with the light of his artistry. The mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya, who was born in St. Petersburg, interprets our selection of his songs in the original Russian.