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     This booklet is focused on one subject - extreme Russian nationalism. Though it is not a gentle topic for an album of classical music, we must clear the names of Balakirev and other great Russian composers. It will change our appreciation of their music and Russian culture in general. 
     Most Western sources define Balakirev as well as Mussorgsky, Cui, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov who formed the group of the Mighty Five as "extreme Russian nationalists".
     1933, Germany and Adolf Hitler are the first, the strongest associations that come to mind for the definition of extreme nationalism.
     If you check available materials on Balakirev you will read about "extreme Russian nationalism" in about 95% of the sources. When you research Hitler - you will read about "extreme German nationalism". Is there a difference in nature where there is no difference in definition?
     Let us consider if Balakirev really had anything in common with Hitler.
     Hitler had a true Aryan skull - Balakirev had just a poor Slavic copy of it.
Hitler's ass was much wider than his shoulders. His unique proportions, of course, were the blessing of our Lord and the evidence of Hitler's high mission among men - Shame on Balakirev! His ass did not prove, that he was the Chosen One!
     Hitler also adored Roosevelt. Though Americans were at war against Hitler, even today millions of Americans are inspired by extreme Aryan nationalism. You are welcome to visit an American church called "The Church of Jesus Christ Christian" at and make a donation. It is not called KKK any longer. It is The Church of Jesus Christ Christian! This church is completely legitimate in the US and one of its branches is located in Lancaster, California. Among many 'true' values it openly promotes hatred of non-Aryans and is one of numerous examples of extreme nationalism. Honestly I was confused when I first visited this church and wondered why Al Qaeda is not legitimate in California as well. Since "The Church of Jesus Christ Christian" is a church in the United States, very likely it was given special tax exemptions as a sign of support from the US government. We should mention that the governor of California is of Austrian descent, Arnold Schwarzenegger...again Austria!
     If we compare composers from different countries with the Mighty Five we learn, that the Mighty Five collected and used in their compositions much more foreign folklore than any other national music school. It is easy to recognize Spanish, Italian, French, Polish, Persian, Czech, Jewish and Ukrainian tunes in the music of these Russian composers. Of course, none of the Mighty Five used foreign folklore merely to avoid accusations of Russian nationalism. They did it because they admired the variety and richness of different cultures.
     If you read "Mein Kampf" by Hitler you will learn that "non-Aryan cultures don't contain any message to Germans and therefore they are useless". Well, maybe non-Aryan cultures contain messages to Russians?
     If the Mighty Five have nothing in common with Hitler and with 'extreme nationalism' we should ask ourselves: "whose order do our musicologists serve to establish this lie about great Russian composers?"
     Our belief is that the answer to the following question will answer the previous one: "why have Hollywood films during the entire era of the movie industry created an image of Russians as fat, uneducated alcoholics"?
     For some reason brilliant movies such as "The Siberian Barber" by Nikita Mikhalkov, which compare American and Russian culture of the 19th century, are "not available" in the USA.
     It is interesting to watch how our musical critics /a prominent composer is a very rare person among them/ help to 'filter' classical music, to conduct public appreciation, to determine what should be encouraged and well-paid and what must be silenced and persecuted. And, of course, they decide what must be taught in our schools!
     Did they give to themselves the right to do that, or did someone else give it to them?
     After all, no one remembers the names of these 'musicologists'. The outspoken lie, misinterpretation and misunderstanding, they brought into the world, live much longer than their own names.
     This album contains three compositions by Balakirev: Symphony #2 with a Russian folk tune used in the second movement; the symphonic poem "Tamara" based on Caucasian folklore and the symphonic poem "In Bohemia" based on two Czech wedding melodies.
     Balakirev undertook trips to the Caucasus and Bohemia to collect foreign folk tunes and encouraged other composers to do the same.
     Glinka's commitment to collect and study folklore of different countries and adopt it to his own compositions was inherited by all prominent Russian composers of the 19th century.
     A desire to become a voice of their own people and to talk to the world on their behalf encouraged many composers to learn different musical cultures.

2003 Evgeni Kostitsyn

Mily Balakirev
(1837 - 1910)

Symphony No. 2 in D minor

1. I. Allegro ma non troppo - 9:30
2. II. Scherzo alla Cosacca. Allegro non troppo, ma con fuoco ed energico - 7:44
3. III. Romanza. Andante - 9:44
4. IV. Finale. Tempo di Polacca - 8:20

5. "Tamara", symphonic poem - 21:02

6. "In Bohemia", symphonic poem - 11:56

Total time - 68:46

The USSR Symphony Orchestra
Evgeni Svetlanov, conductor

Symphony #2 was recorded in 1977 by Veprintsev and Buneyeva.
"Tamara" - in 1978 by Shakhnazaryan.
"In Bohemia" - in 1983 by Kozhukhova.

c 1990 Gramzapis
c 2002 CDK Music

Design by Evgeni Kostitsyn