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VI (Excerpt I)
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   The string quartet which Rimsky-Korsakov wrote in 1879 did not satisfy him.  The author felt that the material merited arrangement in some different genre.  Thus was born the idea of the Sinfonietta, a work which was completed only in 1885.  The piece includes the material of the first three movements of the quartet: "In the Field", "Girl's Party", and "Round Dance".
   The "Overture on Russian Themes" was premiered by M. Balakirev on December 11, 1866.  The composer later revised the score in 1880.  In the overture, the author developed the melodies of three Russian folk songs - "Glory", "At the Gates" and "Ivanushka's Caftan".
   Rimsky-Korsakov's "Russian Easter Festival Overture" (1888) was inspired by his childhood impressions, living near the Tikhvin Monastery.  The music, based on church melodies, draws a picture of the transition from Saturday's mysterious gloom to the joyous jubilation of Easter Sunday.
   The prelude-cantata for three female voices, female choir and orchestra "From Homer" was connected to Rimsky-Korsakov's non-realized project, an opera after Homer's "Odysseus".

N. Rimsky-Korsakov
(1844 - 1908)

        Sinfonietta on Russian Themes, Op. 31
1.   I. Allegretto Pastorale - 7:44
2.  II. Adagio - 10:22
3. III. Scherzo-Finale - 6:26
4.     Overture on Russian Themes, Op. 28 - 11:53
5.     Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36 - 14:18
6.     From Homer, Prelude-Cantata, Op. 60 - 12:26
        (Translation by V. Zhukovsky)

             Total time - 63:09

Margarita Miglau, soprano (4)
Nina Isakova, mezzo-soprano (4)
Glafira Koroleva, contralto (4)
The Yurlov Russian Choir
The USSR Symphony Orchestra
Conductor, Evgeni Svetlanov