Rimsky-Korsakov - The Snow Maiden: Prologue, Scene of Snow Maiden, Frost & Spring [HD]

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The Snow Maiden (subtitle: A Spring Fairy Tale) (Russian: Снегурочка–Весенняя сказка, Snegúrochka–Vesennyaya Skazka) is an opera in four acts with a prologue by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, composed during 1880–1881. The Russian libretto, by the composer, is based on the like-named play by Alexander Ostrovsky (which had premiered in 1873 with incidental music by Tchaikovsky).

The first performance of Rimsky-Korsakov's opera took place at the Mariinsky Theatre, Saint Petersburg on 29 January 1882 (OS; 10 February NS) conducted by Eduard Nápravník. By 1898 it was revised in the edition known today. It remained the composer's own favorite work.

The story deals with the opposition of eternal forces of nature and involves the interactions of mythological characters (Frost, Spring, Wood-Sprite), real people (Kupava, Mizgir'), and those in-between, i.e., half-mythical, half-real (Snow Maiden, Lel’, Berendey). The composer strove to distinguish each group of characters musically, and several individual characters have their own associated leitmotifs. In addition to these distinctions, Rimsky-Korsakov characterized the townspeople particularly with folk melodies. For a deeper understanding of this work from the composer's point of view, the reader is directed to his autobiography, as well as to his own incomplete analysis of the opera from 1905.
Category
Classical

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