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C4 Russian National Music

Programme:

Compositions of the Mighty Handful members, their predecessors and their successors

Michail Glinka, Modest Mussorgsky, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Alexandr Glazunov, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich and more

Cast:

Vladimír Polák – presenter
Janáček Philharmonic Ostrava
Alexei Ogrintchouk – conductor

 

During the second half of the 19th century, there were some of the most prominent figures in Russia, consisting of composers including Balakirev, Borodin, Cui, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov, who all portrayed a disparate group called the Mighty Handful. Their professions were different as well (a chemist, an accountant, a military engineer, and a naval officer). Yet their common ground was their desire to change the state of the current Russian music. They leaned upon the concepts of realism, idealism and the return of Russian music elements. They assumed the Western European music only to an extent; they decided to base their music on the Kievan Rus folk music and the works of their predecessors (Glinka, Dargomyzhsky). The members of the Mighty Handful had meetings to discuss art and to perform their compositions to each other while sharing their opinions on them. Regardless, every one of them kept their complete creative freedom, preserving their own individuality when composing. These authors later became a huge inspiration for their successors, including Dmitri Shostakovich.