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Topic: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

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  1. #1
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    Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    ** The "Variations on a Russian Theme" first appeared in 1903 as a tribute to the Russian conductor Nicolai Galkin. Using a Russian folk song, apparently selected by Rimsky-Korsakov’s daughter from Balakirev’s collection of folk melodies, six of Galkin’s friends each contributed a short symphonic variation on the theme in his honor. Several of the composer/friends have remained well-known (Glazunov, Liadov, Rimsky-Korsakov) while others (Sokolov, Artciboucheff, Wihtol) are virtually unknown beyond their borders and time. Each variation, regardless of the composer, is a fascinating miniature with a unique approach to the theme, and there can be little doubt that woven in amongst the theme and the other tunes one hears, are any number of “inside jokes” that have long since been lost on listeners outside of the composers’ inner circle. **

    ** Extracted from program notes of Bartlesville Symphony, March 2006, Russian Spectacular Program (http://www.bartlesvillesymphony.org/.../March2006.htm)

    The work consists of the opening theme, 9 variations and a Finale. The sections are listed in order along with the names of the contributing composers;

    Opening Theme
    Variation I - Artciboucheff
    Variation II - Scriabine
    Variation III - Glazounow
    Variation IV - Rimsky-Kosokow
    Variation V - Liadow
    Variation VI - Wihtol
    Variation VII - Blumenfeld
    Variation VIII - Ewald
    Variation IX - Winkler
    Finale -Sokolow

    Here I have set the string quartet using Finale 2006 and GPO as follows;

    Violin 1 Gagliano KS Solo & Pizz
    Violin 3 Gagliano KS Solo & Pizz
    Viola KS Solo & Pizz
    Cello 1 KS Solo & Pizz

    www.garybricault.com/specialmusic/RimskyKosakowVariations.mp3

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  2. #2

    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    Gary

    This is some beautiful music. I think you did a wonderful job of bringing to this to life. I am not familiar with the piece even though Rimsky-Korsakov has always been one of my favorites. In fact Scheherazade is easily my all time favorite.

    I'll leave the sound critiqueing to others since I am just a newborn baby with GPO. But I think it's great.

    Well done

    Ron

  3. #3

    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    Hi, Gary

    You're always bringing some very interesting music for us to hear. It's something I look forward to now when I'm able to spend a little time here in The Listening Room.

    This "Variations" is another excellent project of yours. It's a rich piece of music - THank you for the text giving us background on its origins. I was picturing how the six composers could have done this same group project today by collaborating online!

    Your rendition sounds very good, organic and expressive. The dynamic range is very wide, probably as it should be. I did turn my volume knob up and down once in awhile to compensate - but it's early morning and I wanted to keep playback to a medium volume.

    Congratulations on such a carefully and successfully rendered piece, Gary.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  4. #4
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    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    Quote Originally Posted by rolifer
    Gary

    This is some beautiful music. I think you did a wonderful job of bringing to this to life. I am not familiar with the piece even though Rimsky-Korsakov has always been one of my favorites. In fact Scheherazade is easily my all time favorite.

    I'll leave the sound critiqueing to others since I am just a newborn baby with GPO. But I think it's great.

    Well done

    Ron
    Ron,

    It is certainly one of his lesser known works. It was new to me and a challange to enter the 20 pages of quartet. But well worth it in the end. I am glad that you enjoyed it as well.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  5. #5
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    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    Hi, Gary

    You're always bringing some very interesting music for us to hear. It's something I look forward to now when I'm able to spend a little time here in The Listening Room.

    This "Variations" is another excellent project of yours. It's a rich piece of music - THank you for the text giving us background on its origins. I was picturing how the six composers could have done this same group project today by collaborating online!

    Your rendition sounds very good, organic and expressive. The dynamic range is very wide, probably as it should be. I did turn my volume knob up and down once in awhile to compensate - but it's early morning and I wanted to keep playback to a medium volume.

    Congratulations on such a carefully and successfully rendered piece, Gary.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)
    Randy,

    I am glad that you enjoyed one of rimsky-Kosakow's lessor known works. Yes it does have a wide dynamic range, pp to ff ! I had to remove some of the fs markings the Finale interpreted them pretty severely and I do not know how to modify them. It was very historically interesting as well once I realized that it was a Russian composer community effort.


    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  6. #6
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    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    I haven’t heard this before. It is interesting how each composer had their own take on the theme. Nice sound on your quartet.
    Trent P. McDonald

  7. #7

    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    Hi Gary,

    Like many others here, this is my first exposure to this piece -- and you brought it to us in wonderful form. As Randy mentioned in his response, you've achieved a very organic sound to this which makes it even more of a pleasure to listen to. Expertly done! Thank you!

    Danny

  8. #8

    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    This piece is new to me. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I really like it, and you've done a great job of rendering it.
    --gary shannon
    Spooks! - The Movie

  9. #9
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    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    Quote Originally Posted by trentpmcd
    I haven’t heard this before. It is interesting how each composer had their own take on the theme. Nice sound on your quartet.
    Trent,

    I am glad that you enjoyed it. It is a unique piece for many reasons. Not in the least being a musical community effort. And Rimsky-Korsakow didn't even place himself at the head or the end of the work. The GPO quartet brought out the best in it I think.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

  10. #10
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    Re: Rimsky-Korsakow - Variations on a Russian Theme

    Quote Originally Posted by DDW
    Hi Gary,

    Like many others here, this is my first exposure to this piece -- and you brought it to us in wonderful form. As Randy mentioned in his response, you've achieved a very organic sound to this which makes it even more of a pleasure to listen to. Expertly done! Thank you!

    Danny
    Danny,

    I agree. I am unfamiliar with pretty much any other Rimsky-Korsakow work except the Sheharazade. He wrote a great deal of other music as well including opera. I want to find more of his works to put up for the forum. I am glad the you enjoyed it.

    Gary

    www.garybricault.com

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