Rimsky-Korsakov: The Snow Maiden

Composer Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov
Artist Elena Zemenkova Snow Maiden
Bulgarian Radio Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
Stoyan Angelov conductor
Format 3 CD
Cat. number 94626
EAN code 5028421946269
Release August 2013

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About this release

“For me there could have been no better subject, no better poetic model, than Snegurochka, the shepherd Lel and Lovely Spring: for me there could be nothing more beautiful than the realm of the strange Tsar Berendey, and no lovelier religion than that of sun worship. Motifs, themes, chord sequences occurred to me even while reading, and soon, at first vaguely and then more clearly, the moods and colours of the individual elements of the action came to mind. I sat down in front of a pile of music paper and began to write everything down in the form of sketches.” Rimsky-Korsakov

Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera from 1880–1, The Snow Maiden (or Snegurochka), was the composer’s favourite work, detailing the story of the conflicted young maiden who has inherited from her mother a longing for love, and, from her father, an incapacity for it. The opera demonstrates use of leit-motif, capturing the magic of King Frost and the Spring Fairy and the folk-infused style of the people of Tsar Benderey’s realm.

Other information:
- The success of the Rimsky-Korsakov Edition on Brilliant Classics (BC 94369, 25-CD set) was largely due to the inclusion of several of Rimsky-Korsakov’s operas, neglected master works in grand romantic style.
- As in many of his other operas Rimsky based Snow Maiden on a Russian legend, this time that of Snegourotchka, in which the forces of nature are characterized as persons, interacting with real people and mythological beings, each having their own ‘Leitmotiv’.
- Beautiful, powerful and idiomatic performance from Sofia, Bulgaria, a gem from the former Balkanton catalogue.
- Booklet contains notes on the work and a synopsis, English libretto available at www.brilliantclassics.com.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 1: “Winter Is over! The Cocks Have Crowed” (Forest Spirit)
  2. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 1: Recitative “At the Appointed Hour” (Spring Fairy)
  3. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 1: Aria “Where Are Those Lovely Lands of Sunshine?” (Spring Fairy)
  4. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 1: Recitative “Dear Birds of Mine” (Spring Fairy)
  5. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 1: Song and Dance of the Birds (Chorus of Birds, Spring Fairy)
  6. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 1: “Ah, It Is Snowing!” (Chorus of Birds, Spring Fairy)
  7. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 2: “When the Cold Cracks the Roofs and Walls” (King Frost)
  8. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 2: Recitative “Your Holiday Has Lasted Long Enough” (Spring Fairy, King Frost)
  9. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 3: “Hello… Poor Little Child” (Snow Maiden, Spring Fairy, King Frost)
  10. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 3: Aria “To go Berry-Picking in the Woods” (Snow Maiden) - Recitative “This Handsome Lel” (King Frost, Snow Maiden, Spring Fairy)
  11. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 3: Arietta “I Heard All of the Loveliest Songs” (Snow Maiden)
  12. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 3: Trio “Do You Hear?” (Snow Maiden, Spring Fairy, King Frost) - Appearance of the Forest Spirit (Forest Spirit, Chorus)
  13. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 4: Carnival Procession (Chorus)
  14. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 4: “This Summer Soon Will Pass” (Carnival Puppet, Chorus)
  15. Snow Maiden, Prologue. Scene 4: “Wait! Is it Already Over?” (Cottager, Wife, Puppet, Snow Maiden, Chorus of Berendeyans)
  16. Snow Maiden, Act 1: Introduction (Orchestra)
  17. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 1: “For Your Kind Welcome, Lel Can Offer Nothing” (Lel, Cottager, Snow Maiden)
  18. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 1: Lel’s First Song (Lel)
  19. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 1: Lel’s Second Song (Lel)
  20. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 1: “Lel, Handsome Lel” (Chorus of Girls, Snow Maiden)

Disk 2

  1. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 2: Arietta “Ah, How I Suffer” (Snow Maiden)
  2. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 3: “The Snow Maiden Is All Alone” (Kupava, Snow Maiden)
  3. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 4: Wedding ritual “Young Maidens, Dear Friends” (Kupava, Misgir, Chorus of Girls)
  4. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 5: “Without Lel, the Snow Maiden Will Be Sad” (Kupava, Misgir, Snow Maiden, Cottager, Wife, Lel)
  5. Snow Maiden, Act 1. Scene 6: “Friends, Aid Me in My Distress (Kupava, Lel, Misgir, Chorus)
  6. Snow Maiden, Act 2: Introduction (Orchestra)
  7. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 1: The Vibrant Tone of the Gusli (Chorus of Blind Psalteries)
  8. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 2: “O beloved Tsar…” (Bermyata, Tsar, Page)
  9. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 3: Duet “O Tsar, my father!” (Kupava, Tsar)
  10. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 4: “Hark My Words, Valient and Noble Gentlemen” (First Crier, Second Crier)
  11. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 4: Ceremonial Procession of Tsar Berendey (Orchestra)
  12. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 4: Hymn (Berendeyans, Kupava, Lel, First & Second Criers, Chorus)
  13. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 5: “I Thank You!” (Kupava, Tsar, Misgir, Bermyata, Chorus)
  14. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 6: Cavatina “Nature Is Almighty” (Tsar)
  15. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 6: “My Child… O great Tsar” (Tsar, Snow Maiden, Bermyata, Lel, Chorus)
  16. Snow Maiden, Act 2. Scene 6: Final Chorus “Almighty, All-Wise Tsar” (Chorus)

Disk 3

  1. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 1: Dance and Song of the Beaver “Ah, a Linden-Tree Grows in the Field (Chorus, Snow Maiden, Lel, Cottager) - What Merry Festivities!” (Tsar)
  2. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 1: Cavatina “The Happy Day Fades” (Tsar)
  3. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 1: Recitative “Another Amusement” (Tsar)
  4. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 1: Dance of the Tumblers (Orchestra)
  5. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 1: Lel’s Third Song (Lel)
  6. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 1: Recitative “Thank You, Handsome Lel… O Father, Tsar” (Tsar, Snow Maiden, Chorus)
  7. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 2: How Is it, Lel, That Your Heart Is so cold?” (Snow Maiden, Misgir)
  8. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 2: Andantino “On a Warm Blue Sea” (Misgir, Snow Maiden) - Wait, Do Not Hurry!” (Forest Spirit)
  9. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 2: Transformation of the Forest Spirit “All Night He Shall Pursue Her Shadow” (Forest Spirit, Misgir)
  10. Snow Maiden, Act 3. Scene 3: “At Last, I Find You” (Lel, Kupava, Snow Maiden)
  11. Snow Maiden, Act 4: Introduction (Orchestra)
  12. Snow Maiden, Act 4. Scene 1: “O mother, My Eyes Are Full of Tears” (Snow Maiden, Spring Fairy)
  13. Snow Maiden, Act 4. Scene 1: “Flowers of the Springtide Dawn” (Spring Fairy, Chorus of Flowers)
  14. Snow Maiden, Act 4. Scene 1: “Oh Mother, What a Miracle” (Snow Maiden, Spring Fairy)
  15. Snow Maiden, Act 4. Scene 2: Duet “Wait, Wait for Me, Snow Maiden” (Misgir, Snow Maiden)
  16. Snow Maiden, Act 4. Scene 3: Finale (Snow Maiden, Misgir, Tsar, Chorus)
  17. Snow Maiden, Act 4. Scene 3: Hymn of Praise to the Sun-God Yarilo ‘Life-Giving Yarilo’ (Chorus)