“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.
- 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.