William Sterling

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov

The Mighty Handful

The lives and music of Balakirev, Cui, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov examining how they came together and how their careers overlapped. In 1867 the critic Stasov wrote a review of the Pan-Slav concert organised by Mily Balakirev: “God grant that our Slavonic guests may never forget today’s concert; God grant that they may ever preserve the memory of how much poetry, feeling, talent and skill we have in our small but already might handful of Russian musicians” and thus the term was coined.

I ran this course at the request of my students at Crayford Manor (Bexley College) October-December 1998.

Rimsky-Korsakov “Russia’s Greatest Composer?”

Tchaikovsky described his friend Rimsky-Korsakov as Russia’s Greatest Composer. He was one of the greatest orchestrators of all time and possibly the best music teacher ever. Remembered today for such colourful works as the Flight of the Bumblebee, Scheherezade, Capriccio Espagnol and the Golden Cockerel, Rimsky-Korsakov was a prolific composer in many fields and had a very full and fascinating life.

This was a talk for the DfE Music Society July 2001.

Rimsky-Korsakov Chronology

Below are the spreadsheets I created for the classes.

The Five Lives and Works

Rimsky Korsakov Works