The Mighty Kuchka : Biographical Novel of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Member of the Russian Five of St. Petersburg
" THE MIGHTY KUCHKA "
Teen prodigy NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV is brought by his piano teacher to the home of composer and music instructor MILI BALAKRIEV (antagonist) who recognizes the talent of the young man immediately.
Mili's quest is to intentionally deprive his pupils of the musical knowledge of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Europeans in order that his circle of composers would write pure Russian Music without outside influence.
After a tour with the Russian Navy to New York City, Rio de Janerio a few Mediterranean ports, Nikolai returns to St. Petersburg as a mature Naval Officer and rejoins Mili's circle of five composers which include MODEST MOUSSORGSKY, ALEXANDER BORODIN and CAESAR CUI. After awhile, Modest, Alexander and Nikolai realize they have been categorized as pupils by Mili and feel a certain coolness as they grow more independent. Nicolai has written his first two symphonies.
Nikolai falls in love with NADEZHDA a talented pianist, they get married and travel to many romantic spots in Europe on their honeymoon. Nadezhda is a wonderful influence on Nikolai's music. PETER TCHAIKOVSKI becomes their friend and visits the couple occasionally when in St. Petersburg.
One day Nadezhda sees Nikolai in tears claiming "Everything I have composed is wrong!" "I have wasted my life with Mili Balakriev." Nikolai realizes that he has been deprived of the knowledge of the European Masters. Nikolai feeling betrayed suffers a complete nervous breakdown. . ..
Peter Tchaikovski credits Nadzhda with nursing Nikolai back to health. Now stronger than ever he completes more than 20 Operas. The Suites, Sheherazade, Easter Overture, Capriccio Espagnol are on repertoires around the world.
Nikolai teaches his own group of pupils which include the younger ALEXANDER GLAZANOV and IGOR STRAVINSKY.
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May 12, 2009
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