Cesar Cui  
Cesar Cui

Portrait of César Cui by Ilya Repin, 1890.
Cesar Cui, in full César Antonovich Cui (born Jan. 6 [Jan. 18, New Style], 1835, Vilna [now Vilnius], Lithuania, Russian Empire—died March 24, 1918, Petrograd [St. Petersburg], Russia), Russian composer of operas, songs, and piano music. He was a music critic and military engineer who, with Aleksandr Borodin, Mily Balakirev, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, made up the group known as The Five.

Cui was the son of a French officer, taken prisoner during Napoleon’s campaign of 1812, who remained in Russia after the war; his mother was Lithuanian. Cui began to compose while he was still a boy, imitating the style of Frédéric Chopin, and received lessons in composition. But in 1851 he was sent to St. Petersburg, where he entered the school of engineering and, in 1855, the academy of military engineering, becoming a lecturer there in 1857. In 1878 he became a professor of fortification—his pupils included General M.D. Skobelev, a hero of the Russo-Turkish war, and Tsar Nicholas II—and he retired with the rank of lieutenant general.

Cui’s friendship with Balakirev and another nationalist composer, Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky, developed his musical interests: he began to compose copiously and, although he had no Russian ancestry, became a pugnacious journalistic champion of Russian nationalism. From 1864 to 1877 he was music critic for the St. Peterburgskiye vedomosti (“St. Petersburg News”), and later he became a successful propagandist of Russian music in Belgium and France, notably with his La Musique en Russie (1881). Cui’s own music has little Russian flavour, and of his 10 operas only the first, The Prisoner of the Caucasus (begun 1857, produced 1883); the last, The Captain’s Daughter (performed 1911, St. Petersburg); and the one-act Feast in the Time of the Plague (performed 1901, Moscow) are on Russian subjects, taken from Aleksandr Pushkin’s writings. He turned more readily to French sources—Victor Hugo, Jean Richepin, Alexandre Dumas père, Guy de Maupassant, and Prosper Mérimée—and his only moderately successful operas are based on Heinrich Heine’s William Ratcliff (performed 1869, St. Petersburg) and Maupassant’s Mademoiselle Fifi (performed 1903, Moscow). Cui is at his best in the miniature forms, notably his short piano compositions and his songs.

Encyclopædia Britannica
Cesar Cui "Orientale" - Carmen Dragon conducts
Cesar Cui - Sonata for violin and piano
Peter Sheppard - violin, Aaron Shorr - piano

I. Allegro - 00:00
II. Andante non troppo - 05:51
III. Allegro - 10:35

Cesar Cui - Kaleidoscope for violin and piano, Op. 50
Peter Sheppard - violin, Aaron Shorr - piano

I. Moment intime - 00:00
II. Dans la brume - 01:32
III. Musette - 02:45
IV. Simple chanson - 03:47
V. Berceuse ("Dors, petit gas") - 05:03
VI. Notturino - 07:04
VII. Intermezzo - 09:14
VIII. Cantabile - 10:55
IX. Orientale - 13:30
X. Questions et réponses - 15:25
XI. Arioso - 17:49
XII. Spiccato (Perpetuum mobile) - 20:35
XIII. Badinage - 21:35
XIV. Appassionato - 22:46
XV. Danse rustique - 24:57
XVI. Barcarola (Barcarolle) - 27:14
XVII. Prélude - 30:00
XVIII. Mazurka - 31:31
XIX. Valse - 35:16
XX. Novelette - 37:38
XXI. Lettre d'amour - 39:40
XXII. Scherzetto - 42:05
XXIII. Petite caprice - 43:51
XXIV. Allegro scherzoso - 45:19

César Cui: Overture to The Mandarin's Son
Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR
Alfons Rischner, conductor
Cui: "Le Flibustier" - Prelude
Robert Stankovsky with Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
César Cui: Magnificat Beata Virgine Op. 93, for soprano solo and mixed voices (1914)
Performed live by Capella Duriensis (solo soprano Maria Guimaraes) at Igreja do Marquês, 2013
Cui: My Soul magnifies the Lord (Magnificat) Op.98 (Song to the Mother of God for soprano and choir)
"My Soul magnifies the Lord" Op. 98. César A. Cui
St. Peterburg Chamber Choir
Soloist - Olga Borodina (mezzo-soprano)
César Cui "Suite Concertante op 25 (1.& 2. Mov)"
Suite Concertante for Violin & Orchestra op 25
by César Cui
1. Movement "Intermezzo scherzando"
2. Movement "Canzonetta"
Takako Nishizaki, violin
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Kenneth Schermerhorn, conductor
Hong Kong, 14.-17.X.1984
César Cui "Suite Concertante op 25 (3.& 4. Mov)"
Suite Concertante for Violin & Orchestra op 25
by César Cui
3. Movement "Cavatina"
4. Movement "Finale: Tarantella"
Takako Nishizaki, violin
Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
Kenneth Schermerhorn, conductor
Hong Kong, 14.-17.X.1984
Cesar Cui - String Quartet No. 2 (1/4)
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