(Portrait by Konstantin Makovsky, 1869)
Dargomyzhsky (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Даргомы́жский)
(14 February [O.S. 2 February] 1813 – 17 January [O.S. 5
January] 1869) was a 19th-century Russian composer. He
bridged the gap in Russian opera composition between Mikhail
Glinka and the later generation of The Five and Pyotr Ilyich
Dargomyzhsky was born in
Troitsko village, Belyovsky District, Tula Governorate, and
educated in Saint Petersburg. He was already known as a
talented musical amateur when in 1833 he met Mikhail Glinka
and was encouraged to devote himself to composition. His
opera Esmeralda (libretto by composer, based on Victor
Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame) was composed in 1839
(performed 1847), and his Rusalka was performed in 1856; but
he had little success or recognition either at home or
abroad, except in Belgium, until the 1860s, when he became
the elder statesman, but not a member, of The Five.
His last opera, The Stone
Guest, is his most famous work, known as a pioneering effort
in melodic recitative. With the orchestration and the end of
the first scene left incomplete at his death, it was
finished by César Cui and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and was
much prized by The Five for what was perceived as its
progressive approach to operatic expression. It was
premiered in 1872, but never became a lasting standard
operatic repertoire item.
Dargomyzhsky also left some
unfinished opera projects, among them an attempted setting
of Pushkin's Poltava, from which a duet survives. Besides
operas, his other compositions include numerous songs, piano
pieces, and some orchestral works.
He died in Saint Petersburg
in 1869, aged 55.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rusalka - 1856
Rusalka (Russian: Руса́лка) is an
opera in four acts, six tableaux, by Alexander Dargomyzhsky,
composed during 1848-1855. The Russian libretto was adapted by the
composer from Pushkin's incomplete dramatic poem of the same name.
It premiered on 4 May 1856 (Old Style) at the Theatre-circus,
conducted by Konstantin Lyadov (father of Anatoly Lyadov),
choreographed by Marius Petipa and Nikolay Goltz, but was badly
received predominantly by the aristocracy.
In 1859, the opera was again
presented at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, but it was not until
1865, when it was staged at the Mariinsky Theatre, that it was
finally well received. The conductor was Eduard Nápravník; the
Prince was sung by Fyodor Petrovich Komissarzhevsky, the Princess by
Darya Leonova, Miller by Osip Petrov, and Natasha by Yulya Platonova.
Although much of Dargomyzhsky's
Rusalka is fairly conventional in musical form and style, its
singular innovation for the history of Russian music in particular
is the application of "melodic recitative" at certain points in the
drama. This type of recitative consists of lyrical utterances which
change continuously according to the dramatic situation, with
likewise varied accompaniment in the orchestra. Dargomyzhsky was to
apply this technique of vocal composition on a small scale in his
songs and on a large scale in his final opera, The Stone Guest.
Natasha, his daughter, later a Rusalka
Ol'ga, an orphan, devoted to the Princess
Little Rusalka, 12 years old
Chorus: Boyars, boyarynyas, hunters, peasant men and women, and
The action takes place by the Dnieper River
The plot tells of a maiden who,
after being jilted by a prince, drowns herself (hence the
designation "rusalka," or "drowned maiden"). The last act of the
opera, which features a ballet, is somewhat unusual in that a
12-year-old rusalka speaks her lines over the music.
The bank of the Dnieper River. A mill near an oak tree.
A rich mansion. A princely wedding.
Scene 1: A tower chamber. A drawing room.
Scene 2: The bank of the Dnieper
River. The ruined mill. Evening.
Scene 1: The bottom of the Dnieper. The underwater palace of the
Scene 2: The bank of the Dnieper
River. The ruined mill.
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dargomyzhsky - Rusalka - Complete
Premiere in 1856. Opera in 4 acts by
Alexander Dargomyzhsky. Libretto by composer, based on an incomplete
story by Pushkin. The opera is seldom staged outside Russia, which
is a pity. It's prevailing use of the number system and ensemble
shows that Russian opera of the day was still heavily influenced by
the Italian model. Even so, it's distinctive subject matter and
portrayal of Russian village life using much local color in the
score helped set Russian opera on a nationalistic course. The role
of the Miller is a bravura Russian bass role, created by the great
Osip Petrov. It has been red meat to all the great Russian/Ukrainian
basses ever since, many of whom have recorded the Miller's aria and
Mad Scene, almost as a matter of duty.
The present recording was made in
1983 with a marvelous cast and conductor. The audio here was taken
from a CD release by the Relief label. Currently, this same
recording is available on Brilliant Classics, but only in Europe at
The Miller- Alexander Vedernikov, bs
Natasha- Natalia Mikhailova, s
The Prince- Konstantin Pluzhnikov, t
The Princess- Nina Terentieva, ms
Olga- Galina Pisarenko, s
Matchmaker- Oleg Klenov, b
Hunter- Oleg Klenov, b
Rusalochka- Vasilisa Byelova, child actor
Lead Peasant- Unspecified, t
Grand Chorus of All-Russian Radio
Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio
Vladimir Fedoseyev, c.
'Rusalka' (Water Nymph) by
Alexander Dargomyzhsky - Natasha's song.
Natasha's Song from 'Rusalka' (Water
Nymph) by Alexander Dargomyzhsky.
Performed by Irina LOY (soprano) and Ekaterina SLOBODNITSKAYA (grand
Ариозо Наташи из оперы "Русалка".
Rusalka's aria by A. Dargomyzhsky
Rusalka's aria from the opera "Rusalka"
by A.Dargomyzhsky. The Large Concert Hall in Kazan. Classical music
festival for young musicians "Music is around us". Vlada Borovko,
soprano. Ildar Nigmatullin, the pianist.
Маргарита Миглау / Miglau - Ария
Margarita Miglau (1926-2013), soprano,
soloist of the Bolshoi theatre (1956-1986).
Olga's Aria from the "Rusalka" by Dargomyzhsky. Rec. 1958. Cond. -
Даргомыжский "Русалка" 2-ое
Князь - Михаил Пирогов, Княгиня -
Светлана Курышева, Ольга - Марина Сальникова, Сват - Асеев Алексей
The Miller's Aria from Rusalka (Dargomyzhsky)
Shtokolov (1930-2005) is a name unfamiliar to most
music aficionados in the West. Although he was an
extremely popular singer in the former Soviet Union
(and my personal favorite bass), his exposure to
audiences beyond the Iron Curtain was limited- his
tours abroad were not frequent, and recordings are
relatively sparse for an artist of his stature. A
graduate of the Ural State Conservatory in
Ekaterinburg, he was THE leading bass at the
Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg for much of his
30 year tenure there (1959-89) and is still
considered the finest interpreter of old Russian
romances and folk songs.
Songs of Alexander Dargomyzhsky
I. Sierra-Nevada byla
obmotana tumanov 00:00
II. Noch' Zephir meshayet vozdukh 03:02
III. Molitva 06:53
IV. Chto moye imya dlya vas? 09:34
V. Nebesnyye oblaka 12:22
VI. Devushka i yunosha 17:58
VII. Vy ne opravdalis' 19:10
VIII. V tverdi nebesnoy 22:15
IX. Ya s pechal'yu 24:55