This celebratory piece is the last in the Mlada Suite, which comprises music from Rimsky-Korsakov’s 1890 four-act opera-ballet Mlada, a story taken from Slav mythology. In the opera-ballet, halfway through the procession, a chorus begins singing exuberantly “glory” to the nobles. According to the composer, Mlada draws its musical materials from a variety of sources, including what he considered diverse folk music traditions. This piece bears no specific reference to any folk music, but its angular melodies, syncopated rhythm, and, at times, untraditional harmony, all contribute to its intended “non-Western” character. The rich and colorful orchestration exemplifies Rimsky-Korsakov’s super mastery of the art.
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