Orthodox Sacred Music Reference Library

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai

Rimsky korsakov 1897 crop

RIMSKY-KORSAKOV, Nikolai Andreyevich (b. 1844, Tikhvin; d. 1908, Lubensk Estate, near Luga, Pskov District)—A member of the "Mighty Five," a group of Russian nationalist composers headed by Miliy Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov was already a well-known composer and professor of composition and orchestration at the St. Petersburg Conservatory, when, in 1883, he was appointed together with  Balakirev to head the Imperial Court Chapel in St. Petersburg. Prior to that, in his work with the Free Musical School (1874-81), he had been involved in composing secular choral works and transcribing and arranging Russian folk songs. In his new position with the Imperial Chapel, Rimsky-Korsakov turned his attention to sacred choral composition and to new ways of arranging liturgical chants. Altogether he wrote forty choral works for the Russian Orthodox Church: fourteen titles were published in two series in 1884 and 1886, respectively; a setting of Tebe Boga hvalim [Te Deum laudamus] appeared in 1893; and a collection of 25 more works was published posthumously in 1913 by Evstafy Azeyev. In addition, he played a leading role (together with Kopylov, Azeyev, Liapunov, and others) in the harmonization of the Chants of the All-Night Vigil according to ancient melodies arranged for four-part chorus, published in 1888.

In his sacred choral works Rimsky-Korsakov made extensive use of authentic chant melodies as well as melodies he himself composed in the style of chant. The polyphonic treatment of the melodies is quite varied and innovative. Some melodies serve as motives for imitative counterpoint, while others are harmonized homorhythmically, using a thick choral texture replete with doublings. The harmony is often modal, preserving the archaic flavor of the chant. The choral sonorities range from a few solo voices to rich double choral writing.

Although seemingly a relatively minor part of Rimsky-Korsakov's legacy of primarily symphonic and operatic works, his choral music has been recognized as an important transitional influence that gave direction to the "new Russian choral school" of the early 20th century. It is not a coincidence that among his students one finds a number of important composers of sacred music: Anatoly Liadov, Alexander Gretchaninoff, Nikolai Tcherepnin, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov,  Alexander Chesnokov (brother of Pavel), and Maximilian Steinberg. There are also clear links between his style and that of Alexander Kastalsky, the leading composer of the "Moscow School."

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Ri013

Chertog Tvoi

Thy bridal chamber

Op. 22-bis, No. 5

[Kievan Chant]

Exaposteilarion for Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

SATB(div) and Tenor Solo

PPK #121 1885

First printed edition

Defective original

3

Ri013

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Ri010

Da molchit vsiakaia plot’

Let all mortal flesh keep silent

Op. 22-bis, No. 2

[Melody from the Triod' notnago peniia]

Cherubic Hymn for Holy Saturday

SATB and SATB Soli

PPK #118 1885

First printed edition

8

Ri010

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Ri006

Dostoino est’

It is truly meet

Op. 22, No. 6

Hymn to the Mother of God

SAT(div)B

PPK #113 1884

First printed edition

4

Ri006

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Ri001

Kheruvimskaia pesn’ No. 1

Cherubic Hymn

Op. 22, No. 1

Izhe kheruvimy

SATB

PPK#108 1884

First printed edition

7

Ri001

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Ri002

Kheruvimskaia pesn’ [No. 2]

Cherubic Hymn

Op. 22, No. 2

Izhe kheruvimy

SATB

PPK #109 1884

First printed edition

5

Ri002

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Ri009

Kheruvimskaia pesn’ [No. 3]

Cherubic Hymn

Op. 22-bis, No. 1

Common Chant [Melody: Raduisia]

Izhe kheruvimy

SATB

PPK #117 1886

First printed edition

Defective original

6

Ri009

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Ri008

Khvalite Gospoda s nebes

Praise the Lord from the heavens

Op. 22, No. 8

Communion Hymn for Sundays

(Ps. 148:1)

SATB

PPK #115 1884

First printed edition

2

Ri008

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Ri004

Milost’ mira

A mercy of peace

Op. 22, No. 4

Anaphora (Eucharistic Canon)

SSATTB

PPK #111 1884

First printed edition

3

Ri004

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Ri014

Na rekakh Vavilonskikh

By the waters of Babylon

Op. 22-bis, No. 6

Znamenny Chant

Pre-Lenten psalm at Matins

(Ps. 136[137])

SATB(div)

PPK #122 1886

First printed edition

Defective original

6

Ri014

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Ri007

Otche nash

Our Father

Op. 22, No. 7

The Lord’s Prayer

Otche nash

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

PPK #114 1884

First printed edition

3

Ri007

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Ri012

Se Zhenikh griadet

Behold, the Bridegroom comes

Op. 22-bis, No. 4

[Kievan Chant]

Troparion for Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday

S(div)AT(div)B(div)

PPK #120 1885

First printed edition

7

Ri012

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Sobranie dukhovno-muzykal’nykh sochinenii i perelozhenii

A collection of sacred compositions and chant arrangements

N.O.N.

Akkord: I.A.#1-25 n.d.

First printed edition

60

Ri-SDMSP

25 Click [+] to expand

Ri016

1

No. 1-Kto est’ sei Tsar’ slavy?

Who is this King of glory?

N.O.N.

Hymn for the consecration of a church

(Ps. 23[24]:10)

S(div)A(div)T(div)B(div)

1

Ri016

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Ri017

2

No. 2-Krestu Tvoemu

Before Thy Cross

N.O.N.

[Kievan Chant]

Trisagion Hymn for feasts of the Cross

SATB

1

Ri017

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Ri018

3

No. 3-Kheruvimskaia pesn’ No. 4

Cherubic Hymn

N.O.N.

SATB

3

Ri018

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Ri019

4

No. 4-Kheruvimskaia pesn’ No. 5

Cherubic Hymn

N.O.N.

SAT(div)B

4

Ri019

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Ri020

5

No. 5-Kheruvimskaia pesn’ No. 6

Cherubic Hymn

N.O.N.

SA(div)T(div)B

3

Ri020

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Ri021

6

No. 6-Tebe poem No. 2

We hymn Thee

N.O.N.

Anaphora (Hymn of the Epiklesis)

SAT(div)B

1

Ri021

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Ri022

7

No. 7-Tebe poem No. 3

We hymn Thee

N.O.N.

Anaphora (Hymn of the Epiklesis)

SATB

1

Ri022

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Ri023

8

No. 8-Tebe poem No. 4

We hymn Thee

N.O.N.

Anaphora (Hymn of the Epiklesis)

SATB

1

Ri023

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Ri024

9

No. 9-Tebe poem No. 5

We hymn Thee

N.O.N.

Kievan Chant

Anaphora (Hymn of the Epiklesis)

SATB

2

Ri024

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Ri025

10

No. 10-Tebe poem No. 6

We hymn Thee

N.O.N.

Kievan Chant

Anaphora (Hymn of the Epiklesis)

SATB

1

Ri025

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Ri026

11

No. 11-Dostoino est’ No. 2

It is truly meet

N.O.N.

S(div)AT(div)B and Alto Solo

2

Ri026

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Ri027

12

No. 12-Khvalite Gospoda s nebes

Praise the Lord from the heavens

N.O.N.

Communion Hymn for Sundays

SATB-SATB

4

Ri027

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Ri028

13

No. 13a-Khvalite Gospoda s nebes No. 1

Praise the Lord from the heavens

N.O.N.

[Kievan Chant]

Communion Hymn for Sundays

SATB

2

Ri028

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Ri029

14

No. 13b-Khvalite Gospoda s nebes No. 2

Praise the Lord from the heavens

N.O.N.

[Kievan Chant]

Communion Hymn for Sundays

SATB

2

Ri029

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Ri030

15

No. 14-Prichastnyi stikh No. 2, v ponedel’nik

Communion Hymn for Mondays

N.O.N.

Russian Greek Chant

SATB

2

Ri030

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Ri031

16

No. 15-Prichastnyi stikh No. 3, vo vtornik

Communion Hymn for Tuesdays

N.O.N.

Kievan Chant

SATB

2

Ri031

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Ri032

17

No. 16-Prichastnyi stikh No. 4, v sredu

Communion Hymn for Wednesdays

N.O.N.

Kievan Chant

SATB

2

Ri032

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Ri033

18

No. 17-Prichastnyi stikh No. 5, v chetvertok

Communion Hymn for Thursdays

N.O.N.

Kievan Chant

SATB

2

Ri033

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Ri034

19

No. 18-Prichastnyi stikh No. 6, v piatok

Communion Hymn for Fridays

N.O.N.

Kievan Chant

SATB

1

Ri034

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Ri035

20

No. 19a-Prichastnyi stikh No. 7, v subbotu

Communion Hymn for Saturdays

N.O.N.

[Melody: Streletsky]

SATB

2

Ri035

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Ri036

21

No. 19b-Prichastnyi stikh No. 7, v subbotu

Communion Hymn for Saturdays

N.O.N.

Kievan Chant

SATB

2

Ri036

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Ri037

22

No. 20-Prichasten na Vozdvizhenie Kresta

Communion Hymn for the Elevation of the Cross

N.O.N.

(Ps. 4:5)

SATB

2

Ri037

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Ri038

23

No. 21-Vzyde Bog

God has gone up

N.O.N.

Communion Hymn for Ascension

(Ps. 46[47]:5)

SATB

3

Ri038

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Ri039

24

No. 22-Dogmatik 1-go glasa

Dogmatikon in the First Tone

N.O.N.

Znamenny Chant

SATB

4

Ri039

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Ri040

25

No. 23-Irmosy kanona na utreni v Velikuiu Subbotu

Heirmoi of the Kanon at Matins of Holy Saturday

N.O.N.

Znamenny Chant

SATBB

8

Ri040

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Ri015

Tebe Boga khvalim

We praise Thee, O God

Op. 22-bis, No. 7

[Common Chant, T.3]

Hymn of St. Ambrose of Milan at a Prayer Service

(St. Ambrose)

SATB-SATB

PPK #124 1893

First printed edition

Defective original

12

Ri015

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Ri005

Tebe poem

We hymn Thee

Op. 22, No. 5

Anaphora (Hymn of the Epiklesis)

SATB

PPK #112 1884

First printed edition

2

Ri005

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Ri003

Veruiu

I believe

Op. 22, No. 3

The Creed

SSATTB

PPK #110 1884

First printed edition

8

Ri003

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Ri011

Voskresnyi prichastnyi stikh

The Communion Hymn for Sundays

Op. 22-bis, No. 3

Common Chant

The Communion Hymn for Sundays

Khvalite Gospoda s nebes

SATB

PPK #119 1885

First printed edition

Defective original

4

Ri011

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    MR Ri011