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Rimsky-Kosakov: Spanish Capriccio

Here’s a hint: It’s time for a siesta and A little Iberian bedroom music.

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov composed his Spanish Capriccio in 1887 as a companion piece to the Fantasia on Two Russian Themes. The piece makes such demands on the orchestra that Rimsky-Korsakov dedicated the work to the sixty-seven instrumentalists who played during its premiere. The first and third sections of the Capriccio are in the style of an Alborada. This unique type of serenade was used in Spain to celebrate important ceremonies and feasts. On some occasions, musicians would surround the bedroom of an honored citizen and play softly outside. Louder instruments, such as trumpets and kettle drums may have been placed above the bedroom.

Music Heard On This Episode

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1949-1908): Capriccio espagnol, Op. 34
Erich Kunzel/Cincinnati Pops Orchestra — Russian Nights (Telarc, 2007)
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