The traditional Russian name for Easter is “Bright Holiday”, a name that goes back to an age of paganism and early Christianity in the country. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov was fascinated with this particular time period and set out to compose a piece that depicted both cultures and their celebration of the holiday. The result was his Russian Easter Overture. Most of the themes Rimsky-Korsakov incorporates in the piece are directly taken from Russian Orthodox liturgical music while also depicting pagan celebrations of the past. For its premiere in 1888, Rimsky-Korsakov dedicated the work to two friends and colleagues from the “Mighty Handful” who had recently passed on: Modest Mussorgsky and Alexander Borodin.