Tsar Boris Overture

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page one of Tsar Boris Overture

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A common Russian man with uncommon musical talent, Vasily Kalinnikov (1866-1901) struggled mightily even though Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov recognized his ability. Tuberculosis forced him to move from Moscow to Yalta in 1893, where he wrote music in poverty and obscurity. His 1st Symphony (1894-5) gained wide acceptance but did not translate into a secure position. Neither did his 2nd Symphony (1895-7) or the incidental music to A. K. Tolstoy’s Tsar Boris (1899) gain him success. Rachmaninov influenced the publisher Jurgensen to publish these works shortly before Kalinnikov’s early death. I am glad that he helped preserve them, and I think you’ll agree that Kalinnikov wrote a beautiful overture.

Score ID
Year of composition
Year of arrangement
Difficult (Grades 7+)
9 minutes
Concert band / wind band
Classical music

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