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Title: Mily Alexeyevich Balakirev
Author: Garden, Edward
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1969
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There is not a single full-length study of Balakirev, his life and works in any language, and it is this gap in our knowledge of a composer who at last is slowly gaining the recognition he deserves, that the present critical study is intended to fill. This extraordinary character is as contradictory a figure as can be found anywhere in the history of music: selfless and autocratic, helpful and domineering, thoroughly sincere and remarkably tactless. But does he deserve more than his place in history as the leader and mentor of the Russian national group of composers known erroneously in English speaking countries as "The Five"? We know that Tchaikovsky was wrong about "so many undeveloped, incorrectly developed, or prematurely decayed talents". Our knowledge of Borodin, if it goes no further than the second symphony, the second string quartet and "Prince Igor"; of Rimsky-Korsakov, if only in "Shehereazade" and an opera or two; and of Mussorgsky, perhaps particularly in "Boris Godunov", a few songs and "Pictures at an Exhibition", should preclude our taking Tchaikovsky's letter too seriously. But what were the "draw-backs", (if any) in Balakirev's talent to which he referred, and were they "fatal"? Are we to agree with César Cui, his one-time collaborator and a member of "The Five", that "he could have achieved more than he did achieve"? Was he "rather disobliging" or a "great-hearted man indeed"? The present enquiry endeavours to throw more light on such questions as these, light which it is hoped will not be thought unnecessary if only because the literature dealing with this subject is so scanty and often erroneous.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available