1884: Rimsky-Korsakov: Sinfonietta on Russian Themes in A minor, age 40

Mr. Peabody Says:

Rimsky-Korsakov and Stravinsky used the same idea. Click HERE and HERE to here how Stravinsky used the same folk melody in his Firebird Suite as Rimsky-Korsakov used in At the Wedding Party. It’s striking how both Russian composers incorporated the same folk tunes in their music, which is also true of The Five and Tchaikovsky.

Yevgeny Svetlanov

  • I. Allegretto pastorale- In the Field
  • II. Adagio – At the Wedding Party
  • III. Scherzo-finale – Vivo – In the Khorovod

Descriptive titles:

The three movements of the Sinfonietta do not bear the descriptive titles of the quartet movements. But I included the names.


  • 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons
  • 4 trombones,
  • strings

This started as a string quartet:

In 1878-79 Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a string quartet but he was unhappy with it and so were the composers of The Five. So he reworked the first three movements of the quartet into the Sinfonietta.


The horovod or khorovod is an East Slavic and pagan art form and one of the oldest dances of Russia with its more than 1000 years history. It is a combination of a circle dance and chorus singing, similar to the choreia of ancient Greece. The dance was also known in Russia as karagod, tanok and krug.

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