Notes & Reviews:
The idea of composing an opera based on Gogol's story May Night was prompted by Rimsky-Korsakov's wife, Nadezhda Purgold. The opera, an immediate predecessor of The Snow Maiden, was composed in 1878 and premiered on January 9, 1880 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, conducted by Eduard Nápravník. The content of Gogol's story was transferred to the time of Whitsuntide, also called "Rusalka" or "Trinity Week." The music is filled with tunes and intonations of Russian and Ukrainian folk song. This recording by the USSR TV & Radio Soloists, Choir, and Orchestra, conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev, was awarded France's Grand Prix Academie du Disque in 1976.