Remembering Mily Balakirev - composer, pianist and conductor
The name of Mily Balakirev is familiar to many people; it immediately evokes associations with the "Mighty Handful" in their memory. However, there is hardly a person that studied musicology who is capable of naming one or two of his works offhand. It so happened that Balakirev is known as a public figure, teacher, but not as a composer. Why did his creative destiny remain in the shadow of great contemporaries and what is the true meaning of his personality in Russian culture?
Balakirev considered the mission to develop the formation of Russian music and musical school. He took an active part in the work of not only the "Mighty Handful", but other composers as well, Tchaikovsky, for example, prompting them new themes and plots for creativity. Thus, his own creative work faded into the background. In 1862, Balakirev founded the “Free Music School”, and a few years later refused an invitation to become a professor at the Moscow Conservatory, considering himself insufficiently educated to teach within the academic walls. Since 1867, he was a conductor of concerts in the Imperial Russian Musical Society. His removal from this post in 1869 was the result of both court intrigues and his own implacable radicalism in his views on music.
By the beginning of the 1870s, the paths of the Mighty Handful composers went off; Balakirev was deeply worried about the loss of influence on his former associates. He gave up musical studies, entered the routine service on the Warsaw Railway, fell into religion and, in moments of spiritual devastation, even thought about retiring to a monastery. Only ten years later the composer returned to full-fledged musical activity, once again heading his school and accepting in 1883 an offer to become the head of the court singing chapel. For 11 years in this position, he demonstrated his best organizational qualities - from reconstruction of the chapel building and ending with taking care of the singers that have lost their voice. From that moment on, the institution has its own full-bodied orchestra, which still exists today.
After leaving the chapel, Mily Balakirev gets the opportunity and time to be engaged in composing. He writes new works, revises those that were written in his youth. Becoming more and more despotic and intolerant, he supports Slavophil views and condemns the 1905 revolution, which alienates many people from his inner circle. On May 10, 1910, the composer died. Despite the fact that he had not participated in public musical life for a long time, he was buried as a prominent figure of Russian culture.
A short biography of Mily Balakirev is in the section "Authors".
For the birthday of the composer - the romance "Take me in your arms and kiss" to his music and lyrics by Alexei Koltsov, performed by Ivan Burlak is in the museum Sound Library. Digitized from the gramophone record of the Aprelevsky plant.
In Vladimir, Yekaterinburg, Lipetsk and Nizhny Novgorod there are streets and lanes named after the composer. Musical and art schools in Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Gus-Khrustalny bear the name of Mily Balakirev.
In February 2017, the square of the composer Balakirev appeared in Moscow.
Material is on the basis of open sources