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Tchaikovsky and the Mighty Five

Dear Gentlemen

There are people that think that "The Mighty Five" are considered Russia’s top composers.

As a matter of fact only four of them were relevant: Mussorgsky, Rimsky, Balakirev and Borodin, since Cui, as a composer is worth almost nothing.

They were a team of amateur masters that fought for nationalism. Tchaikovsky appreciated and promoted them, even if they did not like him.

Mussorgsky compared him with a thief, Rimsky became envious because Tchaikovsky won more international fame than any of them, and Balakirev guided him to become a cosmopolitan composer, so he would not interfere in their nationalism.

Even if Rimsky, Mussorgsky and Borodin were real geniuses, none of them had his masterful technique in composition,the altitude or his inspiration,or his unmatchable versatility.

Mussorgsky was more original, and maybe Rimsky’s orchestration is slightly more colorful, we have to admit that, but in a complete view of the history of Russian music, only Mussorgsky scratches the top reached by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, head and shoulders above that great master, Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich.

Alberto Sáenz Enriquez

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013