“The Lark” is one of the most popular Russian songs of the Romantic era, composed by the founder of the Russian nationalist school, Mikhail Glinka. His fellow countryman, Mili Balakirev, took this simple, melancholy air as the basis for a highly virtuosic piano transcription à la Liszt. It is an impressive bravura piece of moderate length that is ideally suited as an encore or in recitals.
While researching this new Urtext edition, G. Henle Publishers succeeded in unearthing two sensational sources; Balakirev’s autograph manuscript, believed to have been lost, was rediscovered, as was a print copy with revisions in the composer’s own hand that documents the definitive version. Not only the edition, but the fingerings, too, are of the very highest quality; they were prepared by Russian star pianist Evgeny Kissin.
- The Lark (Mikhail Glinka)
About the composer
A Russian composer, pianist, conductor and co-founder of the New Russian School of composers called the “Mighty Handful.” His interest in folk music found expression in his works. In addition, he felt particularly indebted to the musical heritage of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka. An important musical figure without institutional training, he rejected the academy. His compositions include works for piano, pieces for choir and for orchestra, songs, and chamber music.
|1837||Born in Nizhny Novgorod on January 2. He receives his first musical instruction from his mother.|
|from 1846||Piano lessons in Moscow with Alexandre Dubuque and Karl Eisrich.|
|from 1851||He gives concerts at the home of landowner and patron Alexander Dmitryevich Ulybyshev. He is employed as a choir director.|
|from 1855||He is introduced to musical life in St. Petersburg and makes the acquaintance of Mikhail Glinka and Alexander Serov. A tight-knit circle of accolytes forms around him, including Modest Mussorgsky, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and Alexander Borodin.|
|1862–73||He founds the Musical Free School in St. Petersburg, organizing and leading its concerts.|
|1867–69||Chief conductor of the Russian Musical Society.|
|1869||He begins work on the oriental fantasy Islamey, regarded as one of the most technically challenging works in the piano literature.|
|from 1873||Personal crises prompt him to take a multi-year hiatus from music.|
|1881–1908||Director of the Musical Free School.|
|1883||Appointed music director of the Imperial Chapel.|
|1910||Dies in St. Petersburg on May 29.|