CESAR CUI 1835-1918

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"Portrait of Cesar Cui"

Author Rinat Kuramshin

Cesar Antonovich Cui   was a Russian composer and music critic, member of the Belyayev circle and The Five – a group of composers combined by the idea of creating a specifically Russian type of music.

Cui composed in almost all genres of his time, with the distinct exceptions of the symphonysymphonic poem and the solo concerto (unlike his compatriots Balakirev, Borodin, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov). Art songs, including many children's songs and some vocal duets, have a prominent place in Cui's catalogue. Some of his most famous art songs include "The Statue at Tsarskoye Selo" and "The Burnt Letter," both based on poems by Cui's most valued poet, Alexander Pushkin.

In addition, Cui wrote many works for piano and for chamber groups (including three string quartets), numerous choruses, and several orchestral works, but his most significant efforts are reflected in the operas, of which he composed fifteen of varying proportions. Besides children's music (which includes four fairytale operas as well as the aforementioned songs), three other special categories of compositions stand out among his works: pieces inspired by and dedicated to the Comtesse de Mercy-Argenteau;  works associated with the Circle of Russian Music Lovers; and (3) pieces inspired by the Russo-Japanese War and World War I.

Cesar Cui

"A feast during the plague"

(according to A.S. Pushkin)

Cesar Cui

C.Kui with the artists of the Bolshoi Theater