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It’s time to wrap up the first round for the Russians.

Glinka has been given a second chance to advance to the second round of the Russian draw. His opponent is Dmitri Shostakovich.

As explained previously, Glinka is the father of Russian classical music. It doesn’t look good for Glinka.

Shostakovich was, for a time, considered the greatest living composer in the world. Shostakovich is the only composer, of note, to complete more than nine symphonies post-Beethoven.

Glinka just can’t seem to catch a break. Shostakovich wins this one in a cake walk.

Next we have Rachmaninoff versus Balakirev.


Balakirev was the initial guiding hand of the The Five. He championed the younger generation of composers such as Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Rachmaninoff has a popular appeal beyond any Russian composer save Tchaikovsky.

Rachmaninoff wins.

Now comes the pathetique match, Rimsky-Korsakov versus Mussorgsky. How can fate be so cruel as to pit these two against each other so early in the competition?

Let’s look at the merits of Rimsky-Korsakov. Right away he puts Scheherazade on the field but Mussorgsky counters with Night on the Bald Mountain.

Mussorgsky fields his Opera Boris Godunov but Rimsky-Korsakov responds by re-orchestrating it and then presents his operas The Golden Cockerel, The Snow Maiden, and Sadko none of which are anywhere near as popular as Boris.

Rimsky-Korsakov is getting a little desperate and reaches out with The Flight of the Bumble Bee from his opera The Tale of Tsar Saltan. He quickly follows that up with his Russian Easter Festival Overture.

Mussorgsky unleashes the hounds with Night on the Bald Mountain and wins the day by digging deep and pulling forth Pictures at an Exhibition.

After this exhausting match will Mussorgsky have anything left for the next round?

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Joaquin_de_la_Mesa Aug. 13, 2013 @ 11:39 a.m.

Well-done, Maestro Harris. I love how Mussorgsky pulled off a late winner with Pictures at an Exhibition. I could practically here him trash talking, "He Bumblebee man, take this!"

This World Cup idea is a great way to do comparisons of composers, which are notoriously difficult.


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