The Five

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The Five, name of a group of late 19th-century Russian composers. They were Balakirev, the leader, Cui, Moussorgsky, Borodin, and Rimsky-Korsakov. These men, united by a nationalistic fervor, tried to write music of distinctively Russian character, drawing on the history, literature, and folklore of their country.

See V. I. Seroff, The Mighty Five (1948); M. O. Zetlin, The Five (tr. 1959).

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Five, The. Name given to group of 5 Russ. composers, Balakirev, Borodin, Cui, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov, who est. a ‘national’ sch. of comp. in 19th cent. In Russia they were known as moguchaya kuchka, ‘the mighty handful’, a term invented by the critic Stasov in 1867.