I’ve long loved the two symphonies that Vasily Kalinnikov wrote, but I’ve been largely unfamiliar with the remainder of his output. Kalinnikov was a talented composer who produced a lot of rich, emotional, and songlike work before his untimely death from tuberculosis in 1901, when he was just 35 years old. Had he been able to live to his seventies, I wonder what rank he might hold in musical history.
I haven’t been able to find much information about this particular work beyond its title: Bylina, an overture. You probably don’t need to know more than that, though. This music is its own reward.