The Mighty Handful (Moguchaya Kuchka / Могучая Кучка in Russian), better known as The Five in English-speaking countries, was a label applied in 1867 by the critic Vladimir Stasov to a loose collection of Russianclassicalcomposers brought together under the leadership of Mily Balakirev with the aim of producing a specifically Russian music rather than imitating older European music.
The other members of The Five were CÚsar Cui, Alexander Borodin, Modest Mussorgsky and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Before them, Mikhail Glinka had gone some way towards producing a distinctly Russian kind of music, writing operas on Russian subjects, but The Mighty Handful represented the first concentrated attempt to develop such a music.
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