The recording of the opera May Night by the USSR TV and Radio Soloists, choir and orchestra conducted by Vladimir Fedoseyev was awarded a Grand Prix Academie du Disque Francais in 1976, in France.
While composing the opera, Rimsky-Korsakov was full of those cherished memories that tinged the opera with light springtime colours.
May Night, an immediate predecessor of The Snow Maiden, was composed in 1878 and premiered on 9 January, 1880, at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and conducted by Eduard Nápravník. The content of Gogol's story was transferred to the time of Whitsuntide, or as it is also called Rusalka or Trinity Week.
Along with the lyricism, fantasy takes a large place in May Night. None of Rimsky-Korsakov's fairy-tale operas did without it. None of his symphonic pieces did without magical themes.
The idea of composing an opera based on Gogol's story May Night was prompted by Rimsky-Korsakov's wife Nadezhda Purgold.