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Modest Mussorgsky
 
 

1870
 
 
Modest Mussorgsky, in full Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, Mussorgsky also spelled Musorgsky or Moussorgsky (born March 9 [March 21, New Style], 1839, Karevo, Russia—died March 16 [March 28], 1881, St. Petersburg), Russian composer noted particularly for his opera Boris Godunov (final version first performed 1874), his songs, and his piano piece Pictures from an Exhibition (1874). Mussorgsky, along with Aleksandr Borodin, Mily Balakirev, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, and César Cui, was a member of The Five, a group of Russian composers bound together in the common goal of creating a nationalist school of Russian music.

Life and career
Mussorgsky was the son of a landowner but had peasant blood, his father’s grandmother having been a serf. According to his autobiographical sketch, written in 1881, Mussorgsky learned about Russian fairy tales from his nurse. “This early familiarity with the spirit of the people, with the way they lived, lent the first and greatest impetus to my musical improvisations.” His mother, herself an excellent pianist, gave Modest his first piano lessons, and at seven he could play some of Franz Liszt’s simpler pieces.

In August 1849 his father took Modest and his other son, Filaret, to St. Petersburg, where Modest attended the Peter-Paul School in preparation for a military career. At the same time, mindful of Modest’s musical bent, their father entrusted the boys to Anton Gerke, future professor of music at the St. Petersburg Conservatory.

In 1852 Mussorgsky entered the School for Cadets of the Guard. There, in his first year he composed his Podpraporshchik (Porte-Enseigne Polka), published at his father’s expense. Although not the most industrious of students, he gave proof of tremendous curiosity and wide-ranging intellectual interests.

In 1856, by now a lieutenant, Mussorgsky joined the Preobrazhensky Guards, one of Russia’s most aristocratic regiments, where he made the acquaintance of several music-loving officers who were habitués of the Italian theatre. During this same period he came to know Aleksandr Borodin, a fellow officer who was to become another important Russian composer. Borodin has provided a very vivid picture of the musician:

There was something absolutely boyish about Mussorgsky; he looked like a real second-lieutenant of the picture books … a touch of foppery, unmistakable but kept well within bounds. His courtesy and good breeding were exemplary. All the women fell in love with him. … That same evening we were invited to dine with the head surgeon of the hospital. … Mussorgsky sat down to the piano and played … very gently and graciously, with occasional affected movements of the hands, while his listeners murmured, “charming! delicious!”

During the winter of 1856 a regimental comrade introduced Mussorgsky into the home of the Russian composer Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky. At one of the musicales there, Mussorgsky discovered the music of the seminal Russian composer Mikhail Glinka, and this quickened his own Russophile inclinations. Three years later, in June 1859, he saw the Moscow Kremlin for the first time, an important experience that represented his first “physical” communion with Russian history. Through Dargomyzhsky, Mussorgsky met another composer, Mily Balakirev, who became his teacher. Since the death of their father (in 1853), the Mussorgsky brothers had seen their poorly administered patrimony decrease substantially. With the freeing of the serfs in 1861, it vanished. Having decided to devote himself to music, Modest Mussorgsky had quit the army three years earlier and since 1863 had been working as a civil servant in the Ministry of Communications. His distressing financial troubles date from that time, and he had to seek the help of moneylenders.

Mussorgsky achieved artistic maturity in 1866 with a series of remarkable songs about ordinary people such as “Darling Savishna,” “Hopak,” and “The Seminarist,” and an even larger series appeared the following year. Another work dating from this time is the symphonic poem Ivanova noch na Lysoy gore (1867; Night on Bald Mountain). In 1868 he reached the height of his conceptual powers in composition with the first song of his incomparable cycle Detskaya (The Nursery) and a setting of the first few scenes of Nikolay Gogol’s Zhenitba (The Marriage).

In 1869 he began his great work Boris Godunov to his own libretto based on the drama by Aleksandr Pushkin. The first version, completed in December 1869, was rejected by the advisory committee of the imperial theatres because it lacked a prima donna role. In response, the composer subjected the opera to a thorough revision and in 1872 put the finishing touches to the second version, adding the roles of Marina and Rangoni as well as several new episodes. The first production of Boris took place on February 8, 1874, at St. Petersburg and was a success.

In 1865, after the death of his mother, he lived with his brother, then shared a small flat with the Russian composer Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov until 1872, when his colleague married. Left very much alone, Mussorgsky began to drink to excess, although the composition of the opera Khovanshchina perhaps offered some distraction (left unfinished at his death, this opera was completed by Rimsky-Korsakov). Mussorgsky then found a companion in the person of a distant relative, Arseny Golenishchev-Kutuzov. This impoverished 25-year-old poet inspired Mussorgsky’s two cycles of melancholy melodies, Bez solntsa (Sunless) and Pesni i plyaski smerti (Songs and Dances of Death). At that time Mussorgsky was haunted by the spectre of death—he himself had only seven more years to live. The death of another friend, the painter Victor Hartmann, inspired Mussorgsky to write the piano suite Kartinki s vystavki (Pictures from an Exhibition; orchestrated in 1922 by the French composer Maurice Ravel).

The last few years of Mussorgsky’s life were dominated by his alcoholism and by a solitude made all the more painful by Golenishchev-Kutuzov’s marriage. Nonetheless, the composer began his opera Sorochinskaya yarmarka (unfinished; Sorochintsy Fair), inspired by Gogol’s tale. As the accompanist of an aging singer, Darya Leonova, Mussorgsky departed on a lengthy concert tour of southern Russia and the Crimean Peninsula. On his return he tried teaching at a small school of music in St. Petersburg.

On February 24, 1881, three successive attacks of alcoholic epilepsy laid him low. His friends took him to a hospital where for a time his health improved sufficiently for one of the leading Russian artists of the day, Ilya Repin, to paint a famous portrait of him. Mussorgsky’s health was irreparably damaged, however, and he died within a month, shortly after his 42nd birthday.



1874

 

Music
Mussorgsky’s importance to and influence on later composers are quite out of proportion to his relatively small output. Few composers were less derivative, or evolved so original and bold a style. The 65 songs he composed, many to his own texts, describe scenes of Russian life with great vividness and insight and realistically reproduce the inflections of the spoken Russian language. Mussorgsky’s operas Boris Godunov and to a lesser extent Khovanshchina display his dramatic technique of setting sharply characterized individuals against the background of country and people. His power of musical portrayal, his strong characterizations, and the importance he assigned to the role of the chorus establish Boris Godunov as a masterpiece. From a technical standpoint, Mussorgsky’s unorthodox use of tonality and harmony and his method of fusing arioso and recitative provide Boris Godunov with great dramatic intensity.

Shortly after Mussorgsky’s death, Rimsky-Korsakov prepared Mussorgsky’s works for publication, in the process purging them of what he considered to be their harmonic eccentricities and instrumental weaknesses. Rimsky-Korsakov’s widely performed edition of Boris Godunov is the best known of these works. From roughly 1908, however, after the production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s version of Boris Godunov at the Paris Opera, there was a growing demand for the original versions of Mussorgsky’s works, which were made available beginning in 1928 in a collected edition edited by Paul Lamm. This edition displayed Mussorgsky’s original orchestration for Boris Godunov, which is as stark and economical as his unorthodox harmony.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 

Ilya Repin's celebrated portrait of Mussorgsky,
painted 2–5 March 1881, only a few days before the composer's death.
 
 

Mussorgsky was the most innovative of the group of nationalist Russian composers known as "The Five." His parents -cultured, wealthy landowners — sent him to the Guards' cadet school in St Petersburg, where he met the composer Dargomijsky, and later the other future members of The Five — Balakirev, Borodin, Cui, and Rimsky-Korsakov.

In 1858 he resigned his commission to take up composition and started lessons with Balakirev. In 1863, however, increasing money problems forced him to take a relatively low-ranking civil service position, in which he remained almost until the time of his death.

In this situation he produced his first significant compositions, the songs of 1864. His progress was temporarily halted the following year as he battled against the alcoholism that would plague him throughout his life. He recovered to complete his best orchestral piece — Night on a bare mountain -in 1867. Despite his justified satisfaction with the work, it was only performed and published after his death in a drastically revised version by Rimsky-Korsakov.

Mussorgsky encountered similar difficulties with his opera Boris Godunov, based on Pushkin's tragedy, which was rejected in 1869 by the Imperial Opera because it had no lead soprano, no lead tenor, and no central love scene. He revised the work but it was again rejected and was not performed until 1874. The premiere was a public success but a critical failure, even drawing harsh comments from other members of The Five. The opera was withdrawn after only 25 performances.

Mussorgsky's music was simply too unconventional. He avoided the influence of other composers and previous musical traditions, seeking instead to distil the basic elements of music and use them to express his ideas in his own way. If there were influences, they tended to be from spheres other than music. One of these was the painter and architect Victor Hartmann, whose memorial exhibition in 1874 inspired Mussorgsky's Pictures at an exhibition — a collection of piano pieces that reflect ten of Hartmann's paintings. This work came to be very influential and was later orchestrated by several composers, most notably Ravel.

At the end of his life, Mussorgsky enjoyed some fame as a pianist and the composer of Boris Godunov, but most of his work was published posthumously, completed or drastically revised by Rimsky-Korsakov. With the restoration in the twentieth century of his original scores, his innovative qualities have now received deserved recognition.

 
 

 

 

 

Serg van Gennip

Pictures at an Exhibition
         
1. Promenade I
         2. Gnomus
         3. Promenade II
         4. Il vecchio castello (The Old Castle)
         5. Promenade III
         6. The Tuileries Gardens
         7. Bydlo
         8. Promenade IV
         9. Ballet of the Chickens in their Shells
         10. "Samuel" Goldenberg and "Schmuyle"
         11. Promenade V
         12. The Market-place at Limoges
         13. The Catacombs - Sepulchrum romanum - Cum mortuis in lingua mortua
         14. Promenade VI
         15. Hut on Fowl's Legs (Baba-Yaga)
         16. The Great Gate of Kiev

 
 
 
 
 
The Best of Mussorgsky
 
Quadros de uma exposição
1. Promenade
2. Gnomo
3. Promenade
4. O Velho Castelho
5. Promenade
6. Tulherias
7. Bydlo
8. Promenade
9. Balé dos Pintinhos n as Cascas de Ovos
10. Samuel Goldenberg e Schumyle
11. O Mercado Limoges
12. Catacumbas
13. Cum Mortius in Lingu a Morta
14. A Cabana Sobre Patas de Galinha, "Baba Yaga"
15. O Grande Portal de Kiev
16. Uma Noite no Monte Calvo
17. Síntese Sinfônica Sobre Boris Godunov
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Modest Petrovič Mussorgsky Pictures At An Exhibition
 
01 I Promenade 0:01
02 II Gnomus 1:53
03 III Promenade 4:25
04 IV The Old Castle 5:30
05 V Promenade 10:08
06 VI The Tuilleries 10:43
07 VII Bydlo 11:49
08 VIII Promenade 14:46
09 IX Ballet of The Chickens 15:37
10 X Samuel Goldenberg & Schmuyle 16:54
11 XI Limoges_ The Market Place 19:18
12 XII Catacombae 20:45
13 XIII Con Mortuis in lingua morta 22:48
14 XIV The Hut on Fowl's Legs 24:50
15 XV The Great Gate of Kiev 28:36
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an exhibition ( Full ) - BPO / Karajan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Evgeny Kissin - Mussorgsky "Pictures at an ehibition"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Night at Bald Mountain-Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Modest Mussorgsky: Bilder einer Ausstellung - Landesjugendorchester Baden-Württemberg
 
Landesjugendorchester Baden Württemberg unter der Leitung von Christoph Wyneken

Aufnahme vom 8. November 2005 in der Stadthalle Leonberg
Regie: Michael Ciniselli
Orchesterfassung von Maurice Ravel

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Moussorgski - La Khovantchina (complet - ST eng)
 
Хованщина
Opéra posthume en 5 actes de Modeste Moussorgski, composé en 1872-1880 :
- créé à Saint-Pétersbourg, dans une orchestration de Rimski-Korsakov, le 21 février 1886
- orchestré par Chostakovitch en 1959
Ici: version de Chostakovitch + chœur final de Stravinski (1913)
Livret en russe : Moussorgski, d'après l'épisode historique de la révolte de Moscou en 1682
ST : english

Direction musicale : Claudio Abbado
Orchestre de l'Opéra de Vienne
Mise en scène (1989) : Alfred Kirchner
Chorégraphie : Bernd R. Bienert
Réalisation à l'Opéra de Vienne (1989) : Brian Large

Ivan Khovansky, prince, chef des streltsy : Nicolaï Ghiaurov (basse)
Andreï Khovansky, son fils : Vladimir Atlantov (ténor)
Vassili Golitsine, prince : Yuri Maruzin (ténor)
Fiodor Shaklovity, boyard : Anatoly Kocherga (baryton-basse)
Dosifey, chef des schismatiques (vieux-croyants) : Paata Burchuladze (basse)
Marfa, une schismatique : Ludmila Semtschuk (mezzo-soprano)
Susanna, une schismatique : Brigitte Poschner-Klebel (soprano)
Un scribe : Heinz Zednik (ténor)
Emma, jeune Allemande : Joanna Borowska (soprano)
Varsonofiev, serviteur de Golitsine : Peter Köves (basse)
Kouzka, strelets : Wilfried Gahmlich (ténor)
Strechnev, boyard : Timothy Breese (ténor)

Streltsy, schismatiques, servantes et esclaves perses d'Ivan Khovansky, soldats, peuple : Chœurs de l'Opéra de Vienne, etc. (dir. : Helmut Froschauer - Karl Kamper)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Modest Mussorgsky - Khovanshchina: Dance of the Persian Slaves
 
Khovanshchina: Dance of the Persian Slaves (Act 4)

(Orchestrated by N. Rimsky-Korsakov)

Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields
Sir Neville Marriner

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mussorgsky - Songs And Dances Of Death
 
Yevgeni Nesterenko, bass - Vladimir Krainev, piano
Lullaby 0:11
Serenade 6:00
Trepak 10:19
The Field General 15:07
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dmitri Hvorostovsky - Songs & Dances of Death - Trepak
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dmitri Hvorostovsky - "Songs and Dances of Death"
 
Montreal 1998

Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Concert singing the first song from the Cycle "Songs and Dances of Death" composed by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky.
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Charles Édouard Dutoit

"Lullaby" (1875)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dmitri Hvorostovsky - "Songs and Dances of Death"
 
Montreal 1998

Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Concert singing the second song from the Cycle "Songs and Dances of Death" composed by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky.
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Charles Édouard Dutoit

"Serenade" (1875)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dmitri Hvorostovsky - "Songs and Dances of Death"
 
Montreal 1998

Dmitri Hvorostovsky in Concert singing the last song from the Cycle "Songs and Dances of Death" composed by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky.
Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Charles Édouard Dutoit

"The Field-Marshal" (1877)

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boris Godunov - 1874
 
 
Boris Godunov (Russian: Борис Годунов, Borís Godunóv) is an opera by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). The work was composed between 1868 and 1873 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is Mussorgsky's only completed opera and is considered his masterpiece. Its subjects are the Russian ruler Boris Godunov, who reigned as Tsar (1598 to 1605) during the Time of Troubles, and his nemesis, the False Dmitriy (reigned 1605 to 1606). The Russian-language libretto was written by the composer, and is based on the drama Boris Godunov by Aleksandr Pushkin, and, in the Revised Version of 1872, on Nikolay Karamzin's History of the Russian State.

Boris Godunov, among major operas, shares with Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos (1867) the distinction of having the most complex creative history and the greatest wealth of alternative material. The composer created two versions—the Original Version of 1869, which was rejected for production by the Imperial Theatres, and the Revised Version of 1872, which received its first performance in 1874 in Saint Petersburg. These versions constitute two distinct ideological conceptions, not two variations of a single plan.

Boris Godunov has seldom been performed in either of the two forms left by the composer, frequently being subjected to cuts, recomposition, re-orchestration, transposition of scenes, or conflation of the original and revised versions.

Several composers, chief among them Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Dmitriy Shostakovich, have created new editions of the opera to "correct" perceived technical weaknesses in the composer's original scores. Although these versions held the stage for decades, Mussorgsky's individual harmonic style and orchestration are now valued for their originality, and revisions by other hands have fallen out of fashion.

Boris Godunov comes closer to the status of a repertory piece than any other Russian opera, even Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, and is the most recorded Russian opera.


History
Composition history

By the close of 1868, Mussorgsky had already started and abandoned two important opera projects—the antique, exotic, romantic tragedy Salammbô, written under the influence of Aleksandr Serov's Judith, and the contemporary, Russian, anti-romantic farce Marriage, influenced by Aleksandr Dargomïzhsky's The Stone Guest. Mussorgsky's next project would be a very original and successful synthesis of the opposing styles of these two experiments—the romantic-lyrical style of Salammbô, and the realistic style of Marriage .

In the autumn of 1868, Vladimir Nikolsky, a professor of Russian history and language, and an authority on Pushkin, suggested to Mussorgsky the idea of composing an opera on the subject of Pushkin's "dramatic chronicle" Boris Godunov. Boris the play, modelled on Shakespeare's histories, was written in 1825 and published in 1831, but was not approved for performance by the state censors until 1866, almost 30 years after the author's death. Production was permitted on condition that certain scenes were cut. Although enthusiasm for the work was high, Mussorgsky faced a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to his plans in that an Imperial ukaz of 1837 forbade the portrayal in opera of Russian Tsars (amended in 1872 to include only Romanov Tsars).

Original Version

When Lyudmila Shestakova, the sister of Mikhail Glinka, learned of Mussorgsky's plans, she presented him with a volume of Pushkin's dramatic works, interleaved with blank pages and bound, and using this, Mussorgsky began work in October 1868 preparing his own libretto. Pushkin's drama consists of 25 scenes, written predominantly in blank verse. Mussorgsky adapted the most theatrically effective scenes, mainly those featuring the title character, along with a few other key scenes (Novodevichy, Cell, Inn), often preserving Pushkin's verses.

Mussorgsky worked rapidly, composing first the vocal score in about nine months (finished 18 July 1869), and completed the full score five months later (15 December 1869), at the same time working as a civil servant. In 1870, he submitted the libretto to the state censor for examination, and the score to the literary and music committees of the Imperial Theatres. However, the opera was rejected (10 February 1871) by a vote of 6 to 1, ostensibly for its lack of an important female role. Lyudmila Shestakova recalled the reply made by conductor Eduard Nápravník and stage manager Gennadiy Kondratyev of the Mariinsky Theatre in response to her question of whether Boris had been accepted for production:

"'No,' they answered me, 'it's impossible. How can there be an opera without the feminine element?! Mussorgsky has great talent beyond doubt. Let him add one more scene. Then Boris will be produced!'"

— Lyudmila Shestakova, in My Evenings, her recollections of Mussorgsky and The Mighty Handful, 1889

Other questionable accounts, such as Rimsky-Korsakov's, allege that there were additional reasons for rejection, such as the work's novelty:

"...Mussorgsky submitted his completed Boris Godunov to the Board of Directors of the Imperial Theatres ... The freshness and originality of the music nonplussed the honorable members of the committee, who reproved the composer, among other things, for the absence of a reasonably important female role."

— Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Chronicle of My Musical Life, 1909

"All his closest friends, including myself, although moved to enthusiasm by the superb dramatic power and genuinely national character of the work, had constantly been pointing out to him that it lacked many essentials; and that despite the beauties with which it teemed, it might be found unsatisfactory in certain respects. For a long time he stood up (as every genuine artist is wont to do) for his creation, the fruit of his inspiration and meditations. He yielded only after Boris had been rejected, the management finding that it contained too many choruses and ensembles, whereas individual characters had too little to do. This rejection proved very beneficial to Boris."

— Vladimir Stasov

Meanwhile, Pushkin's drama (18 of the published 24 scenes, condensed into 16) finally received its first performance in 1870 at the Mariinsky Theatre, three years in advance of the premiere of the opera in the same venue, using the same scene designs by Matvey Shishkov that would be recycled in the opera.



Shalyapin as Boris (1898)




Revised Version

In 1871, Mussorgsky began recasting and expanding the opera with enthusiasm, ultimately going beyond the requirements of the directorate of the Imperial Theatres, which called simply for the addition of a female role and a scene to contain it. He added three scenes (the two Sandomierz scenes and the Kromï Scene), cut one (the scene 'At the Cathedral of Vasiliy the Blessed'), and recomposed another (the Terem Scene). The modifications resulted in the addition of an important prima donna role (Marina Mniszech), the expansion of existing female roles (additional songs for the Hostess, Fyodor, and the Nurse), and the expansion of the first tenor role (the Pretender). Mussorgsky augmented his adaptation of Pushkin's drama with his own lyrics, assisted by a study of the monumental History of the Russian State by Karamzin, to whom Pushkin's drama is dedicated. The Revised Version was finished in 1872 (vocal score, 14 December 1871; full score 23 June 1872), and submitted to the Imperial Theatres in the autumn.

Most Mussorgsky biographers claim that the directorate of the Imperial Theatres also rejected the revised version of Boris Godunov, even providing a date: 6 May 1872 (Calvocoressi), or 29 October 1872 (Lloyd-Jones). Recent researchers point out that there is insufficient evidence to support this claim, emphasizing that in his revision Mussorgsky had rectified the only objection the directorate is known to have made.

In any case, Mussorgsky's friends took matters into their own hands, arranging the performance of three scenes (the Inn and both Sandomierz scenes) at the Mariinsky Theatre on 5 February 1873, as a benefit for stage manager Gennadiy Kondratyev. César Cui's review noted the audience's enthusiasm:

"The success was enormous and complete; never, within my memory, had such ovations been given to a composer at the Mariinsky."

— César Cui, Sankt-Peterburgskie Vedomosti, 1873

The success of this performance led V. Bessel and Co. to announce the publication of the piano vocal score of Mussorgsky's opera, issued in January 1874.

Premiere
The triumphant 1873 performance of three scenes paved the way for the first performance of the opera, which was accepted for production on 22 October 1873. The premiere took place on 27 January 1874, as a benefit for prima donna Yuliya Platonova. The performance was a great success with the public. The Mariinsky Theatre was sold out; Mussorgsky had to take some 20 curtain calls; students sang choruses from the opera in the street. This time, however, the critical reaction was exceedingly hostile.

Initial performances of Boris Godunov featured significant cuts. The entire Cell Scene was cut from the first performance, not, as is often supposed, due to censorship, but because Nápravník wished to avoid a lengthy performance, and frequently cut episodes he felt were ineffective. Later performances tended to be even more heavily cut, including the additional removal of the Kromï scene, likely for political reasons (starting 20 October 1876, the 13th performance). After protracted difficulties in obtaining the production of his opera, Mussorgsky was compliant with Nápravník's demands, and even defended these mutilations to his own supporters.

"Presently cuts were made in the opera, the splendid scene 'Near Kromï' was omitted. Some two years later, the Lord knows why, productions of the opera ceased altogether, although it had enjoyed uninterrupted success, and the performances under Petrov and, after his death, by F. I. Stravinsky, Platonova, and Komissarzhevsky had been excellent. There were rumors afloat that the opera had displeased the Imperial family; there was gossip that its subject was unpleasant to the censors; the result was that the opera was stricken from the repertory."

— Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, Chronicle of My Musical Life

Boris Godunov was performed 21 times during the composer's lifetime, and 5 times after his death (in 1881) before being withdrawn from the repertory on 8 November 1882. When Mussorgsky's subsequent opera Khovanshchina was rejected for production in 1883, the Imperial Opera Committee reputedly said: "One radical opera by Mussorgsky is enough." Boris Godunov did not return to the stage of the Mariinsky Theatre until 9 November 1904, when the Rimsky-Korsakov edition was presented under conductor Feliks Blumenfeld with bass Fyodor Shalyapin in the title role.

Boris Godunov and the Imperial Family
The reports of the antipathy of the Imperial family to Mussorgsky's opera are supported by the following accounts by Platonova and Stasov:

"During the [premiere], after the scene by the fountain, Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, a devoted friend of mine, but by the calumny of the Conservatory members, the sworn enemy of Musorgsky, approached me during the intermission with the following words: 'And you like this music so much that you chose this opera for a benefit performance?' 'I like it, Your Highness,' I answered. 'Then I am going to tell you that this is a shame to all Russia, and not an opera!' he screamed, almost foaming at the mouth, and then turning his back, he stomped away from me."

— Yuliya Platonova, letter to Vladimir Stasov

"In the entire audience, I think only Konstantin Nikolayevich was unhappy (he does not like our school, in general) ... it was not so much the fault of the music as that of the libretto, where the 'folk scenes,' the riot, the scene where the police officer beats the people with his stick so that they cry out begging Boris to accept the throne, and so forth, were jarring to some people and infuriated them. There was no end to applause and curtain calls."

— Vladimir Stasov, letter to his daughter, 1874

"When the list of operas for the winter was presented to His Majesty the Emperor, he, with his own hand, was pleased to strike out Boris with a wavy line in blue pencil."

— Vladimir Stasov, letter to Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, 1888

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
BORIS GODUNOV - MODEST MUSSORGSKY - 1978 ( MOSCOW )
 
Boris - Yevgeny Nesterenko
Grigory ( False Dmitry ) - Vladislav Piavko
Marina - Irina Arkhipova
Pimen - Valery Yaroslavtsev
Varlaam - Artur Eisen (Eizen)
Shuisky - Andrei Sokolov
Missail - Vitali Vlassov
Fyodor - Glafira Koroleva
Xenia - Galina Kalinina
Hostess - Larissa Nikitina
Simpleton - Alexei Maslennikov

Conductor - Boris Khaikin
Orchestra - Bolshoi Theatre
Chorus - Bolshoi Theatre

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mussorgsky "Boris Godunow" -- Karajan -- Ghiaurov -- Stolze -- Jurinac -- Borg 1966
 
Boris Godunow: Nicolai Ghiaurov
Feodor: Gertrude Jahn
Xenia: Nadejda Dobrianova
Xenias Amme - Mariana Radev
Shuisky: Gerhard Stolze
Schtschelkalov: Sabin Markov
Grigory (der falsche Dmitry): Alexei Maslennikov
Marina: Sena Jurinac
Pimen: Kim Borg
Varlaam: Anton Diakov
Missail: Milen Paunov
Rangoni: Zoltán Kéléman
Hostess: Margarita Lilowa
Simpleton: Gerhard Stolze
Krushchov: Zvonimir Prelcec
Nikitich: Tugomir Franc
Lavitsky: Siegfried Rudolf Frese
Cherniovsky: Paul Karolidis

Modest Mussorgsky "Boris Godunow"
Opera in four acts
Libretto by the composer
Chorus of the Vienna State Opera
Chorus of the Croation National Opera, Zagreb
Chamber Chorus
Chorus of the Salzburg Festival, Vienna
Wiener Philharmoniker
Conductor: Herbert von Karajan

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boris Godunov Vedernikov Arkhipova Piavko Eisen Mazurok Fedoseyev 1872 Mussorgsky Edition
 
Boris Godunov Vedernikov Arkhipova Piavko Eisen Mazurok Fedoseyev 1872 Mussorgsky Definitive Edition
USSR TV and Radio Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra & Chorus Spring Studio Children's Chorus
Boris - Alexander Verdernikov
Grigory (False Dmitry) - Vladislav Piavko
Marina - Irina Arkhipova
Pimen - Vladimir Matorin
Varlaam - Artur Eisen (Eizen)
Shuisky - Andrei Sokolov
Missail - Anatoly Mishutin
Rangoni - Yuri Mazurok
Fyodor - Glafira Koroleva
Xenia - Elena Shkolnikova
Hostess - Lyudmila Simonova
Simpleton - Janis Sporgis
Tchelkalov - Alexander Voroshilo
Krushchov - Yuri Elnikov
Nurse - Nina Grigorieva
Nikitich - Vladimir Filippov
Mityukha - Nikolai Nizinenkov
Lavitsky - Yuri Elnikov
Cherniovsky - Vladimir Silaev
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Love Music" from Boris Godunov - Modest Mussorgsky - Houston Youth Symphony
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mussorgsky - Boris Godunov. Coronation scene. Bolshoi
 
Boris Godunov. "coronation scene" (prologe, scene 1).
The Bolshoi theater. Moscow.
Boris - Evgeniy Nesterenko.
Cond. B.Khaykin
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nicolai Ghiaurov - Boris Godunov - Boris' Death Scene
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Scene from Mussorgsky -- "Boris Godunov"
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
E. Nesterenko - Boris' monologue (Mussorgsky)
 
Evgeny Nesterenko sings first monologue from Boris Godunov by Modeste Mussorgsky.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Boris Godunov Yevgeny Nesterenko
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yevgeny Nesterenko as Boris Godunov
 
Boris Godunov - his farewell, prayer and death. Finale of Mussorgski's masterpiece. The Bolshoi Opera Moscow, lead by Boris Khaikin.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Feodor Chaliapin - 'Clock Scene' from 'Boris Godunov' (Live at Covent Garden, July 4th, 1928)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mussosgsky "Boris Godunov" Chaliapin, Death of Boris 04 July 1928 London
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chaliapin Compilation 2- 3. Boris Godunov
 
Feodor Chaliapin - Chaliapin Compilation 2- 3. Boris Godunov - I have attained the highest power (performed by unknown)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Chaliapin Compilation 2- 4. Boris Godunov
 
Feodor Chaliapin - Chaliapin Compilation 2- 4. Boris Godunov - Ah I am suffocating (performed by unknown)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ariya Urodivogo -  Kozlovsky - "Boris Godunov"
 
Ivan Kozlovsky, tenor (1900-1993), soloist of the Bolshoi theatre (1926-1954).
 
 
 
 
 
     
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Classical Music History - Composers and Masterworks
     
 
 
 

 
 
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