Modest Mussorgsky

Biography

Born: Mar 21, 1839; Russia   Died: Mar 28, 1881; Russia   Period: Romantic
His musical education was erratic, he toiled as a civil servant and wrote music only part-time, influenced few if any of his contemporaries, died early from alcoholism, and left a small body of work. Yet Modest Mussorgsky was a towering figure in nineteenth century Russian music. His works exhibit a daring, raw individuality, a unique sound that well-meaning associates tried to conventionalize and smooth over. He is best known for Night on Bald Read more Mountain (bowdlerized by Rimsky-Korsakov), Pictures at an Exhibition (a difficult piano suite orchestrated by Ravel), and the dark, declamatory opera Boris Godunov (polished by Rimsky-Korsakov) -- bastardized works all, yet each one full of arresting harmonies, disturbing colors, and grim celebrations of Russian nationalism.
Mussorgsky died in poverty, but he was born to a wealthy landowning family. Under his mother's tutelage, he developed a facility at the piano, but entered a cadet school in preparation for a military career. He joined a choir and discovered Russian church music, which would profoundly influence his later work.
Upon graduation in 1856, Mussorgsky entered the Russian Imperial Guard. That year he started to socialize with the composers Dargomizhsky and Cui, and through them Balakirev, with whom he began composition lessons. During this period he wrote small piano pieces and songs, and after an emotional crisis in 1858 resigned his commission with the intention of composing full-time. He began to go his own way as a composer in 1861, but was preoccupied helping to manage his family's estate. The decline in his family's fortunes led him to accept low-level civil service positions. He joined a commune with other intellectuals and became a proponent of musical Realism, applying the style to his songs. He had difficulty finishing works in larger formats, but his music circulated widely enough that by the late 1860s he was cast with Balakirev, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Borodin as part of Russia's "Mighty Handful."
Mussorgsky toiled many years at his masterpiece, Boris Godunov, which reflected in music the inflections of Russian speech and met with great success in 1874. That year he also produced his innovative piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition. Yet his heavy drinking led to his dismissal from government service in 1880. Friends offered some financial help and Mussorgsky occasionally accompanied singers at the piano, but his finances and mental state quickly deteriorated. He died in 1881, leaving it to posterity to sort through and complete his unfinished works of unruly genius. Read less
Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina / Ognovenko, Galouzine
Release Date: 03/25/2008   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 989   Number of Discs: 2
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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition (Arr. L. Stokowski) / Serebrier: Symphony No. 3 - Symphonie Mystique
Release Date: 06/24/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 211030   Number of Discs: 1
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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Night On The Bare Mountain, Etc / Ponti, Et Al
Release Date: 11/18/2008   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186332   Number of Discs: 1
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Rachmaninov: Etudes Tableaux;  Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition / Sa Chen
Release Date: 08/25/2009   Label: Pentatone  
Catalog: 5186355   Number of Discs: 1
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Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Noseda, Anastassov, Zubov, Marianelli, Storey, Bronder [blu-ray]
Release Date: 08/30/2011   Label: Opus Arte  
Catalog: 7087   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Boris Godunov

Browse 1-25 of 26 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Russian Opera Classics [6 Blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7193 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Orlin Anastassov,  Pavel Zubov,  Alessandra Marianelli,  Andrei Dunaev  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda,  Stefan Herheim,  Michael Boder,  Marc Albrecht  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino,  Chorus of the Teatro Regio Torino,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $99.99
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  • 2.
    Russian Opera Classics [8 DVDs]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1203 Release Date: 03/25/2016   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Dmitri Shostakovich
    Performer:  Alessandra Marianelli,  Pavel Zubov,  Orlin Anastassov,  Mikhail Petrenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda,  Stefan Herheim,  Michael Boder,  Marc Albrecht  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Teatro Regio Torino,  Chorus of the Teatro Regio Torino,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $79.99
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  • 3.
    Karajan - The Opera Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002328102 Release Date: 07/31/2015   Number of Discs: 70
    Composer:  Georges Bizet,  Christoph W. Gluck,  Franz Lehár,  Franz von Suppé  ... 
    Performer:  Heinz Zednik,  Christine Barbaux,  Katia Ricciarelli,  José Van Dam  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Paris Opera Chorus,  Schöneberg Boys Choir  ... 
    CD: $279.49
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  • 4.
    Claudio Abbado: The Complete RCA & Sony Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 304505 Release Date: 08/05/2014   Number of Discs: 39
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Robert Schumann  ... 
    Performer:  Claudio Abbado,  Murray Perahia,  Anatoly Kotcherga,  Midori  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
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    CD: $95.99
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  • 5.
    Mussorgsky:  Boris Godunov  / Nagano,  Tsymbalyuk, Sokolik, Nakamura, Grotzinger,   Siegel, Eiche
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 102 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexander Tsymbalyuk,  Gerhard Siegel,  Eri Nakamura,  Markus Eiche  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
    On sale! $29.99
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  • 6.
    Mussorgsky:  Boris Godunov  / Nagano,  Tsymbalyuk, Sokolik, Nakamura, Grotzinger,   Siegel, Eiche [blu-ray]
    Label: Bel Air Classiques   Catalog: 402 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Eri Nakamura,  Gerhard Siegel,  Alexander Tsymbalyuk,  Markus Eiche  ... 
    Conductor:  Kent Nagano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Orchestra
    On sale! $39.99
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  • 7.
    Modest Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov
    Label: Musical Concepts   Catalog: 2504 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Yevgeny Nesterenko,  Elena Obraztsova,  Vladimir Atlantov,  Alexander Arkhipov  ... 
    Conductor:  Mark Ermler
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus,  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 8.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godounov / Gergiev, Kirov Opera
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001652502 Release Date: 03/13/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Nikolai Putilin,  Evgeny Nikitin,  Liubov Sokolova,  Grigory Karasev  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Chorus
    CD: $26.99
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  • 9.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Ghiaurov, Karajan
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 7084 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Gertrude Jahn,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Najejda Dobrianova,  Gerhard Stolze  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Salzburg Festival Chamber Chorus  ... 
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  • 10.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Noseda, Anastassov, Zubov, Marianelli, Storey, Bronder
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1053 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Elena Sommer,  Luca Casalin,  Vladimir Matorin,  Vasily Ladyuk  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Chorus,  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 11.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Noseda, Anastassov, Zubov, Marianelli, Storey, Bronder [blu-ray]
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 7087 Release Date: 08/30/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Ian Storey,  Pavel Zubov,  Orlin Anastassov,  Alessandra Marianelli  ... 
    Conductor:  Gianandrea Noseda
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Turin Teatro Regio Chorus,  Turin Teatro Regio Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Fedoseyev, Verdernikov
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 412281 Release Date: 10/29/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Yuri Eliukov,  Vladimir Silajev,  Janis Sporgis,  Ludmilla Simonova  ... 
    Conductor:  Vladimir Fedoseyev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  USSR State Radio/TV Chorus,  Spring Studio Children's Chorus,  USSR Radio/TV Large Symphony Orchestra
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  • 13.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Nebolsin, Nelepp, Piragov, Kozlovsky
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 4380 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexander Pirogov,  Ivan Kozlovsky,  Georgi Nelepp,  Maxim Mikhailov
    Conductor:  Vasily Nebolsin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus,  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
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  • 14.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Semkow, Talvela, Gedda, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54377 Release Date: 09/14/2009   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Bozena Brun-Baranska,  Halina Lukomska,  Wiera Baniewicz,  Andrzej Hiolski  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerzy Semkow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Chorus,  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra
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  • 15.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Talvela, Gedda
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 09178 Release Date: 02/26/2008   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Nicolai Gedda,  Kazmierz Pustelak,  Paulos Raptis,  Kazimierz Sergiel  ... 
    Conductor:  Jerzy Semkow
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Chorus,  Cracow Polish Radio/TV Symphony Orchestra
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  • 16.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Karajan, Ghiaurov
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000747902 Release Date: 10/10/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Ludovic Spiess,  Martti Talvela,  Sabin Markov  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 17.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Nesterenko, Lazarev
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 2852 Release Date: 11/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexander Arkhipov,  Alexander Fedin,  Arthur Eizen,  Tamara Sinyavskaya  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Lazarev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus
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  • 18.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Nesterenko, Bolshoi Opera
    Label: Kultur Video   Catalog: 1138 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Yevgeny Nesterenko,  Vladislav Piavko,  Galiana Kalinina,  Alexei Maslennikov  ... 
    Conductor:  Boris Khaikin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus,  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
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  • 19.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Piragov, Kozlovsky, Nebolshin, Et Al
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4253 Release Date: 03/30/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexander Pirogov,  Ivan Kozlovsky
    Conductor:  Vassily Nebolssin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus,  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
    DVD: $28.99
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  • 20.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Dobrowen, Christoff, Gedda, Etc
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 188 Release Date: 03/25/2003   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Boris Christoff,  Gerald Moore,  G. Ustinov,  Raymond Bonte  ... 
    Conductor:  Wilhelm Schüchter,  Issay Dobrowen
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Russian Metropolitan Church Choir Paris,  French National Radio Orchestra
    CD: $52.99
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  • 21.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Golovanov, Pirogov, Kozlovsky
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1363 Release Date: 10/01/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexander Pirogov,  Ivan Kozlovsky,  Georgi Nelepp
    Conductor:  Nikolai S. Golovanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra,  Bolshoi Theatre Chorus
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  • 22.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Gergiev, Lloyd, Kirov Opera
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 075089 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexei Steblianko,  Robert Lloyd,  Olga Borodina,  Sergei Leiferkus  ... 
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kirov Theater Orchestra
    DVD: $43.99
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  • 23.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Karajan, Ghiaurov, Borg
    Label: Opera D'oro   Catalog: 1170 Release Date: 10/20/1998   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Gerhard Stolze,  Nicolai Ghiaurov,  Kim Borg,  Alexei Maslennikov  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Croatian National Opera Chorus,  Salzburg Festival Chamber Chorus,  Vienna State Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 24.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Kitayenko, Haugland, Etc
    Label: Kontrapunkt   Catalog: 32036 Release Date: 03/11/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Heinz Zednik,  Stig Fogh Andersen,  Annemarie Moller,  Erik Harbo  ... 
    Conductor:  Dmitri Kitayenko
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Danish Radio Chorus
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  • 25.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godounov / Rostropovitch, Raimondi
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 245418 Release Date: 05/01/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Vyacheslav Polozov,  Paul Plishka,  Kenneth Riegel,  Misha Raitzin  ... 
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Symphony, Washington, D. C.,  Washington Choral Arts Society,  Washington Oratorio Society  ... 
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