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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 Edition
Release Date: 09/24/2013   Label: Brilliant Classics  
Catalog: 94670   Number of Discs: 14
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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Liszt: Piano Concerto No 1
Release Date: 09/30/2008   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8570716   Number of Discs: 1
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Stokowski Transcriptions - Bach, Wagner, Mussorgsky / Serebrier, Bournemouth SO
Release Date: 04/27/2010   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8505086   Number of Discs: 5
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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Etc / Kuchar, Et Al
Release Date: 04/15/2003   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8555924   Number of Discs: 1
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Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Etc / Serebrier
Release Date: 06/21/2005   Label: Naxos  
Catalog: 8557645   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Night on the Bare Mountain

Browse 1-25 of 169 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition / Gergiev,  Mariinsky Orchestra
    Label: Mariinsky   Catalog: 0553 Release Date: 12/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Ferruccio Furlanetto
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
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  • 2.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition For Orchestra & Solo Piano
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94931 Release Date: 11/18/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Alexander Warenberg
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Leonard Bernstein Edition - Concertos & Orchestral Works
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 301330 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 80
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Béla Bartók  ... 
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Leonard Bernstein,  Harold Gomberg,  William Heim  ... 
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Seiji Ozawa,  Maurice Peress
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  New York Philharmonic members,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 4.
    Phase 4 Stereo - Stereo Concert Series
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002188302 Release Date: 10/27/2014   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  John Philip Sousa,  Charles A. Zimmerman,  Francis S. Van Boskerck,  George Norton  ... 
    Performer:  Stanley Black,  David Parkhouse,  Alan Loveday,  Robert Merrill  ... 
    Conductor:  Rodney Bashford,  Stanley Black,  Bernard Herrmann,  Edward Downes  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Grenadier Guards Band,  London Festival Orchestra,  London Festival Recording Ensemble  ... 
    On sale! $199.98
    CD: $139.99
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  • 5.
    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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  • 6.
    Waldbuhne / Fleming, Bronfman, Chailly, Marin, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59988 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Renée Fleming
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Ion Marin,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 7.
    Waldbuhne / Fleming, Bronfman, Chailly, Marin, Rattle, Berlin Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 59984 Release Date: 07/29/2014   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Igor Stravinsky,  Antonín Dvorák  ... 
    Performer:  Yefim Bronfman,  Renée Fleming
    Conductor:  Simon Rattle,  Ion Marin,  Riccardo Chailly
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $64.49
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  • 8.
    RCA Living Stereo Collection Vol 1
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 541497 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 60
    Composer:  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Claude Debussy,  Jacques Ibert,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Berj Zamkochian,  John Weicher,  Philip Farkas,  Jascha Heifetz  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Munch,  Fritz Reiner,  Kiril Kondrashin,  Arthur Fiedler  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Symphony Orchestra,  New England Conservatory Chorus,  New England Conservatory Alumni Chorus  ... 
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  • 9.
    Carlo Maria Giulini: The London Years
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 93739 Release Date: 12/03/2013   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Benjamin Britten,  César Franck  ... 
    Performer:  Sheila Armstrong,  Anna Reynolds,  Robert Tear,  John Shirley-Quirk
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  New Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 10.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition / Lucerne Festival Orchestra Brass Ensemble
    Label: Accentus   Catalog: 30296 Release Date: 10/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lucerne Festival Orchestra Brass Ensemble
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  • 11.
    Fritz Reiner - The Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 370198 Release Date: 10/15/2013   Number of Discs: 63
    Composer:  Richard Strauss,  Johannes Brahms,  Rolf Liebermann,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Artur Rubinstein,  Jascha Heifetz,  Emil Gilels,  Inge Borkh  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Reiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Lyric Theatre Chorus,  Studio Orchestra
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  • 12.
    Mussorgsky Edition
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94670 Release Date: 09/24/2013   Number of Discs: 14
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Alexander Warenberg,  G. Ustinov,  Raymond Bonte,  Eugené Bousquet  ... 
    Conductor:  Igor Markevitch,  Issay Dobrowen,  Atanas Margaritov,  Evgeny Brazhnik
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  ORTF National Orchestra,  Russian Orthodox Cathedral of Paris Choir  ... 
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  • 13.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22346 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 14.
    Label: Urania   Catalog: 22318 Release Date: 07/16/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Dimitri Mitropoulos
    On sale! $15.98
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  • 15.
    Colin Davis: The Philips Years [15-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001850302 Release Date: 06/18/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Stephen Kovacevich,  Claudio Arrau,  Jessye Norman,  Jon Vickers  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  BBC Symphony Orchestra,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    CD: $76.99
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  • 16.
    Claudio Abbado - A Life Dedicated To Music
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059588 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Bryn Terfel,  Lucio Gallo,  Ramón Vargas  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir,  Swedish Radio Choir  ... 
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    DVD: $88.99
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  • 17.
    Stravinsky, Borodin, Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky
    Label: Orchid Classics   Catalog: 100029 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mythos Accordion Duo
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    Icon - Constantin Silvestri [15-CD Set]
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 233472 Release Date: 02/05/2013   Number of Discs: 15
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  George Enescu,  Franz Liszt  ... 
    Conductor:  Constantin Silvestri
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris  ... 
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  • 19.
    Symphonic Works by Modest Mussorgsky / Svetlanov
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002034 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
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  • 20.
    Philips Original Jackets Collection  [55-CD Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001767702 Release Date: 12/04/2012   Number of Discs: 55
    Composer:  Max Bruch,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johannes Brahms,  Gioachino Rossini  ... 
    Performer:  Salvatore Accardo,  Elisabeth Unger,  Claudio Arrau,  Thomas Zehetmair  ... 
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur,  Bernard Haitink,  Frans Brüggen,  Simon Rattle  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Beaux Arts Trio  ... 
    On sale! $169.98
    CD: $145.49
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  • 21.
    Russian Treasures
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 2572 Release Date: 09/25/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Mikhail Glinka  ... 
    Performer:  Mikhail Pletnev,  Natalie Dessay,  Dmitri Alexeev,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet  ... 
    Conductor:  Paavo Järvi,  André Cluytens,  Armin Jordan,  Sir Charles Mackerras  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 22.
    Magical Places - Evocative Symphonic Poems For Piano Duet / Goldstone & Clemmow
    Label: Divine Art   Catalog: 25104 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Hugo Alfvén,  Jacques Ibert,  Anatole Liadov  ... 
    Performer:  Anthony Goldstone,  Caroline Clemmow
    CD: $18.99
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  • 23.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001702102 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin,  Aram Khachaturian
    Performer:  Torgny Sporsen
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Oliver Knussen  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 24.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Night On Bald Mountain; Ravel: Valses Nobles Et Sentimentales
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001697702 Release Date: 07/24/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Maurice Ravel
    Conductor:  Giuseppe Sinopoli
    CD: $11.99
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  • 25.
    Kinderklassik: Classical Music For Children, Vol. 2
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 300347 Release Date: 06/12/2012   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Claude Debussy,  Albert Lortzing  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Rösel,  Hans Sotin,  Georgine Resick,  Gerhard Erber  ... 
    Conductor:  Claus Peter Flor,  Hartmut Haenchen,  Bernhard Klee,  Kurt Masur  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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