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: Pictures at an Exhibition; Schumann: Fantasie / Paul Lewis
Release Date: 01/13/2015   Label: Harmonia Mundi  
Catalog: 902096   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Songs and dances of death

Browse 1-25 of 50 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Three Classic Albums - Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 002268702 Release Date: 03/23/2015   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Nikolai Kalinin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Ossipov State Russian Folk Orchestra
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  • 2.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition / Gergiev
    Label: Mariinsky   Catalog: 553 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Ferruccio Furlanetto
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theater Orchestra
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  • 3.
    Ewa Podles & Garrick Ohlsson - Live At The Fryderyk Chopin University  In Warsaw
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 9883 Release Date: 01/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Prokofiev,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson,  Ewa Podles
    DVD: $29.99
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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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  • 5.
    Mussorgsky: Songs / Sergei Leiferkus, Semyon Skigin
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 94928 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Semion Skigin,  Sergei Leiferkus,  Sergey Yakovenko,  Semeon Skigin  ... 
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  • 6.
    The Art Of Irina Arkhipova
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002123 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  John Wustman,  Irina Arkhipova,  Igor Guselnikov
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  • 7.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Songs And Dances Of Death; The Nursery / Breiner
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8573016 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $12.99
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  • 8.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition; Songs And Dances Of Death; The Nursery / Breiner [blu-ray Audio]
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 36 Release Date: 11/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Conductor:  Peter Breiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
    Blu-ray Audio: $19.99
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  • 9.
    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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  • 10.
    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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  • 11.
    Salzburg Festival 2012 Opening Concert / Gergiev
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2072618 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Sergey Semishkur
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    DVD: $24.99
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  • 12.
    Salzburg Festival 2012 Opening Concert / Semishkur, Gergiev, Vienna Philharmonic [blu-ray]
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2072614 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Prokofiev
    Performer:  Sergey Semishkur
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus Konzertvereinigung
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 13.
    Icon - Boris Christoff [11-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 829372 Release Date: 02/12/2013   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Alexander N. Serov  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Christoff,  Serge Zapolsky,  Alexandre Labinsky,  Gaston Marchésini  ... 
    Conductor:  André Cluytens,  Féodor Potorjinsky,  Georges Tzipine,  Issay Dobrowen  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestre de la Société du Conservatoire Paris,  Féodor Potorjinsky Choir,  French National Radio Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $35.49
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  • 14.
    In This Moonlit Night - Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Taneyev / Hvorostovsky, Ilja
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 1216 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Taneyev
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Ivari Ilja
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  • 15.
    Hommage  - Joseph Rouleau
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 298746 Release Date: 05/03/2011   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Gaetano Donizetti,  Arrigo Boito,  Claudio Monteverdi  ... 
    Performer:  Joseph Rouleau,  Dame Joan Sutherland,  Dame Gwyneth Jones,  Peter Glossop  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Tullio Serafin,  Nello Santi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $34.49
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  • 16.
    Russian Songs / Mikhail Svetlov, Pavlina Dokovska
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572218 Release Date: 03/29/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  César Cui,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Mily Balakirev  ... 
    Performer:  Pavlina Dokovska,  Mikhail Svetlov
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  • 17.
    Marko Rothmüller - Recordings 1945-1950
    Label: Hafg   Catalog: 10199 Release Date: 10/15/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Richard Wagner,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Marko Rothmüller
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  • 18.
    Come Away, Death / Marianne Beate Kielland, Sergei Osadchuk
    Label: Two-l   Catalog: 64 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Wolfgang Plagge,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Marianne Beate Kielland,  Sergei Osadchuk,  Sergej Osadchuk
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  • 19.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures Of An Exhibition; Song & Dances Of Death
    Label: Regis   Catalog: 1352 Release Date: 09/28/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Irina Arkhipova
    Conductor:  Yevgeny Svetlanov
    Recommendation
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  • 20.
    Famous Voices Of The Past: George London, Vol. 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 93463 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  George London,  Paul Ulanowsky
    Conductor:  Rudolf Moralt,  Jean Paul Morel
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  • 21.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit: Jennie Tourel, Vol. 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89733 Release Date: 04/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Jennie Tourel,  Leonard Bernstein,  Erich Itor Kahn,  George Reeves
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Eugene Ormandy
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  • 22.
    Schubert, Ibert, Mussorgsky / George London, Erik Werba
    Label: Orfeo   Catalog: 801091 Release Date: 01/26/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Duparc,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jacques Ibert,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  George London,  Erik Werba,  Paul Ulanowsky
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  • 23.
    Songs By Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky, Etc / Ewa Podles, Garrick Ohlsson
    Label: Wigmore Hall Live   Catalog: 27 Release Date: 02/24/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Karol Szymanowski  ... 
    Performer:  Ewa Podles,  Garrick Ohlsson
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  • 24.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Boris Christoff, Vol. 3
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89713 Release Date: 02/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Boris Christoff
    Conductor:  Georges Tzipine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  French National Radio Orchestra
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  • 25.
    Lied Album - Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov, Kilpinen / Martti Talvela
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430070 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Yrjö Kilpinen,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Martti Talvela,  Irwin Gage,  Ralf Gothóni
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Modest Mussorgsky


WORKS
Pictures at an Exhibition: Promenade
The Gnome
Promenade
Il vecchio castello
Promenade
Tuileries
Bydlo
Promenade
Ballet of the Unhatched Chicks
Samuel Goldenberg and Schmuyle
Promenade
Limoges -- The Market
Catacombs (Sepulchrum romanum)
Con mortuis in lingua mortua
The Hut on Fowl's Legs
The Great Gate at Kiev
Promenade
Gnomus
Promenade
The Old Castle
Promenade
The Tuileries Gardens
Bydlo
Promenade
Ballet Of The Chickens In Their Shells
Samuel Goldenberg And Schmuyle
The Marketplace At Limoges
The Catacombs (Sepulchrum romanum)
Cum mortuis in lingua mortua
The Hut On Fowl's Legs (Baba-Yaga)
The Great Gate Of Kiev
Prologue, Scene 1, Introduction
Prologue, Scene 1: "Well then, what's wrong with you?"
Prologue, Scene 1: "Who are you adandoning us to"
Prologue, Scene 1: "Who are you adandoning us to"
Prologue, Scene 1: "True believers! The boyar is implacable."
Prologue, Scene 1: "Glory to Thee, Creator on high"
Prologue, Scene 1: "Did you hear what the holy pilgrims said?"
Prologue, Scene 2, Introduction
Prologue, Scene 2: "Long live Tsar Boris Fyodorovich!"
Prologue, Scene : "My soul is sad"
Prologue, Scene 2: "Glory!"
Act I, Scene 1, Introduction
Act I, Scene 1: "Just one final story"
Act I, Scene 1: "O Lord, strong and righteous"
Act I, Scene 1: "Do not complain, brother"
Act I, Scene 1: "For alLong time, honoured father"
Act I, Scene 1: "I arrived at night"
Act I, Scene 1: "How old was the murdered Tsarevich?"
Act 1, Scene 1: "They are ringing for matins"
Act I, Scene 2: Introduction
Act I, Scene 2: "I caught a grey drake"
Act I, Scene 2: "Give me some fun"
Act I, Scene 2, "Why are you so pensive, comrade?"
Act I, Scene 2: "Here's what happened at the town of Kazan"
Act I, Scene 2: "Why don't you sing along?"
Act I, Scene 2: "We are humble elders, honest monks"
Act I, Scene 2: "What are you staring at me like that for"
Act I, Scene 2: "And his age... and his age..."
Act II: "Where are you, my Betrothed"
Act II: "Oh, that's enough, Princess, my dear!"
Act II: "A gnat was chopping wood"
Act II: "My little tale is about this and that"
Act II: "What's the matter? Has a wild beast surprised a sitting hen?"
Act II: "I have achieved absolute power"
Act II: "Hey, Pss!"
Act II: "Our little parrot was with the Nannies"
Act II: "Ah, it's you, glorious orator"
Act II: "In Uglich, in the cathedral, in front of all the people"
Act II: "Phew! I feel terrible! Let me catch my breath"
Act III, Scene 1: "By the sky-blue waters of the vistula, under a shady willow"
Act III, Scene 1: "Enough! The beautiful lady is grateful"
Act III, Scene 1: "Marina is bored. Oh, how bored!"
Act III, Scene 1: "Ah! Oh, it's you, my father"
Act III, Scene 1: "With tender, ardent words of love"
Act III, Scene 1: "What? You impudent liar!"
Act III, Scene 2: "At midnight, in the garden, by the fountain"
Act III, Scene 2:"Tsarevich!"
Act III, Scene 2:"Can a humble and sinful man, praying for his dear ones"
Act III, Scene 2:"Tsarevich, hide!"
Act III, Scene 2: Polonaise - "I do not believe in your passion, sir"
Act III, Scene 2:"That crafty Jesuit, he has got me firmly in the grip"
Act III, Scene 2: "How long and agonizing"
Act III, Scene 2: "Oh, Tsarevich, I beg you"
Act III, Scene 2:"Oh, my turtledoves!"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1869 Version): Introduction
Act IV, Scene 1 (1869 Version): "What, is Mass Finished Already?"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1869 Version): "Trrr, trrr - Iron cap"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1869 Version): "Aaah! Boris"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version): Introduction
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version):"Exalted boyars!"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version):"Well, then? Let's go and vote, Boyars"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version):"What a shame that prince Shuisky isn't here"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version):"He was whispering: keep away, keep away"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version):"Here, by the front entrance"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version): "A Humble Monk"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version): "Once, in the Evening"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version):"The Tsarevich - Quickly!"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version):"Farewell, My Son!"
Act IV, Scene 1 (1874 Version):"A bell! A Funeral Knell!"
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version): Introduction
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version):"Bring Him Over Here!" (Tramps)
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version): "It's Not a Falcon Flying in the Heavens" (Tramps)
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version): "The sun and moon have grown dark"
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version): "Hey Ho!"
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version): "Domine, Domine, salvum fac"
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version): March - "Glory to You, Tsarevich"
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version): "We, Dimitri Ivanovich"
Act IV, Scene 2 (1874 Version): "Flow, Flow, Bitter Tears"
I. Lullaby
II. Serenade
III. Trepak
IV. The Warrior