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; Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloe, La Valse / Casadesus
Release Date: 05/10/2011   Label: Royal Philharmonic Masterworks  
Catalog: 28180   Number of Discs: 1
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Mussorgsky:  Boris Godunov  / Nagano,  Tsymbalyuk, Sokolik, Nakamura, Grotzinger,   Siegel, Eiche
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Bel Air Classiques  
Catalog: 102   Number of Discs: 1
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Ravel: Ma Mere L'oye; Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition
Release Date: 03/25/2014   Label: Zig Zag  
Catalog: 343   Number of Discs: 1
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Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina / Simonov, Nesterenko, Vedernikov, et al
Release Date: 09/27/2005   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 1163   Number of Discs: 1
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Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov / Nesterenko, Bolshoi Opera
Release Date: 09/27/2005   Label: Kultur Video  
Catalog: 1138   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Songs and dances of death

Browse 26-49 of 49 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Galina Vishnevskaya - Songs And Opera Arias / Rostropovich, London Philharmonic
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 65008 Release Date: 10/03/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Vasso Devetsi,  Ulf Hoelscher
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 27.
    Dmitri Hvorostovsky - Portrait
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 000639802 Release Date: 05/16/2006   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein,  Gioachino Rossini,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky,  Oleg Boshniakovich,  Mikhail Arkadiev,  Olga Borodina
    Conductor:  Valery Gergiev,  Ion Marin,  Nikolai Korniev,  Nikolai Kalinin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra,  Kirov Theater Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
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  • 28.
    Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov / Hvorostovsky, Temirkanov
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 62050 Release Date: 05/24/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 29.
    Hvorostovsky - In Concert
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4330 Release Date: 05/03/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Dmitri Hvorostovsky
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit
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  • 30.
    Classic Library - Mussorgsky: Pictures, Etc / Temirkanov
    Label: Rca Victor Red Seal   Catalog: 59423 Release Date: 04/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Sergei Leiferkus
    Conductor:  Yuri Temirkanov
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 31.
    Shostakovich, Mussorgsky / Galina Vishnevskaya
    Label: Emi Great Artists Of The Century   Catalog: 62830 Release Date: 03/23/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Mstislav Rostropovich,  Ulf Hoelscher,  Vasso Devetsi  ... 
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky / Galina Vishnevskaya
    Label: Emi Great Recordings Of The Century   Catalog: 62654 Release Date: 10/07/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Conductor:  Mstislav Rostropovich
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 33.
    Ewa Podles, Garrick Ohlsson - Live - Chopin, Mussorgsky, Etc
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 405 Release Date: 05/27/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Scriabin,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Garrick Ohlsson
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  • 34.
    Aho: Symphony No 3;  Mussorgsky / Vänskä, Lahti So, Et Al
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 1186 Release Date: 04/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Kalevi Aho
    Performer:  Matti Salminen,  Jaakko Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Osmo Vänskä
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lahti Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Russian Arias / Podles, Orbelian, Philharmonia Of Russia
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3298 Release Date: 04/02/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky,  Rodion Shchedrin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Ewa Podles
    Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Russian Philharmonic Orchestra,  Spiritual Revival Choir of Moscow
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  • 36.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Night On Bare Mountain / Karajan, Maazel
    Label: Dg Panorama   Catalog: 469169 Release Date: 09/26/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Sviatoslav Richter,  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Alexei Maslennikov  ... 
    Conductor:  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Mikhail Pletnev,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra,  Russian National Orchestra  ... 
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  • 37.
    Pora! And Other Russian Romances / Amaize, Korevaar
    Label: Msr   Catalog: 82098 Release Date: 12/14/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Odekhiren Amaize,  David Korevaar
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  • 38.
    Mussorgsky: Song Cycles / Netania Davrath, Erik Werba
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 120 Release Date: 10/12/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Netania Davrath,  Erik Werba
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  • 39.
    Bernstein Century - Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 60693 Release Date: 09/29/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Jennie Tourel,  Leonard Bernstein
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic
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  • 40.
    Shostakovich: Symphony No 14;  Mussorgsky / Neeme Järvi
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 437785 Release Date: 08/30/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Luba Kazarnovskaya,  Sergei Leiferkus,  Brigitte Fassbaender
    Conductor:  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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  • 41.
    Mussorgsky: Songs And Dances Of Death / Lipovsek, Johnson
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 66858 Release Date: 07/16/1996   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Graham Johnson,  Marjana Lipovsek
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  • 42.
    Label: Point Classics   Catalog: 5098 Release Date: 12/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Aage Haugland,  Poul Rosenbaum
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  • 43.
    Mussorgsky, Ibert, Dorumsgaard: Songs / Aage Haugland
    Label: Point Classics   Catalog: 5088 Release Date: 12/15/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jacques Ibert,  Arne Oddvar Dorumsgaard
    Performer:  Aage Haugland,  Poul Rosenbaum
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  • 44.
    George London In Concert
    Label: Vai Audio   Catalog: 1030 Release Date: 11/06/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  George London
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  • 45.
    Shostakovich: Symphony No 10 / Mariss Jansons, Philadelphia
    Label: Emi Classics Special Import   Catalog: 55232 Release Date: 03/14/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Robert Lloyd
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Marko Rothmüller - Schubert: Winterreise, Etc;  Mussorgsky
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1098/9 Release Date: 10/24/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Marko Rothmüller,  Suzanne Gyr
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  • 47.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Etc / János Sólyom
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 16 Release Date: 09/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Hans Pålsson,  Erick Saeden,  János Sólyóm
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  • 48.
    Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition, Night On Bald Mountain
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 325 Release Date: 10/02/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Martti Talvela
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Neeme Järvi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 49.
    Moussorgsky: Chants Et Danses De La Mort / Hacquard
    Label: Alienor   Catalog: 1055 Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Mario Hacquard
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