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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: Boris Godunov: Boris' Monologue

Browse 26-50 of 53 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    The Chaliapin Edition Vol 5 - 1921-1923 American & British Recordings
    Label: Arbiter   Catalog: 142 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Feodor Koeneman,  Mikhail Glinka,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Feodor [Bass Vocal] Chaliapin
    Conductor:  Percy Pitt,  George W. Byng,  Josef Pasternack,  Sir Eugene Goossens
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  • 27.
    Mussorgsky, Wagner: Opera Highlights / Stokowski
    Label: Cala Records   Catalog: 535 Release Date: 08/05/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Raymond Cauwet,  Nicola Rossi-Lemeni,  Lawrence Mason
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leopold Stokowski Orchestra,  San Francisco Symphony Orchestra,  San Francisco Opera Chorus  ... 
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  • 28.
    Famous Voices Of The Past - George London
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90543 Release Date: 06/24/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  George London
    Conductor:  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Rudolf Moralt,  Max Schönherr,  Jean Paul Morel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 29.
    Opera Recital - Stefan Elenkov
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 235 Release Date: 10/29/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Stefan Elenkov
    Conductor:  Boris Hinchev,  Ivan Anguelov,  Mark Ermler,  Assen Naidenov  ... 
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  • 30.
    Dokumente Einer Sängerkarriere - Ferdinand Frantz
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90490 Release Date: 08/27/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi,  Alexander Borodin,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Jacques Offenbach  ... 
    Performer:  Ferdinand Frantz,  Paul Kuen
    Conductor:  Kurt Schröder,  Jan Koetsier,  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hessian Radio Symphony Orchestra Frankfurt,  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus
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  • 31.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Boris Christoff
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89554 Release Date: 08/27/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Traditional,  Arrigo Boito,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Boris Christoff
    Conductor:  Issay Dobrowen,  Nicolai Malko,  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Orchestra
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  • 32.
    Moussorgsky: Boris Godounov (Highlights) / Chaliapin, Et Al
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 2206 Release Date: 04/30/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Feodor Chaliapin,  Angelo Bada,  Nicola Moscona,  Aristide Baracchi  ... 
    Conductor:  Vincenzo Bellezza
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
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  • 33.
    The Great Polish Bass In Opera & Song / Marian Nowakowski
    Label: Pearl   Catalog: 152 Release Date: 09/25/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Frédéric Chopin,  George Gershwin,  Jules Massenet,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Marian Nowakowski
    Conductor:  Philip Green,  Anatole Fistoulari,  Warwick Braithwaite,  J Kolaczowski
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 34.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Georges Baklanoff
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89522 Release Date: 03/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Anton Rubinstein,  Ruggero Leoncavallo,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  George Baklanoff,  Lydia Jakovlevna Lipkowska
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  • 35.
    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:  Brigitte Fassbaender,  Sviatoslav Richter,  Galina Vishnevskaya,  Alexei Maslennikov  ... 
    Conductor:  Carlo Maria Giulini,  Lorin Maazel,  Neeme Järvi,  Mikhail Pletnev  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 36.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov Highlights / Ludwig Weber, Et Al
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90380 Release Date: 01/25/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Fritz Krauss,  Ludwig Weber,  Max Osswald,  Emma Mayer  ... 
    Conductor:  Carl Leonhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Reichssenders Orchestra,  Stuttgart Reichssenders Chorus
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  • 37.
    A Tribute To Martti Talvela
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 945 Release Date: 11/16/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Yrjö Kilpinen,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Joonas Kokkonen  ... 
    Performer:  Eero Heinonen,  Martti Talvela,  Hertha Klust
    Conductor:  Leif Segerstam,  Okko Kamu,  Jussi Jalas,  Paavo Berglund
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 38.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Leo Schützendorf
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89186 Release Date: 10/05/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Peter Cornelius,  Karl Millöcker,  Johann Strauss Jr.  ... 
    Performer:  Leo Schützendorf,  Josef Kalenberg,  Michael Bohnen
    Conductor:  Selmar Meyrowitz,  Frieder Weissmann,  Bruno Weyersberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin State Opera Orchestra,  Berlin City Opera Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 39.
    Grosse Sänger Unseres Jahrhunderts - Hans Hotter
    Label: Orfeo D'or   Catalog: 501991 Release Date: 04/01/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Richard Strauss,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Hans Hotter
    Conductor:  Rudolf Albert,  Meinhard Von Zallinger,  Eugen Jochum
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra
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  • 40.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Alexander Kipnis Vol 4
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89166 Release Date: 03/02/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Cornelius,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Lev Knipper,  Feodor Koeneman  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Kipnis,  Paul Reinicke,  Fritz Wolff
    Conductor:  Hans Rosbaud,  Fritz Reiner,  Joseph Stopak,  Siegfried Wagner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Frankfurt Radio Orchestra,  Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra  ... 
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  • 41.
    Joseph Greindl
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 90124 Release Date: 07/04/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Charles Gounod,  Richard Wagner,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Josef Greindl
    Conductor:  Fritz Lehmann,  Fritz Rieger,  Ferdinand Leitner,  Leopold Ludwig
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Munich Philharmonic Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Württemberg State Orchestra  ... 
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  • 42.
    Opera In English - Mussorgsky: Boris Godunov (Highlights) / Daniel, Et Al
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 3007 Release Date: 05/19/1998   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Stephen Dawson,  Edward Thornton,  Matthew Best,  Brian Cookson  ... 
    Conductor:  Paul Daniel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Northern Philharmonia,  Opera North Chorus,  Leeds Parish Church Chorus
    CD: $14.99
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  • 43.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Joel Berglund
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89151 Release Date: 07/15/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Johan August Söderman,  Andreas Hallén,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Joel Berglund
    Conductor:  Nils Grevillius,  Leo Blech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 44.
    George London - Of Gods And Demons
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 62758 Release Date: 01/14/1997   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Anton Rubinstein,  Modest Mussorgsky,  Louis Gruenberg,  Richard Wagner  ... 
    Performer:  George London
    Conductor:  Kurt Herbert Adler,  Rudolf Moralt,  Jean Paul Morel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 45.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Feodor Schaljapin Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89087 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Dargomizhsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Gioachino Rossini,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Feodor Chaliapin,  Georgi Pozemkovsky,  Olive Kline,  Florence Austral  ... 
    Conductor:  Max Steinmann,  Rosario Bourdon,  Albert Coates,  Paul-Henri Büsser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra
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  • 46.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Mark Reizen Vol 1
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89059 Release Date: 02/07/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Dargomizhsky,  Mikhail Glinka,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Mark Reizen
    Conductor:  Vassily Nebolssin,  Alexander Melik-Pashayev,  Mark Riezen,  Samuel Samosud  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
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  • 47.
    Mussorgsky: Boris Godunow / Kegel, Adam, Et Al
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 2032 Release Date: 11/29/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky
    Performer:  Siegfried Vogel,  Theo Adam,  Karl-Friedrich Hölzke,  Peter Schreier  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert Kegel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Staatskapelle,  Leipzig Radio Chorus,  Dresden Children's Choir
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  • 48.
    Opera Scenes From Savonlinna
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 373 Release Date: 09/23/1994   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Wagner,  Modest Mussorgsky  ... 
    Performer:  Jorma Silvasti,  Satu Vihavainen,  Jaako Ryhänan,  Jorma Falck  ... 
    Conductor:  Kyösti Haatanen,  Ulf Söderblom,  Ilpo Mansnerus,  Leif Segerstam
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Savonlinna Opera Festival Chorus,  Savonlinna Opera Festival Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 49.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Tancredi Pasero Vol 2
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89074 Release Date: 03/22/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Ennio Porrino,  Arrigo Boito  ... 
    Performer:  Tancredi Pasero,  Gino Bechi,  Gina Bernelli
    Conductor:  Antonio Sabino,  Ugo Tansini,  Luigi Ricci,  Dick Marzollo
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra,  Italian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Rome Opera Teatro Reale Chorus  ... 
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  • 50.
    Lebendige Vergangenheit - Alexander Pirogov
    Label: Preiser Records   Catalog: 89078 Release Date: 02/01/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alexander Dargomizhsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Performer:  Alexander Pirogov,  Ivan Kozlovsky
    Conductor:  Vassily Nebolssin,  Samuel Samosud,  Nikolai S. Golovanov,  Alexander Melik-Pashayev
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra
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