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 Modest Mussorgsky


Born:   March 21, 1839
Deceased:   March 28, 1881

Russian composer

      

Modest Mussorgsky was born on March (9) 21, 1839 in his family estate in the Toropets District of the Pskov Province. Impressions of his childhood spent in the countryside determined the nature of his creativity. His nanny told him Russian folk fairy tales and under the impression he improvised on the piano. 


Following the family traditions the young man joined the Guards School. In the late 1850s Modest Mussorgsky got acquainted with the composers Dargomyzhsky and Balakirev and got friendly with Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stasov. Communication with them helped the talented musician to believe in his true calling: he decided to devote his life to music. In 1858 Modest Mussorgsky retired and became an active member of the creative group of advanced composers who came down in history under the name The Five
 
The composer’s talent was manifested to the full in operas. The monumental innovative music dramas Boris Godunov (after Alexander Pushkin) and Hovanshchina made the summit of his creativity. These works, as well as the comic opera Sorochinsky Fair (after Nikolay Gogol’s book) have common people as the main character.  Modest Mussorgsky created alive, vivid characters of people of different estates and orders, having showed the human personality in all the variety and complexity of one’s inner world.  Psychological depth and high drama go hand in hand with richness of expressive means of music in Mussorgsky's operas. The originality and novelty of the composer’s music language consists in innovative use of the Russian folk song and rendering intonations of oral speech. 
 
Mussorgsky was a highly impressionable, amative, kind and sensitive person. For all that and in spite of his outer complaisance he was extremely firm in all that concerned his creative creed. 
 
Unfortunately, his drinking habit was progressing in the last decade of his life and deteriorated his health. The composer Modest Mussorgsky died of an attack of delirium tremens on March (16) 28, 1881 in a hospital in St. Petersburg.
Mussorgsky’s creativity had a strong impact on almost all outstanding composers of the 20th century, including Sergey Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Dmitri Shostakovich, L. Janacek, and O. Messian. 
 
Mussorgsky Memorial Estate was opened in the Naumovo Village of the Kunyin District of the Pskov Region in 1968.


Tags: Modest Mussorgsky Russian Music    




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