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Born: 1839, Karevo, RussiaDied: 1881, St. Petersburg, Russia

"Truly genuine art cannot be capricious since it cannot easily be portrayed in another form, and on its own account it demands profound study and sacred love."

Mussorgsky led a turbulent life - his musical training was haphazard, he moved around frequently, and he left some of his most important works unfinished when he died from an infection brought on by alcoholism at the age of 42. As a member of the Mighty Five, a group of composers devoted to pioneering a Russian musical voice, Mussorgsky belongs among the musical nationalists of the late 19th century. He especially excelled as a composer of dramatic music for the voice, as his operas and songs confirm.

Further listening:

Boris Godunov (opera, 1868-72)Soloists, Kirov Orchestra and Chorus,Gergiev (Philips)

Songs and Dances of Death (1875-77)Hvorostovsky, Kirov Orchestra,Gergiev (Philips)

09/06