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The Life of Musorgsky : Musical Lives - Caryl Emerson

The Life of Musorgsky

Musical Lives

Paperback Published: 29th November 1999
ISBN: 9780521485074
Number Of Pages: 218

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Modest Musorgsky is Russia's greatest musical dramatist. When he died in 1881 in St Petersburg at the age of forty-two, in poverty and relative obscurity, he was known for a single opera, Boris Godunov and a handful of eccentric 'realistic' songs set to prosaic Russian texts. He had no institutional connections, no 'degree', no family of his own, not even a permanent address. Except for Franz Liszt, no composer of stature knew of him outside Russia. Through the loyal (if controversial) intervention of his friends, his works survived in various editings into the early twentieth century, when revivals and evolving musical tastes restored him to new life. This account of his life emphasizes the psychological and economic factors that contributed to the composer's remarkable rise and tragic, premature end and is the first brief biography in English to make use of materials published in the new, de-Sovietized Russian academic climate.

Industry Reviews

'Emerson's biography seamlessly combines imaginative and reliable scholarship.' Times Literary Supplement ' ... if you want serious reflection and food for thought in what is far more than a mere chronicle, then Emerson is a historically reliable, aesthetically curious companion.' David Nice BBC Music Magazine 'Emerson manages to flesh out the man's character and to offer plausible theories as to the reasons for Musorgsky's decline.' The Musical Times

List of illustrationsp. vi
Note on sources and translationsp. viii
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Childhood and youth, 1839-1856p. 1
Apprenticeship in St. Petersburg, 1850s-1860s: composers' evenings and the communep. 26
Conservatories, "circles," and Musorgsky at the far musical edgep. 55
1868-1874: Musorgsky and Russian historyp. 81
The 1870s: Musorgsky and deathp. 112
Beyond tragedy: the final yearsp. 136
Epilogue: the Musorgsky problem, then and nowp. 157
Musical postlude: Appraising the artistic productp. 169
Notesp. 179
Selected bibliographyp. 188
Indexp. 190
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521485074
ISBN-10: 052148507X
Series: Musical Lives
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 218
Published: 29th November 1999
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.8  x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.28