Moussorgsky

Moussorgsky

Moussorgsky

Moussorgsky

Excerpt

It was originally intended that Volume II of the "Monographien zur Russischen Musik" should contain separate accounts of the life and work of the four, or, if we are to include César Cui, the five, Russian composers whose combined artistic activities comprise what used to be known as the New Russian School--a not altogether appropriate description, since an Old Russian School never existed. In addition to Moussorgsky the school includes Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, and Balakirev. But the predominant and ever-growing importance of the composer of Boris Godounov, the stamp of originality which marks his work, in spite of its unquestionable and deep-rooted affinities with that of his predecessors, and, last but not least, the interest attaching to the stark tragedy of his life--all these things pointed to the necessity of assigning to Moussorgsky a place apart in any literary treatment of the subject. This course is made possible by the surprising richness of material available for the purpose; and the result is that the life of Moussorgsky, instead of being confined to four or five chapters, now fills the whole of Volume II of the monographs. This has meant the relegation of the other members of the New Russian School to Volume III, and a not inconsiderable extension of the original limits of the whole work. We feel sure that no further apology for this decision is necessary, especially in Germany, where the name of Moussorgsky is by this time familiar to all who are interested in music.

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