Notes & Reviews:
Modest Mussorgsky (1839 - 1881) was a unique genius who had spotty formal musical training but enormous imagination and creativity. For decades many regarded him as a diamond in the rough, whose ideas needed polishing by other hands. Among other works treated similarly is his operatic masterpiece, Boris Godunov, which Mussorgsky himself produced in two different versions. It was long heard mostly in a later revision by Rimsky-Korsakov, though others, including Shostakovich, have tinkered with it as well. The opera was completed in 1869, but had to wait until 1874 for its premiere. Like Pushkin's play on which it is based, its subject matter gave the censors fits - though Boris was well received by the public if not by critics. Rimsky published his own edition in 1896 with an update in 1908, after which it began to take its place in the standard repertoire. There are many today who consider Boris Godunov one of the most theatrical, powerful, and profoundly moving operas ever written, despite being strikingly unlike most repertoire operas. The performance recorded here uses the Rimsky orchestration, but slightly changes the order of some scenes. A number of cuts were made by the conductor in order to make this very long opera fit a normal theatrical evening.Notes & Reviews:
Recording information: Salzburg (1966).
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Works DetailsMussorgsky, Modest : Boris Godunov
- Conductor: Herbert Karajan
- Notes: Composition written: 1868-74.
- Running Time: 2 min. 18 sec.
- Period Time: Romantic
- Form: Opera/Operetta
- Written: 1868-1874