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Modest Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina / Bolshoi Theatre

Notes & Reviews:

Awarded the Prix "Michel Hofmann" du Disque Academie Charles Cros in France in 1976, and First Prize for the section of foreign recordings in Japan in 1975! Famous critic Vladimir Stasov, a close friend of Mussorgsky, brought the story of Khovanshchina to his attention, and the composer dedicated this work to him. Mussorgsky began to compose the opera in the summer of 1872, when Boris Godunov had not been completed. He was engrossed in the new opera, and had every reason to say, "I am living in Khovanshchina like I used to be in Boris." Mussorgsky wrote the libretto himself, without relying on a literary source. He wrote in one of his letters that he was possessed with one thought - "to tell people a new word of friendship and love, a direct word and one as wide as the Russian fields, a word resonating with the truth from a humble musician yet a fighter for the right idea of the art." He said this word in his great works, among which the popular musical drama Khovanshchina takes one of the highest places.

Awarded the Prix "Michel Hofmann" du Disque Academie Charles Cros in France in 1976, and First Prize for the section of foreign recordings in Japan in 1975! Famous critic Vladimir Stasov, a close friend of Mussorgsky, brought the story of Khovanshchina to his attention, and the composer dedicated this work to him. Mussorgsky began to compose the opera in the summer of 1872, when Boris Godunov had not been completed. He was engrossed in the new opera, and had every reason to say, "I am living in Khovanshchina like I used to be in Boris." Mussorgsky wrote the libretto himself, without relying on a literary source. He wrote in one of his letters that he was possessed with one thought - "to tell people a new word of friendship and love, a direct word and one as wide as the Russian fields, a word resonating with the truth from a humble musician yet a fighter for the right idea of the art." He said this word in his great works, among which the popular musical drama Khovanshchina takes one of the highest places.

MusicWeb International, August 2012
The present version was recorded in 1974 and has been re-mastered. The sound is good with lots of detail...as idiomatic as could be with conductor, orchestra and singers steeped in a tradition with roots struck deep in the 19th century...Marfa was among [Arkhipova's] greatest roles and the Fortune-telling aria is beautifully sung - marvellous.



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