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Modest Musorgsky and Boris Godunov : myths, realities, reconsiderations

Author: Caryl Emerson; Robert William Oldani
Publisher: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Caryl Emerson (a literary specialist) and Robert William Oldani (a music historian) take a new and comprehensive look at the most famous Russian opera, Modest Musorgsky's Boris Godunov. The result is both a historical study of a famous work and an interpretive piece of scholarship.
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Named Person: Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky; Modeste Pétrovitch Moussorgski; Modest P Musorgskij; Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky; Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky
Material Type: Biography, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Caryl Emerson; Robert William Oldani
ISBN: 0521361931 9780521361934
OCLC Number: 27383443
Description: xiii, 339 p. : ill., ports., music, facsim. ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. Tsar Boris in history --
2. Musorgsky's literary sources, Karamzin and Pushkin --
3. Narrative and musical synopsis of the opera --
4. History of the composition, rejection, revision, and acceptance of Boris Godunov --
5. A tale of two productions --
St. Petersburg (1874-1882), Paris (1908) --
6. Boris and the censor: documents --
7. The opera through the years: selected texts in criticism --
8. The Boris libretto as a formal, literary, and historical problem --
9. The music --
10. Boris Godunov during the jubilee decade: the 1980s and beyond.
Responsibility: Caryl Emerson, Robert William Oldani.
More information:

Abstract:

Caryl Emerson (a literary specialist) and Robert William Oldani (a music historian) take a new and comprehensive look at the most famous Russian opera, Modest Musorgsky's Boris Godunov. The result is both a historical study of a famous work and an interpretive piece of scholarship.

The topics discussed include: the "Boris Tale" in history; Karamzin's history and Pushkin's drama as literary sources; Musorgsky's Innovations as a librettist and as a theorist of the sung Russian word; the strange story of the opera's composition and revision; its first productions at home and abroad; and an in-depth musical analysis. In the process, several often-met errors in Musorgsky scholarship are clarified and corrected. A final chapter speculates on the opera's themes of political murder, guilt, and legitimacy - so important to Russian literary and national identity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries - and the new role the "Boris plot" and its composer might come to play in more recent open phases of Russian cultural life.

The volume contains a selection of classic texts in criticism, numerous production photographs, a bibliography and discography. The book will be of interest to scholars and students of opera, music history, and Russian literature and culture as well as to opera enthusiasts.

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