David Brown


His Life and Work
Master Musicians Series

Book (Hardcover)

Item no.771487
Author/ComposerDavid Brown
Scope410 pages; 15.6 × 23.4 cm
Release year2003
Publisher/ProducerOxford University Press
Producer No.OUP 9780198165873
30.60 €
Delivery time approx. 1–2 weeks.
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This is not only the first life-and-works on Musorgsky in English for over half a century but also the largest such study of the composer ever to have appeared outside Russia. Mussorgsky was one of the towering figures of nineteenth century Russian music - but also one of the most tragic. Largely an amateur with no systematic training in composition, he nevertheless emerged in his first opera, Boris Godunov, as a supreme musical dramatist, presenting here (and in certain of his piano pieces in Pictures at an Exhibition) some of the most startlingly original of all song composers, with a prodigious gift for uncovering the emotional content of a text. His failure to complete his two remaining operas, Khovanshchina and Sorochintsy Fair, before his premature death from alcohol poisoning is one of music's greatest tragedies.


  • Preface
  • Illustrations
  • 1:Childhood and early years
  • 2:The making of a composer: I
  • 3:The making of a composer: II
  • 4:The early songs: I
  • 5:Salammbô
  • 6:The early songs: II
  • 7:St John's Night on the Bare Mountain more songs
  • 8:The Marriage: towards Boris
  • 9:Boris Godunov: composition and production
  • 10:Boris Godunov
  • 11:Life alongside Boris - The Nursery completed, A note on Musorgsky's spelling of his name
  • 12:Life alongside Boris II: Khovanshchina begun
  • 13:Two relationships: Pictures at an Exhibition and Sunless
  • 14:Khovanshchina
  • 15:Songs and Dances of Death: Last songs
  • 16:Sorochintsy Fair
  • 17:Final years
  • 18:Postlude: the century since
  • Appendices
  • A:Calendar
  • B:List of works
  • C:Personalia
  • D:Select bibliography
  • Index