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Genius composer Modest Mussorgsky

  In the middle of the 19th century, three of the five members of the most influential “power group” in the Russian music scene were completely amateur composers. They have no formal music education, and they have made their name in history through their own diligence and the guidance of their friends. The 3 people are Borodin, Guy (introduced in this magazine) and Mussorgsky. Borodin is a doctor of medicine and a chemist, while Guy is a military engineer and general of the Corps of Engineers. Both of them are well-known in their respective fields, and both have superior material conditions to engage in their own leisure activities – music creation. However, Mu Shi was born in poverty and had a turbulent life. He worked as a civil servant in the Engineering Bureau and the Forestry Department successively. His life was poor, and he drank too much. He finally hurt his own body. At the age of 42, he died prematurely. Yet his genius, his spirit of exploration and innovation, and his nationalistic sensibilities make him one of the two best composers (along with Rimsky-Korsakov) in the “power group”.
  Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was born in March 1839 in a failed landlord family in the village of Karevo, Pskov Region. At the age of 6, he studied piano with his mother. Under the influence of the fairy tale of a female serf nanny , often improvising. Rural life leaves a deep impression on the minds of young children. In 1849, he entered the Petropavlovsk School in Petersburg, where he began to learn the piano with the pianist Anton Galka (1812-1870). In 1852, he entered the Guards School for Non-commissioned Officers. That year, his first piano piece “Warrant Officer” Polka was published. After graduating in 1856, he enlisted in the army and retired after two years as a non-commissioned officer in the Preobrazhensky Guards. Since then, he has devoted himself to music work. Before that, there were several events that had a major impact on his musical career: in 1856, he met Borodin, who had just graduated from the medical school who was on duty at the Second Army Hospital. The two became close friends. Soon, they met Dar Gomes. Brothers Key, Guy, Balakirev, and Stasov were all influential figures in the music industry at that time. Balakirev also personally guided M Moser’s music creation and music theory study. By the early 1960s, the young man had written many orchestral and piano pieces, songs and romantics, and also composed music for the tragedy of “Oedipus” by Sophocles, one of the three great tragedies of ancient hope. In 1861, it was performed at the Maria Theater under the direction of Lichtoff (1855-1914).
  Due to the deep influence of the revolutionary enlightener writer Chernyshevsky (1828-1889) and the progressive statesman and literary critic Dubrolyubov (1836-1861), by the end of the 1960s, M Moser was a firm leader. A materialist and a democrat, he established a progressive creative principle and created a series of realistic vocal music works that reflect the life of the peasants. In his symphonic works “Interlude” and “Night on Barren Mountain”, he created an image reflecting the combination of people’s life and fantasy.
  Opera is the most important exploration in M ​​Moser’s creation. From 1863 to 1866, he wrote the opera “Salambo” (unfinished) according to the French writer Flaubert’s novel. In 1868, he began to write the most famous work of his life, “Boris Godunov”, which was based on Pushkin’s tragedy of the same name. The first draft was completed in 1869, and the second draft was completed in 1872. During this period, the National Theatre of the Empire refused to perform, and only some fragments were performed in the Salon of celebrities of culture and art at that time. In 1874, the famous soprano singer Pratono At the insistence of Dowa (1841-1892), the play “Bao” was officially performed at the Maria Theater in Petersburg. However, the performance of “Bao” sparked a heated debate, with progressive public opinion warmly congratulating it, while conservatives gave it hostile criticism. Even the M Moser-friendly composers were controversial, and even the radical Guy was ambiguous in his comments, which shows that the composer’s bold innovations are difficult for even friendly critics to understand. The experience of “Bao” brought serious mental trauma to Mu Mo. One of the best Russian national operas has since disappeared (only one was performed in 1879, conducted by Rimsky-Korsakov in a concert at the compulsory music school), until the death of M Moser at the beginning of the 20th century. It took more than a few years before it was fully recognized and widely welcomed.
  The 1970s was the heyday of M Moser’s creation. During this period, in addition to the above-mentioned “Bao” drama, he began to create another masterpiece “The Khovansky Rebellion”, which is a large-scale opera with a historical theme. The writing began in 1872, and it took 8 years successively, and some details were left unfinished in the final scene. In 1874, the two-act comedy opera “Solo Qingcai Market”, based on Gogol’s novel “A Night Talk at Dikangka”, is also a handed down work, but the author failed to complete it during his lifetime. Husband, Rimsky-Korsakov, Guy continued. In addition to operas, the most important works of this period include the vocal suite “Darkness” in 1874, the vocal suite “Song and Dance of Death” from 1975-1877, and the 1874 piano piece “Pictures at an Exhibition” (also translated as “Pictures”). Exhibition”), there is also a bass solo “Song of the Flea” that is not highly rated in the music books but widely circulated, others such as “Lovely Savishina”, “Yeliao Mujica Lullaby” It is also a masterpiece that has been sung for a long time.
  Mussorgsky is one of the greatest realist composers in the 19th century. He strives to achieve the greatest real life in his creations. The images in his works are flesh-and-blood and convincing in both daily life and psychology. The biggest feature of his creation is a clear sense of democracy, full of strong protest against serfdom, love for the people, especially deep sympathy for the injured and the poor. In his letter to Stasov and his friends, he summed up his artistic views and mission as “using flesh-and-blood music to shape the image of a flesh-and-blood people”. He tried to understand and express the collective psychology of the people while reproducing the spiritual world of people at first. He believed that “people, like individuals, always have fleeting subtle characteristics and hidden characteristics”.
  M Moser’s vocal works in the 1960s have already reflected the creative principles of realism, in Nekrasov (1821-1878, a progressive poet famous for describing civilian life), Shevchenko (1814-1861, Ukrainian serfs) The progressive poet and painter of family background), Ostrovsky (1823-1886, the famous realist playwright) wrote and self-composed songs, created a clear image of the common people, portrayed with strong critical force It combines the witty humor, poignant irony, beautiful lyricism, and touching pathos at the same time. Stasov rightly points out that there are quite a few songs with a full theatrical character, especially works in the lullaby genre, such as his “Kalistra”, “Yelyomuska Lullaby”, “Sleep, Be Good” “Sleep, Farmer’s Son”, is very skillful in expressing the suffering and grief of the people. Especially in the Ukrainian folk dance “Gopak”, he combined dance and lullaby to obtain a distinct image effect. He also sometimes used satire as a means of mocking and exposing the ugliness, such as parodying church songs in “School Student”, and imitating the works of dissidents in “School Student” and “Paradise”.
  M Moser wrote many excellent vocal and instrumental works in his short life. In addition, he also wrote five operas, which are “Salambao”, “Marrying a Wife” and “Boris Goth” in order of their creation years. Dunov” and “The Khovansky Rebellion” and “The Bazaar of Solokince”. Among them, the play “Bao” is the most important work that established Mu Shi’s historical status. However, it was criticized and neglected before Mu Shi’s death, and it was not widely recognized until more than 20 years after the composer’s death. The reasons are multi-faceted and technical, as some critics say “the structure is disordered, and the harmony is also very rough”, which was later perfected by Rimsky-Korsakov’s revision, but this Not the most important reason. The author believes that there is another crux, which is that the “Encyclopedia of Music” published by the former Soviet Union in 1976 said that “Boris Godunov” is a new type of historical opera in which the people are a force for positive action. M Moser made a new interpretation when adopting the tragedy of the Pushi Society, giving the opera the color of a peasant uprising. The plot revolves around the main contradiction between the tsarist rule and the people. At the same time, it also vigorously depicts the psychological tragedy and spiritual collapse of Boris, the usurper, which leads to disaster and destruction. The personal tragedy of Boris is closely intertwined with the tragedy of the people, which determines the artistic characteristics of the rapid development of “Bao” and its clear purpose.
  ”The Rebellion of Khovansky” is also a major drama of Mu’s. Mu’s called it “the people’s musical”. It was written that Peter the Great ascended the throne in 1682, when he was only 10 years old, his sister Sophia was in power, and the Royal Guard was in power. The leader of Prince Khovansky colluded with the stubborn forces of the Orthodox separatist sect and rebelled, and was suppressed and executed that year.
  The “Huo” drama also focuses on describing the strength of the people’s power, emphasizing the leading role of the people’s power, but unlike the “Bao” drama, there are many plot clues, and many independent clues are finally integrated into one. There are many characters in the play, with very different life experiences. There are shooters, “comers from Moscow”, separatists, serf girls of Duke Khovansky, etc., but there are individualized descriptions in the play, the interests of the characters in the play. Conflicts and different pursuits are also vividly described.

  The pinnacle of M Moser’s chamber vocal creation is the trilogy “Children’s Room”, “Darkness” and “Song and Dance of Death”. Regarding “Children’s Room”, Debussy (1862-1918), the famous French composer and founder of Impressionist music, had a high evaluation: “No one has ever treated the most beautiful things of our human beings so tenderly and affectionately.” In “Darkness” In “The Bullied and Insulted” portrayed in 19th century literature, M Moser profoundly and truly portrayed the image of the victims of poverty, loneliness, and deceit. If “Darkness” is the composer’s unique monologue to express his emotions, then the theme of “Song and Dance of Death” is that the composer uses musical images full of tragic power to express human suffering. At the same time, due to the use of popular musical forms and tunes, these images appear to have exceptionally real life and distinct social characteristics. This set of 4 songs – “Crackling”, “Serenade”, “Trepak” and “Commander”, “Song and Dance of Death” deeply and concretely depicts the experience of human beings from birth to death. The other side depicts the mental outlook of the Russian people when they are fighting against their fate.
  Mussorgsky’s instrumental compositions are relatively small in number, but leave behind some distinct and distinctive compositions. Although his symphonic poem “Night on the Barren Mountain” is an ancient folk superstition, it tells people: “Darkness” is the kingdom of demons. After night falls, demons appear, and “King of Darkness” Chernobog On the stage, the demons praised him, worshipped him, and danced wildly around the devil. Just as they were in high spirits, the morning church bell rang in the distance, and the demons disappeared immediately, and it was dawn. The moral of “Night on the Barren Mountain” is self-evident. In addition, the composer’s skillful use of the variational structure makes “The Clothes of the Barren Mountain” a model among the Russian title symphonies. The character of the musical image of “Night on the Barren Mountain” is derived from folklore, for which the composer explained that he used the typical Russian technique of free and “loose variations”, so that “the character of the form of my work is purely Russian. Yes, it’s unique.” This unique creative technique also featured prominently in his 1874 piano suite “Pictures at an Exhibition”. In this suite, the various figures of the custom, fairy tale, fantasy and narrative form a colorful acoustic canvas. Due to the rich timbre and “orchestral elements” of the piano sound, many musicians have sprouted the idea of ​​​​arranging this piece. Many composers have made attempts, and the most successful is the French composer Maurice Ravel (1875- 1937) The orchestral piece arranged in 1923, some critics even think that the arrangement surpasses the original, but many critics believe that only the original piano can express the original intention of the author, and any arrangement cannot replace it.
  ”Pictures at the Exhibition” is an enduring work. It also has a widely circulated translation title – “Pictures Exhibition”. The two go hand in hand, but the author thinks the former is more accurate. Motivation for writing this song: In 1868, M Moser met the architect and painter Victor Hartmann, and the two young people immediately became close friends, but unfortunately something happened, in July 1873 Hartman The untimely death of the 39-year-old, M Moser is very sad. In the following year, the Hartmann Memorial Exhibition was held in St. Petersburg. Mushi participated in the exhibition and was deeply moved. He was inspired to create. He chose 10 paintings from the exhibition as materials and wrote a piano suite. The 10 paintings are: The Gnomes, The Castle, The Gardens of the Tuileries, The Polish Bullock Cart, The Dance of the Chicks, The Two Jews, The Limoges Market, The Tomb, The Chicken Feet The House on the Upper, “Kyiv Gate”. M Moser’s 10 piano pieces named after these 10 paintings are his staves to interpret the life experience and aesthetic views of his friend Hartmann. This is also the deepest mourning of the friend who passed away early.
  Before Musorg’s death, the innovative significance of his creation was not widely recognized. Only Stasov had a unique insight. He first believed that “Mussorgsky belongs to the figure who will be established by future generations”. It was only nearly 20 years after his death that M Moser’s operas took firm footing on the stage, “Bao” was silent for many years after its premiere at the Maria Theater in 1874, and only in 1896 was Reem in the halls of the Petersburg Academy of Music. The revised version of Schi-Korsakov, “Bao” was not fully recognized until after the famous bass singer Chaliapin sang the lead role in the play in 1898, and the original version was not released in Leninger until 1928. Le Opera and Ballet Theatre reunites with the audience. As for “The Khovansky Rebellion”, the fate was also quite bumpy. After it was staged in Petersburg at the request of the people in 1886, in 1892, a private opera house in Moscow (by the great entrepreneur Mamontov (1841-1918)) founder) staged the play, and its performance on the national stage was achieved 20 years later by Chaliapin’s initiative.
  The legacy left by Mussorgsky has strong democratic ideas and realism spirit. The novel creative methods and innovative connotations were not valued when he was alive, and often caused controversy. Only after the October Revolution did they get a comprehensive and fair Evaluation. As for the reproduction of its original work on the stage, it should be attributed to Asafiev (1884-1949), a famous musicologist, composer, academician and people’s artist of the former Soviet Union, and another musicologist, collation scholar The careful collation and multi-faceted fair evaluation of Mr. Ram (1882-1951), an artist and doctor of art theory. In addition, in 1968, the M Moser House Museum was also established in M ​​Moser’s hometown.
  In his later years, Mu Shi was impoverished and alcoholic, and his health deteriorated severely. Finally, he died of erysipelas in the Nikolaevsky Military Hospital on March 18, 1881.
  Composers with a bumpy life not only influenced Western composers represented by French composers Debussy, Ravel and Czech composer Jadicek (1854-1928), but also the famous composer Shostako in the former Soviet Union. New developments in the M Moser tradition can be seen in the works of Vitch (1908-1975) and former Soviet composers, former Soviet State Prize and Lenin Prize winner Sviridov, and many former Soviet composers.

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