Composer: Modest Mussorgsky
Instrument: Flute Quartet
Arranged by Lior Eitan
Duration: 6 min.
Khovanshchina is an opera in five acts by Modest Mussorgsky. It is based on the story of the rebellion of Prince Ivan Khovansky, the Old Believers, and the Muscovite Streltsy against the regent Soa Alekseyevna and the two young Tsars Peter the Great and Ivan V, who were attempting to lead reforms in Russia in 1682.
The work was written between 1872 and 1880 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The composer wrote the libretto based on historical sources. He died in 1881, leaving the opera unnished and unperformed.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov completed, revised, and scored Khovanshchina in 1881–1882. Because of his extensive changes, Dmitri Shostakovich revised the opera in 1959 based on Mussorgsky's vocal score, and it is the Shostakovich version that is usually performed.
In 1913 Igor Stravinsky and Maurice Ravel made their own arrangement at Sergei Diaghilev's request. When Feodor Chaliapin refused to sing the part of Dosifei in any other orchestration than Rimsky-Korsakov's, Diaghilev's company used a mixture of orchestrations which did not prove successful. The Stravinsky-Ravel orchestration was forgotten, except for Stravinsky's nale, which is still used.
The overture is very peaceful and calm and based on one theme. The pastoral atmosphere is interrupted occasionally by fanfares played by wind instruments. The Opera received its rst performance in the Rimsky-Korsakov edition in 1886.
Flute Quartet and Piano
About the composer +
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (21 March [O.S. 9 March] 1839 – 28 March [O.S. 16 March] 1881) was a Russian composer, one of the group known as "The Five". He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music.
Many of his works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, and other nationalist themes. Such works include the opera Boris Godunov, the orchestral tone poem Night on Bald Mountain and the piano suite Pictures at an Exhibition.
For many years Mussorgsky's works were mainly known in versions revised or completed by other composers. Many of his most important compositions have posthumously come into their own in their original forms, and some of the original scores are now also available.
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