Happy 175th Birthday, Modest Mussorgsky!

Modest Mussorgsky, 1870

Happy 175th Birthday, Modest Mussorgsky!

Copied from Wikipedia:

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (Russian: Модест Петрович Мусоргский, IPA: [mɐˈdest ˈmusərkskʲɪj]; 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 historyRussian 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 recently come into their own in their original forms, and some of the original scores are now also available.

From Darin: I have long been a fan of Modest Mussorgsky’s work, particularly Pictures at an Exhibition, and his dramatic use of music to tell a story without words. These incredible melodies, along with the compelling names of the various movements of Pictures, were among the first inspirations for my novel, The Mussorgsky Riddle. Truth be told, it all came to me when I was reading the back of the Pictures  CD a few years ago and a simple connection formed in my head: “These are chapter titles.” From there, months and months of brainstorming of how to bring this piece of music to life eventually led to the novel being published by Curiosity Quills Press Fall/Winter 2014.

From Viktor Hartmann’s original paintings to Mussorgsky’s piano to Ravel’s orchestration to Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s rock album, to my novel… Who knows what might come next?

Here’s to you, Modest Mussorgsky. I hope I did you proud.

About Darin Kennedy


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