Donald Macleod tells the unhappy story of Mussorgsky's final years.
Donald Macleod concludes his exploration of the life and work of Modest Mussorgsky.
He considers the composer's final years - a period which should have been his middle age, but was an unhappy ending.
His last opera, Sorochintsy Fair, was left in disembodied form, to be animated, by successive generations of composers.
The choice cuts of genuine Mussorgsky that have survived give a tantalising glimpse of what might have been.
Mephistopheles' Song in Auerbach's Cellar (Song of the Flea) - 1879
Paata Burchuladze (bass)
Ludmilla Ivanova (piano)
DG 419 239-2 Tr 13
Two piano pieces: On the southern shore of the Crimea - Gurzuf (1879); Near the southern shore of the Crimea: Baydarki Capriccio (1880)
Vovka Ashkenazy (piano)
Conifer 75605 51274 2 Trs 18, 19
Triumphal March (The Capture of Kars) - 1880
London Symphony Orchestra
Claudio Abbado (conductor)
BMG 09026 61354 2 Tr 9
Two Russian Folksongs (words by AK Tolstoy) - 1877: Misfortune; Softly the spirit flew up to heaven
Boris Christoff (baritone)
Alexandre Labinsky (piano)
EMI CHS 763025 2 CD 3 Trs 13, 14
Sorochintsy Fair (1874-80) - excerpt from Act 1
Chorus and Orchestra of the Stanislavsky Theatre
V(ladimir?) Esipov (conductor)
Olympia OCD 114A+B CD 1 Trs 1-6
Sorochintsy Fair (excerpt from Act 2)
The Priest's Son....V(yacheslav?) Voinarovsky
Olympia OCD 114A+B CD 1 Trs 14-19
Sorochintsy Fair - concluding chorus of Act 3 (Hopak)
Olympia OCD 114A+B CD 2 Trs 5-6.