Modest Mussorgsky

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Modest Mussorgsky

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (1839-03-21 N.S. / 1839-03-09 O.S. – 1881-03-28 N.S. / 1881-03-16 O.S.) was a Russian composer who, along with the other members of the Five, created a Russian nationalist form of classical music.


  • My music must be an artistic reproduction of human speech in all its finest shades. That is, the sounds of human speech, as the external manifestations of thought and feeling must, without exaggeration or violence, become true, accurate music.
    • Letter to Lyudmila Shestakova, July 30, 1868; Jay Leyda and Sergei Bertensson The Musorgsky Reader (1947) p. 113.
  • I regard the people as a great being, inspired by a single idea. This is my problem. I strove to solve it in this opera.


  • Mussorgsky, in his vocal efforts, appears wilfully eccentric. His style impresses the Western ear as barbarously ugly.

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