Classical Music Talk

April 20, 2010

Classical music enjoys a brief revival

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Vanessa Mae, Charlotte Church, Hayley Westenra, these are all names of popular musical stars that have been lingering around the top of the classical music charts these days. The type of music they play could be referred to as classical crossover music, a style that shows how the classical genre has changed in recent years. These days you will be hard pressed to find recitals of well known orchestral pieces at the top of the charts, the old classics can now be found on mixed relaxation CD’s, which help stressed out workers clam down for a minute or two after work.

Classical music forms do not enjoy the popularity that they once did, perhaps this is because it doesn’t really reflect the society we live in as well as it used to or that this particular genre isn’t given as much playtime on popular radio stations and television channels. Whatever the reasons, classical crossover music is helping to give this age old art form a rebirth in the public realm, with people both old and young buying CD’s of Charlotte church or downloading Sarah Mclachlan. Though you couldn’t say their music is a strictly of the western classical variety, but they have each individual has gone through the rigorous training in Western classical music theories, techniques and methods.

So what has created this sudden interest in classical music? Some believe that it may be a use of clever marketing and PR tactics, you don’t see Vanessa Mae wearing long conservative dresses during a performance, instead she is clad in tight revealing leather clothing and has been known for her open behavior during music video shoots. Whatever it may be it is working and it has made classical music relevant to today’s standards, people who wouldn’t pick up any CD with a violin in it now have a Vanessa Mae album in their collection.

April 12, 2010

Know your classical concert types

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For many people classical music is something they cannot access, it has been shrouded in a cloak of mystery and other worldliness. All forms of classical music seem to be reserved for a group of people with higher levels of taste and culture, but the reality is that like all forms of music anyone can enjoy it regardless of age, sex or ethnicity. This stereotype has been long in the making and for those people that would like to give this form of music a try, they usually give up after the second of third hurdle.

One reason for this one sided view is ignorance of the endless pages of classical music terminology, concert types and the instrument groups. If you were to visit a concert hall to listen to a choral music selection for the first time, then you may feel a little out of your element at first. You may not understand what is type of music is being played or even how to enjoy the concert; to give first timers to the classical music scene a little knowledge on what they might expect, here are a few concert types:

  • A Recital – This type of concert usually involves one person playing to an audience, the most popular instrument for this form of show is the piano. There are also other kinds of recitals, such as the duo recital where two people take to the stage, either together or one after the other, but in this case both are equally important to the concert.
  • Chamber Music – This type of classical music is made up of a small group of musicians all playing together, the combination of instrument types usually follow a familiar pairing; for example you might have a stringed quartet made up of 2 violins, a viola and a cello. Another popular chamber music pairing is a ‘piano trio’ which is a piano, a cello and a violin all together on stage at the same time. In some cases there might also be a singer included in the groups, other popular pairings are vocal groups (all singers), percussion groups and wind groups.
  • Chamber orchestras – This is a small version of the popular large concert hall orchestra, the number of people playing will depend on the piece of music being played, but numbers go from 10 to 40. In most cases the orchestra is led by a conductor, but on the odd occasion the musicians are left to play spontaneously and outside of the boundaries. Chamber orchestras normally consist of just stringed instruments, but again this can vary depending on who is organizing the concert.
  • Symphony / Philharmonic orchestra – This is the large well known orchestra type that everyone I familiar with, it includes over 80 musicians. Each part of the music is broken down into sections, such as the percussion, woodwind, brass and strings with each of these groups containing 10 or more players. With an orchestra of this size a conductor is needed to control different elements of the song, such as tempo, tone, pitch and the timing of each part.
  • Choral music – Choral music is a type of classical music that focuses on making the human voice the main feature of a concert, there are usually no instrumental accompaniments with type of music, but in some cases singers may sing along with a piano or other small groups of instruments.  The number of singers can go from 2 to 40 depending on what is being sung.

January 15, 2010

Rachmaninoff

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Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff (April 1, 1873, Novgorod, Russia, d. March 28, 1943, Beverly Hills, USA) was a Russian composer and pianist.
He spent his childhood in a mansion. A nanny took care of him; she was a Russian peasant woman who was able to take him to listen folk songs to assemblies that where a tradition in Russia. Russian folk music later inspired the great composer and pianist in his work.
Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff, son of an officer of Hussars, was one of the most appreciated artists of his generation. In 1882 he entered the Conservatory of St. Petersburg where he studyed with Alexander Siloti, and in 1885 he continued at Moscow, where he studied piano music and composition. After graduation, Rachmaninoff is more known as a conductor and composer than as a pianist. He was the pride of his Conservatory, seemed able to write, to direct, admirable at first reading, able to translate. He was eighteen years old when he first composed a Concerto for Piano (later revised) that was played in the next year. In 1895 he writes the Symphony no. 1, and the Concerto no. 2 for piano and orchestra (1900), he established himself in the world of music through with performances  (him unforgettable piano music) and his creations (symphonic works for orchestra or choir). Rachmaninoff develops an intense artistic activity until December 1917, when he leaves Russia (with the entire family) and lives in Switzerland, where he begins a new life, as virtuoso pianist. He had a repertoire of his own music career and was a good conductor. Rachmaninoff was the first conductor at the Imperial Theater and the Moscow Philharmonic. In 1935 he settles permanently in the United States, leaving Switzerland. Here he wants to give concerts and to write. He wrote important works for universal musical repertoire, and Concerto no. 4 for piano and orchestra (1926), “Variations on a theme of Corelli, for piano solo (1931),” Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini “for piano and orchestra (1934), Symphony no. 3 (1936) and “Symphonic Dances” (1940). He composed music opera “Aleko” (after a poem by the famous Pushkin – 1893), “Knight grabbing” (1903) and “Francesca da Rimini” (1906). His creation “Monna Vanna” was unfinished; he started to work on it in 1907. Rachmaninoff is and remains as popular as he always was. His music is a permanent part of the universal repertoire.

January 1, 2010

Chopin in Spain

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Chopin

Chopin

Chopin spent a few years in Spain from 1838 to 1839. The unfavorable weather has a serious impact on health and the composer’s chronic lung disease. So seriously that – to save his life – returns with George Sand and her two children to the beach in Barcelona and then to Marseilles, where he spent several months for recovery. Although his health condition improves, recovery is never complete. In his characteristic style, he complains about the incompetence of the doctors in Mallorca: “The first told me that I have to die. The second told me that I had last breath, and the third told me that I was already dead.

Chopin spent summers in the period 1839 – 1843 at the property of the writer of Nohant. This is a quiet and productive period for the composer. This consists in a Polish in E flat major, Op. 53 “Eroica”, one of his masterpieces. On returning to Paris (1839), he met pianist and composer Ignaz Moscheles.

In 1845 a serious problem arises in the relationship between Chopin and Sand, with further deterioration of his health. Things get worse in 1846 because of family problems; this is the year when Sand published Lucrezia Floriana, considered a bad work by Chopin. The story deals with the relationship between a rich actress and a prince with a weakened health. The story was interpreted inspired from the two characters. Family problems finally bring an end to the relationship, which lasted for ten years (1837-1847).

When he appeared for the first time in his life George Sand, Chopin, composer and pianist, was the favorite of Parisian salons, he was the hottest artist. At the time he was 27 years old and his success is due primarily to his merits as pianist and composer. The artist lives in Paris the city that fully appreciates his piano music. The delicate style displayed by Chopin was what the atmosphere of that time asked for.

Before World War II was erected a statue dedicated to Chopin in Warsaw Lazienki Park. At its base are organized recitals of Chopin’s piano music every Sunday in summer. Stylized tree above the composer are pianist hands and fingers. In memory of Frédéric Chopin’s genius, the capital Warsaw hosts every five years Frederick Chopin International Piano Competition. The title Grand “Prix du disque” de F. Chopin is awarded periodically for outstanding interpretations of Chopin’s work.

Chopin and Sand

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Chopin

Chopin

Chopin visits Paris and the France. In 1834, with Hiller, visit a music festival held in Aachen by Ferdinand Ries. Both Mendelssohn and Hiller meet him visiting the cities Düsseldorf, Koblenz and Cologne, enjoying everyone’s company and performing music together.

In 1835 Chopin arranged a meeting with his family in Karlsbad. This makes the acquaintance of Count Franz von Thun-Hohenstein, whose daughter was a student of Chopin in Paris. Count calls the composer and his family spends their stay at his family castle on the Elbe, the Decín. After that, Chopin and his parents drive back to Warsaw and will never see each other again. Returns to Paris route Dresden, he spends there several weeks, and then visits Leipzig, where he met Mendelssohn, Schumann and Clara Wieck. Has an asthma attack during the return trip so severe that some Polish newspapers announced he died. His piano music is becoming more known as ever.

In 1836 Chopin became engaged to a Polish aged seventeen, named Maria Wodzinska, whose mother insisted that the bride must be kept secret. Next year, the girl’s family breaks this relationship.

Chopin and Sand

In 1836, during a party held by Countess Marie d’Agoult, the mistress of his fellow composer Franz Liszt, Chopin meets Amandine-Aurore-Lucile Dupin, Baroness Dudevant, and better known by her nickname, George Sand. She was a French Romantic writer, known for his numerous love affairs with Prosper Mérimée, Alfred de Musset (1833-1834), her secretary, Alexandre Manceau (1849-1865) and others.

Chopin originally not considered her attractive. “She has something that causes disgust to me”, he said to his family. On the other hand, in a letter to Count Wojciech Grzymala, a close friend, dated June 1837, Sand debated whether to intervene in the relationship between Chopin and his fiancée, Maria Wodzinska, to abandon her current relationship in order to start one with Chopin. The writer had strong feelings for Chopin.

A notable episode during their relationship is conducted during the turbulent and miserable winter spent in Mallorca (1838-1839), where the couple encounter problems of accommodation, came to be hosted in the end to the monastery of Valldemossa. Then, Chopin has problems with the reception of a Pleyel piano that had been sent. It comes late from Paris, but remains blocked in Spanish customs, which requires a high import tariff. Ultimately he had the piano for a period of almost three weeks; the rest of the time the great composer used a rumbling piano, borrowed to complete his Preludes (op. 28) to write piano music.

Chopin in Paris

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Frederic Chopin

Frederic Chopin

In the year 1822, Niccolò Paganini participated in a recital of Chopin, while he meets him and the German pianist and composer Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Also in 1829 Chopin meets his first love, a student singer named Konstancja Gladkowska. This event inspires Chopin to include the human voice in his work.

In August, three weeks after graduating from the Warsaw Conservatory, Chopin made his brilliant debut in Vienna. He has here two piano  music recitals and received many favorable reviews, but also there are critical voices about his the piano  music.

In December, he had the first Piano Concerto in F minor at the Merchants Club in Warsaw. The first representation of the other piano concert in E minor, takes place at the National Theater on March 17 1830.

On November 2 1830, leaving Warsaw, Chopin has concert in Western Europe, then returns to his native country. Rebellion broke out at the end of November and with his friend, Titus Woyciechowski, returns home to attend the demonstrations. Chopin remains in Vienna, eager to hear news from his relatives, then visit the cities Munich and Stuttgart (where is the establishment of Russian military occupation in Poland), reaching Paris in October 1831. Already he had composed a large part of important works, including two piano concertos and some of the Etude Op. 10.

Paris

In Paris, Chopin is greeted by eminent Polish exiles and leading artists such as Heinrich Heine, Alfred de Vigny and Eugène Delacroix. Get acquainted with some of the foremost pianists of the day, including Friedrich Kalkbrenner, Ferdinand Hiller and Franz Liszt, while forming friendships with composers such as Hector Berlioz, Felix Mendelssohn, Charles-Valentin Alkan, and Vincenzo Bellini (along with who is buried in Cemetery Père Lachaise). Chopin’s music was already appreciated by many contemporary composers, among them was Robert Schumann who, in his criticism of Variations “La ci darem la mano” (from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni), Op. 2, and notes: “Hats off, gentlemen! A genius. ”

During the period spent in Paris, Chopin participated in a number of concerts. Their programs give a taste of the richness of Parisian artistic life during these times, such concerts were March 23, 1833, in which Chopin, Liszt and Hiller had solo scores of Johann Sebastian Bach concerto for three clavichords concert on March 3 1838, in which Chopin, Alkan, Pierre Joseph Zimmerman (Alkan’s teacher) and Adolphe Gutman (student of Chopin) made the arrangement of the eight hands of Alkan’s Symphony VII by Beethoven. He is involved in the composition Hexaméron (1837), the sixth variation of the theme of Bellini.

Frédéric Chopin

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Chopin

Chopin

Chopin was born in Zelazowa Wola, near Sochaczew, part of the Mazovia region, located at that time under the Duchy of Warsaw. His father, Mikolaj (Nicolas) Chopin, a French citizen of Polish origin leaves Lorraine in 1787. In Poland, Nicolas married Tekla Justyna Krzyzanowska, an aristocrat whose family faced financial problems.

According to the composer’s family, Chopin was born on March 1 1810. There is no birth certificate attesting to that. His certificate of baptism shows February 22 as his birthday, but this is considered an error made by the priest.

Years of training

In October 1810, when Frédéric was aged of seven months, the family moved to the capital Warsaw, where the father takes a job as teacher of French in the school hosted by a Saxon palace. The family lives in the palace.

Young Chopin received his first piano lessons from Ludwika, his older sister. Also, the mother attends his education. Because of his musical talent easily noted, Chopin’s reputation was appreciated as the “second Mozart”. At the age of seven years he was already the author of two Polish (G minor and B flat major), the first being published in the workshop of Father Cybulski, Director of Organist School and one of the few music publishers in Poland.

Articles about child prodigy appear in the press in Warsaw and “little Chopin” became an attraction in the receptions held by the aristocracy of the capital. All around this period he begins to support public charity concerts. First appearance as a pianist takes place at the age of eight years.

Under the direction of Wojciech Zywny, Chopin takes piano music professional lessons during 1816-1822. Chopin speaks with great admiration about his teacher, although the professionalism of the young pupil would quickly exceed those of his teacher. Further, the developing talent is supervised by Wilhelm Würfel, renowned pianist and professor of the Warsaw Conservatory. He teaches them valuable organ lesson, possibly piano music, but at irregular intervals. Between 1823 and 1826 Chopin attended the Highschool in Warsaw, where his father worked. In the fall of 1826, Chopin begins to study music theory, and composition with the composer Józef Elsner in the Conservatory. It is possible that Chopin have had contact with Elsner since 1822, the fact is that he was guided by Elsner particularly before 1823. Chopin completes his normal course of three years at the Conservatory in 1829.

December 22, 2009

Richard Wagner –

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Richard Wagner

Wagner

Richard Wagner moved to Bayreuth on April 24, 1872. . On April 27 1872 R. Wagner provisionally moved to the “Fantaisie” of Donndorf (4 km west of the common Bayreuth), not far from the castle “Fantaisie”. By the end of sept.1872 Wagner family moved in Bayreuth. Here began his penultimate opera “Götterdämmerung” (Twilight of the Gods “), completed in the “Haus Wahnfried “, a house where he moved in autumn 1874.

“Twilight of the Gods” has concluded – after 26 years – the tetralogy “The Ring of Nibelungs”. In Bayreuth he composed and last work of his life, “Parsifal”. He died in Venice (in Vendradim Palace), on February 13, 1883 at the age of 70 years following a heart disease. His wife Cosima (daughter of composer Franz Liszt) took over after her husband’s leadership of Wagner Festival and survived 47 years. They had 3 children: Isolde (1865-1919), Eva (1867-1942, married H.S.Chamberlain) and Siegfried (1869-1930, married Winifred Williams Klindworth).
The reasons that compelled Richard Wagner to choose Bayreuth as city of residence were:
• the city was located in Bavaria, the country of his patron, the Bavarian King Ludwig II (1845-1886), to which he felt deeply indebted.
• Bayreuth was geographically located in the heart of the German Empire, relatively easily accessible from all directions.
• The City has an opera house (slightly used), in which he hopes to present his works exclusively.

• There were no other theaters in town that would be competitive (not admitted – of pride – competition).
• Massif in the vicinity -Fichtelgebirge, the legendary cradle of German ethnic groups.
Richard Wagner Festspielhaus (festival theatre) in Bayreuth
The writings of Arthur Schopenhauer and Friedrich Nietzsche, and change of his social condition as a favorite of King Ludwig II of Bavaria made him to join the nationalist pan-Germanic ideas. His ideas are contained in numerous essays on music, theater, politics and religion as Kunst und Revolution (“Art and Revolution “, 1848), Das Kunstwerke der Zukunft (“The artwork of the future”, 1850), Oper und Drama (“Opera and Drama “, 1851). Wagner was considered a religious pontiff artist rooted in German culture, inspired by old Nordic legends, with heroic characters that move us in a supernatural world. The art, gravitating around the musical drama, had to lead those national operators. They stated that the Germans had for the ancient the Greeks. Wagner music drama entertainment is based on a sacred action, allegory of inner drama, by indissoluble unity of the text, written by Wagner himself for most of his creations,  Wagner introduces the innovative “endless melody” and  “das Leitmotiv”, suggestion and evocation of the symbolic process of psychological issues, of key moments in the dramatically  pursuit. Piano music was also very important for him.

This concept found its embodiment in his monumental tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring Nibelungs), composed of the  works Das Rheingold (” Die Walkure “, 1854), Die Walküre (Walkiria, 1856), Siegfried (1870) and Götterdämmerung (“Twilight of the gods”, 1874), which configures, in a world of heroes and myths, a primitive violence of the conflict between human and spiritual nature. The exceptional quality of Wagner’s art is reflected in his masterpieces Tristan und Isolde (1859), the triumph of love over death, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1867), Parsifal (1882), which reproduces the legend of the “Holy Grail”, the dramatic struggle with feelings of devotion. Even his piano music was influenced by “das Leitmotiv”.
Wagner creation had an overwhelming influence on the subsequent evolution of music. Composers as Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, Claude Debussy (at the beginning), Arnold Schönberg, and Richard Strauss have developed their creation under the strong influence of Richard Wagner’s music.

Richard Wagner – early years

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Wagner

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig in a family of actors. He studied in Dresden and Leipzig, taking composition lessons with Christian Theodor Weinling. Between 1833 and 1839 Wagner worked for opera theaters in Würzburg, Magdeburg, Königsberg, and Riga, and wrote his first operas Die Feen (‘fairies’, 1834), Das Liebesverbot (“forbidden love”, 1836) and several orchestral pieces. In 1836 he married the actress Minna Planner. Travel more, knowing the major European musical centers. During a hectic travel by sea to England he prepared a work plan for “Flying Dutchman”. After a short stay in London, he went to Paris where he is deeply impressed by the music of Hector Berlioz.

Further, his musical genius was formed and has revealed the influence of the great music of Carl Maria von Weber, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and especially by the symphonic creations of Ludwig van Beethoven. He also paid attention to piano music. His first famous work are Rienzi (1840 – first on October 20 1842 in Dresden), Der fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman “or “ghost ship “, 1841 – presented for the first time in January 2nd 1843 in Dresden) and imposed him in the artistic life. In 1843 he is set in Dresden, where he became Kapellmeister at the court of King of Saxony. Following works Tannhäuser (1845) and Lohengrin (1848) are more difficult to welcome the public, because the innovative elements in dramatical and musical structure. With the support of Franz Liszt, he will be presented later successfully in Weimar.
Very proud, Wagner had a troubled existence. Under the influence of the writer Heinrich Laube, he adopted the republican ideas of the movement Jungen Deutschland (“Young Germany”), but after the defeat of the revolution of 1848, he is forced to go to Zurich in Switzerland, where he stayed 10 years, until 1858. Here he knows a writer, Mathilde Wesendonck, for which he had a true passion and whose lyrics consist of a cycle of lied. In these circumstances he separates from his wife, Minna; later will marry Cosima, daughter of Franz Liszt. He was a great admirer of Franz Liszt piano music. Since 1864 became the protégé of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, an avid fan of Wagnerian music. King is backing him financially, enabling Wagner to devote only to artistic creation. With the protector help is built a theater at Bayreuth, Wagner’s works hard. This theatre is home – until today – every summer (July-August), to the renowned music festival named “Richard Wagner”.

Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig in a family of actors. He studied in Dresden and Leipzig, taking composition lessons with Christian Theodor Weinling. Between 1833 and 1839 Wagner worked for opera theaters in Würzburg, Magdeburg, Königsberg, and Riga, and wrote his first operas Die Feen (‘fairies’, 1834), Das Liebesverbot (“forbidden love”, 1836) and several orchestral pieces. In 1836 he married the actress Minna Planner. Travel more, knowing the major European musical centers. During a hectic travel by sea to England he prepared a work plan for “Flying Dutchman”. After a short stay in London, he went to Paris where he is deeply impressed by the music of Hector Berlioz.Further, his musical genius was formed and has revealed the influence of the great music of Carl Maria von Weber, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and especially by the symphonic creations of Ludwig van Beethoven. He also paid attention to piano music. His first famous work are Rienzi (1840 – first on October 20 1842 in Dresden), Der fliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman “or “ghost ship “, 1841 – presented for the first time in January 2nd 1843 in Dresden) and imposed him in the artistic life. In 1843 he is set in Dresden, where he became Kapellmeister at the court of King of Saxony. Following works Tannhäuser (1845) and Lohengrin (1848) are more difficult to welcome the public, because the innovative elements in dramatical and musical structure. With the support of Franz Liszt, he will be presented later successfully in Weimar.Very proud, Wagner had a troubled existence. Under the influence of the writer Heinrich Laube, he adopted the republican ideas of the movement Jungen Deutschland (“Young Germany”), but after the defeat of the revolution of 1848, he is forced to go to Zurich in Switzerland, where he stayed 10 years, until 1858. Here he knows a writer, Mathilde Wesendonck, for which he had a true passion and whose lyrics consist of a cycle of lied. In these circumstances he separates from his wife, Minna; later will marry Cosima, daughter of Franz Liszt. He was a great admirer of Franz Liszt piano music. Since 1864 became the protégé of King Ludwig II of Bavaria, an avid fan of Wagnerian music. King is backing him financially, enabling Wagner to devote only to artistic creation. With the protector help is built a theater at Bayreuth, Wagner’s works hard. This theatre is home – until today – every summer (July-August), to the renowned music festival named “Richard Wagner”.

December 8, 2009

Modest Mussorgsky

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Modest Mussorgsky

Modest Mussorgsky

Born on March 21, 1839, Modest Mussorgsky was imposed only posthumously in Russian music in nineteenth century. Even if he had specific studies, he was forced to settle for most of his life with a job of a modest clerk. He composed trying to combine the influences of Western tradition and legends of Russia, but his influence on age was minimal. Mussorgsky was virtually ignored by his contemporaries.

His compositions have been noted by the unique style and sonority, hard to accept initially, and the failures and disappointments made the musician to seek his refuge in alcohol, which will bring him to death. The best known compositions are “Images from an exhibition” (a difficult suite for piano orchestrated by Ravel) and especially the opera Boris Godunov (finished by Rimsky-Korsakov), creations with strange harmonies and considered later great artistic expressions of a specific culture.

Mussorgsky was born into a wealthy family, starting from childhood serious piano lessons, at the insistence of his mother. A talented native surprisingly particular, coupled with the will and passion for music, Mussorgsky would have liked to dedicate exclusively to classical music, but the decision of the family was already taken. The young artist had to become a military, so he was enrolled in a school for cadets. Nothing here was connected to music, but he began to sing in a choir of students, discovered on this occasion the religious music in Russia, who will influence him powerfully later in his creations. He graduated in 1856 and, as his father wanted, he was selected in the Imperial Guard.

That same year, knows the composers Dargomizhsky, then Balakirev, which will give him the first lessons in composition. Mussorgsky was hesitant at first, and then composed small pieces for piano, increasingly attracted to classical music.

In 1858 he decided to resign from the Imperial Guard, giving to anger the family to a career that is announced promising, as decided to become a composer. In 1861 his name became known, but as the family lost most of the assets, Mussorgsky is forced to work as clerk, the occupation he detested and which will occupy most of the time.

He keeps his old friends, attending artistic circles of the time and becomes an advocate of realism in music. Even if the lack of time will often forced him to leave the work unfinished, he became known.  Mussorgsky is considered the equal of composers much better known as Balakirev, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Borodin.

He worked for several years on his masterpiece, Boris Godunov, which will have a great success in 1874, the year when Mussorgsky finished a suite for piano named Pictures from an exhibition. Unfortunately the artist drinks more and more, and in 1880 he is dismissed because of this problem. With the financial support of his friends, Mussorgsky not gives up but works increasingly less and starts to have moments of psychological violence. He died on March 28, 1881, completely ruined and sick, without even could finish last compositions.

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