Moussorgsky, Modest Petrovich
Moussorgsky succumbed to alcoholism in a Saint Petersburg hospital at the age of 41. Most of his music was edited and revised after his death by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and others, often to such an extent that the originals were seriously misrepresented. Moussorgsky made much use of Russian folk songs, and his settings of Russian texts are unexcelled. Expression and communication were paramount for him; form, inconsequential. In working out a Russian idiom, his rejection of many European standards and practices influenced not only Russian composers but also Claude Debussy and other French composers.
See letters and documents in The Musorgsky Reader, ed. by J. Leyda and S. Bertensson (1947, repr. 1970); biographies by M. D. Calvocoressi (1946, rev. ed. 1974), V. I. Seroff (1968), O. von Riesemann (tr. 1929, repr. 1970), and D. Brown (2003).
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