Random House: Bringing You the Best in Fiction, Nonfiction, and Children's Books
Authors
Books
Features
Newletters and Alerts

Buy now from Random House

  • Musorgsky and His Circle
  • Written by Stephen Walsh
  • Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780385353854
  • Our Price: $37.50
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Musorgsky and His Circle

Buy now from Random House

  • Musorgsky and His Circle
  • Written by Stephen Walsh
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780385350488
  • Our Price: $18.99
  • Quantity:
See more online stores - Musorgsky and His Circle

Musorgsky and His Circle

    Select a Format:
  • Book
  • eBook

A Russian Musical Adventure

Written by Stephen WalshAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Stephen Walsh

eBook

List Price: $18.99

eBook

On Sale: December 03, 2013
Pages: 496 | ISBN: 978-0-385-35048-8
Published by : Knopf Knopf
Musorgsky and His Circle Cover

Bookmark,
Share & Shelve:

  • Add This - Musorgsky and His Circle
  • Email this page - Musorgsky and His Circle
  • Print this page - Musorgsky and His Circle
ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Synopsis

Synopsis

The emergence of Russian classical music in the nineteenth century in the wake of Mikhail Glinka comprises one of the most remarkable and fascinating stories in all musical history. The five men who came together in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg in the 1860s, all composers of talent, some of genius, would be—in spite of a virtual lack of technical training—responsible for some of the greatest and best-loved music ever written. How this happened is the subject of Stephen Walsh's brilliant composite portrait of the group known in the West as the Five, and in Russia as moguchaya kuchka—the Mighty Little Heap. Friends, competitors, and creative intellectuals whose ambitions and ideas reflect the ferment of their times, Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Alexander Borodin, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, and—most important of all—Modest Musorgsky, come wonderfully to  life in this extended account.

The detail is engrossing. We see Borodin composing music while conducting research in chemistry (“he would jump up and run back to the laboratory to make sure nothing had burnt out or boiled over there, meanwhile filling the corridor with improbable sequences of ninths or sevenths”); Balakirev tutoring Musorgsky (“Balakirev could not remedy the defects in his pupil’s character, but he could confront him with works of genius”); Cui doggedly producing operas during breaks from his career as a military fortifications instructor. Musorgsky asserts his independence, moving from writing songs and the showpiece Night on Bald Mountain to the magnificent Boris Godunov, meanwhile struggling against poverty and depression. In the background such important figures as Vissarion Belinsky and Nikolay Chernïshevsky shape the cultural milieu, while the godfather of the kuchka, critic and scholar Vladimir Stasov, is seen offering sometimes combative support.

As an experienced and widely skilled musical scholar and biographer (his two-volume life of Stravinsky has been called “one of the best books ever written about a musician”), Stephen Walsh is exceptionally wellplaced to tell this story. He does so with deep understanding and panache, making Musorgksy and His Circle both important and a delight to read.

Stephen Walsh

About Stephen Walsh

Stephen Walsh - Musorgsky and His Circle

Photo © Mary Walsh

Stephen Walsh is a professor of music at Cardiff University and the author of a number of books on musical subjects. He was deputy music critic ofThe Observer for nearly twenty years. He now broadcasts frequently on BBC Radio 3 and writes reviews for a variety of publications. His two-volume Stravinsky is regarded as the standard biography of that composer. The first volume won the Royal Philharmonic Society prize in 2000, and the second was named one of the ten best books of 2006 byThe Washington Post.


Your E-Mail Address
send me a copy

Recipient's E-Mail Address
(multiple addresses may be separated by commas)

A personal message: