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Five Operas and a SymphonyWord and Music in Russian Culture$
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Boris Gasparov

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106503

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106503.001.0001

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Khovanshchina: A Musical Drama, Russian-Style (Wagner and Musorgsky)

Khovanshchina: A Musical Drama, Russian-Style (Wagner and Musorgsky)

(p.95) 4 Khovanshchina: A Musical Drama, Russian-Style (Wagner and Musorgsky)
Five Operas and a Symphony

Boris Gasparov

Yale University Press

This chapter examines Modest Mussorgsky's opera Khovanshchina. It explais that the historical basis of its plot came from the succession of violent events stretching through the last two decades of the seventeenth century. It suggests that the opera's plot failed to achieve full stability and coherence because Mussorgksy composed verbal monologues and dialogues alongside the music in a kind of patchwork and it did not follow any literary prototype for its musical narrative.

Keywords:   Khovanshchina, Modest Mussorgsky, opera, historical basis, coherence, plot stability, literary prototype, musical narrative

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