Musorgsky and His Circle: A Russian Musical Adventure [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Musorgsky and His Circle: A Russian Musical Adventure

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$18.99
BN.com price

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the mid-1860s, Russian music leapt forward because of five modestly trained but immodestly talented composers including Modest Musorgsky. Critic/musicologist Walsh explains why this blazing moment occurred
Publishers Weekly
09/23/2013
Less than 200 years ago, there was no definitively Russian style of musical composition; by the 1860s, a handful of daring, untrained composers known as the Moguchaya Kuchka (“Mighty Little Heap”), including the brooding genius Modest Musorgsky, had collaboratively invented the New Russian school of classical music. Though their technical proficiency was constantly called into question, Musorgsky and his compatriots (among them Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov) determinedly created music untouched by outside (i.e., Western) influences, choosing to remain independent from conventional wisdom. Walsh, who in Stravinsky wrote about another great Russian composer, meticulously details the absorbing lives of these idiosyncratic Russians—their hypocrisies, internal and external rivalries—all with a careful eye trained on the qualities that made the Kuchka’s music so revolutionary. While Walsh, a former Cardiff music professor, writes with a technical proficiency, his goal—to produce a history of the New Russians that is “both scholarly and readable”—falls shy of the mark. Sadly, his tone is dryly academic, and the narrative confusingly jumps back and forth in time. That said, toward the last third of the book, Walsh finally picks up the pace of the narrative. (Dec.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385350488
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/3/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 496
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

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 of The 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 by The Washington Post.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)