Caryl Emerson, a literary specialist, and Robert William Oldani, a music historian, take a new and comprehensive look at the most famous Russian opera, Musorgsky's Boris Godunov. The result is both a historical study of a famous work and an interpretative piece of scholarship. The topics discussed include: the Boris Tale in history, the strange story of the opera's composition and revision, its first productions at home and abroad, and an in-depth musical analysis. In the process, several frequent errors in Musorgsky scholarship are clarified and corrected. The volume contains a selection of classic texts in criticism, numerous production photographs, a bibliography and discography.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations; List of tables; Preface and acknowledgments; Part I. Background: 1. Tsar Boris in history; 2. Musorgsky's literary sources, Karamzin and Pushkin; 3. Narrative and musical synopsis of the opera; 4. History of the composition, rejection, revision, and acceptance of Boris Godunov; 5. A tale of two productions - St. Petersburg (1874-1882), Paris (1908); Part II. Entr'acte: 6. Boris and the censor: documents; 7. The opera through the years: selected texts in criticism; Part III. Interpretation: 8. The Boris libretto as a formal, literary, and historical problem; 9. The music; 10. Boris Godunov during the jubilee decade: the 1980s and beyond; Discography; Bibliography; Index.