Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina (2-CD) – Boris Christoff, Mario Petri

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Mussorgsky: Khovanshchina (2-CD) – Boris Christoff, Mario Petri

Composer: Modest Mussorgsky
Artists: Boris Christoff, Mario Petri, Irene Companez, Amedeo Berdini, Mirto Picchi, Michele Malaspina, Jolanda Mancini, Herbert Handt, Dimitri Lopatto, Andrea Mineo, Giorgio Canello, Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Roma della RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana
Conductor: Artur Rodzinski
Number of Discs: 2
Label: Datum
CD Release Date: July 14, 2017

Khovanshchina was written between 1872 and 1880 in St. Petersburg, Russia. When the composer died in 1881, the opera remained unfinished and unperformed. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov completed, revised, and scored Khovanshchina in 1881-1882. Because of his extensive cuts and “recomposition,” Dmitri Shostakovich revised the opera in 1959 based on Mussorgsky’s vocal score, and it is the Shostakovich version that is usually performed; however, this recording features the version by Rimsky-Korsakov.

The work deals with Russian history, particularly the Moscow Uprising of 1682 and the Khovansky affair a few months later, but the opera’s  main themes are the struggle between progressive and reactionary political factions during the minority of Tsar Peter the Great and the passing of old Muscovy before Peter’s westernizing reforms. It received its first performance in the Rimsky-Korsakov edition in 1886.



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