MUSSORGSKY AND GOGOL: THE MARRIAGE

MS 5433
MS Short Title MUSSORGSKY AND GOGOL: THE MARRIAGE
Text MODEST MUSSORGSKY AND NIKOLAI GOGOL: THE MARRIAGE, AN EXPERIMENT OF DRAMATIC MUSIC IN PROSE, FOR VOICE AND PIANO; PROOF WITH AUTOGRAPH CORRECTIONS BY RIMSKIJ-KORSAKOV AND GLAZUNOV, WITH AUTOGRAPH PRESENTATION BY DIAGHILEV, SIGNED
Description MS printed proofs in Russian on paper, St. Petersburg, Bessel, 1908, 64 pp. (complete), 34x22 cm, single column, (25x18 cm), 5 systems of 3 staves, with extensive corrections to both music and text by Nikolai Rimskij-Korsakov and Glazunov.
Binding St. Petersburg, 1908, quarter orange cloth and marbled boards, sewn on 3 bands.
Provenance 1. Nikolai Rimskij-Korsakov, St. Petersburg (1908); 2. Sergei Diaghilev, Paris (1908); 3. Michel Calvocoressi, Paris (1908-); 4. Quaritch cat. 1390 (2009):50, acquired Dec. 2009.
Commentary Mussorgsky began composing a setting of Gogol's play in 1868. It was his most extreme realist work, a near word-for-word setting of the text to music that echoed the intonation of speech, and favoured dissonance over harmonic lines. Progress stalled as Mussorgsky began to feel more and more trapped by the uncompromising form he had chosen, and then abandoned it, with only the first of three acts completed, un-orchestrated. On the composer's death in 1881, the copyright of all unpublished works was transferred to Bessel, who employed Rimskij-Korsakov as editor. The Marriage was to radical for Rimskij-Korsakov, and remained in St. Petersburg Public Library until he retrieved it in 1906 for possible publication, asking Glazunov to assist him in the proof reading. It was performed for the first time in 1908.
Place of origin St. Petersburg, Bessel
Dates 1908

Location