It is the first time in an opera that the central figure is not a hero or a prince, but a whole people - the Russian people, represented by the choir. Moussorgski obtains, by fusing singing and the most secret musical quality of the Russian language, a perfect harmony."Never a more refined sensitivity has resulted by such simple means", wrote Claude Debussy about this opera.
Boris Godounov is a popular musical drama in a prologue and four acts by Modest Moussorgski (1874). Booklet of the composer according to Alexandre Pouchkine. Moussorgski is inspired by Pouchkine to depict the tormented reign of Boris Godounov, who, after the mysterious disappearance of Dimitri - second son of Ivan the Terrible - in 1598, was named Tsar by a rigged election. The action covers the whole reign of the monarch, from his consecration to his death in 1605. Boris lives with his heart in mourning, corroded by the remorse of the murder of Dimitri. It is a murder he cannot forget in spite of the years of power. Submerged by a mystical terror, Boris convenes his son, entrusts the sceptre to him, and expires. During this time, in a clearing of the forest of Kromy, the peasants revolt against the despot. Two Jesuits arrive, calling for Dimitri, who emerges to the head of his troops. The crowd reclaims him before marching on Moscow. Only the innocent deplore the misfortunes which will befall the Russian people.
Modest Moussorgski was born on March 21, 1839, in Karevo. His mother gives him his first piano lessons before entering the Imperial Conservatory of Saint-Petersburg. At the age of nine he appears in public for the first time.
In 1856, he enters the regiment of the Guard, which he leaves in 1858 to devote all of his time to composition. Primarily self-educated, Moussorgsky bases his works on Russian folk music, creating daring and unorthodox harmonies. He becomes friends with Borodine, Dargomyjski, Rimski-Korsakov and Vladimir Stassov. Together, they established the Group of the Five, which contributes to the revival of the Russian music. In 1863, the financial ruin of his family forces him to work as an administrative employee to survive. With the chronic failure of his works, his difficult situation pushes him to alcoholism. He dies in the military hospital of Saint Petersburg on March 28, 1881, leaving us masterly works, including: Boris Godounov, Paintings of an Exposition, One night on Mount Chauve, Songs and Dances of Death