New Information About M. P. Mussorgsky’s Choral Arrangements of Folk Songs


This paper presents a previously unknown M. P. Mussorgsky’s autograph — the arrangement of the folk song “Uzh ty volya, moya volya” for an unaccompanied male choir; this is its first publication. The manuscript was considered lost; published by us with the consent of the owner of the manuscript (the original is kept in a private collection in Germany). This arrangement was made by Mussorgsky in 1878 at the request of Mikhail Andreevich Berman, head of the Duma circle; the autograph was in the personal archive of the conductor. 
Our study recreates a vast historical context associated with the creative Mussorgsky’s environment in the late 1870s. First of all, this concerns the figure of Tertii Ivanovich Filippov, a friend of the members of the New Russian School, who cared about the preservation of Russian folk songs (which were recorded from his voice by Vilboa, Mussorgsky and Rimsky-Korsakov). A characteristic is given of Mussorgsky’s friendly and creative contacts with members of the Duma Circle. The figure of the St. Petersburg choirmaster M. A. Berman, who ordered several song arrangements for the male choir from Mussorgsky, is presented in a new way. The participation of the Duma circle in the performance of “Te Deum” by Berlioz under the direction of Balakirev with the choir and orchestra of the Free Music School is highlighted. For the first time, previously unknown materials from the diaries of Ilya Fedorovich Tyumenev, singer, accompanist, second conductor of the Duma circle, are cited. According to Tyumenev’s diaries and Berman’s letters, the historical display of Mussorgsky’s “Khovanshchina” at Filippov’s apartment on November 1880 is characterized and a list of those who were present at it is given. The musical text of the song “Uzh ty volya, moya volya” is compared in the autograph with the first edition, a conclusion is made about the significant changes that Mussorgsky’s version has undergone. All illustrations are also published for the first time.


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