Burton D. Fisher's Boris Godunov (Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series) PDF

By Burton D. Fisher

A finished advisor to Mussorgsky's BORIS GODUNOV, that includes primary Characters, short tale Synopsis, tale Narrative with tune Examples, and an insightful statement and research.

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Extra resources for Boris Godunov (Opera Journeys Mini Guide Series)

Sample text

Indeed Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov celebrates the spirit of the Russian people; it is a pageant of their cultural soul that could only be achieved through the marriage of a musical genius and the opera art form.

Shakespeare traditionally evaded Christian morality: he was not a spiritual dramatist, and he wrote no holy sonnets exposing the divine, or suggested a path to redemption of the soul. Shakespeare’s high tragedies provide no spiritual comfort, but rather, a pragmatic nihilism, an instinctive form of survival rather than redemption through the path of theological metaphysics. In Shakespeare’s world, there is only grief and death, but no spiritual solace. But in Boris Godunov, there is a yearning for redeeming grace, expiation, and forgiveness; Boris seeks the path to the eternal salvation of his soul, not a nihilistic finality.

I n opera, the composer of music, not the playwright, is the dramatist of the story. Tsar Boris — whether in the Karamzin, Pushkin, or Mussorgsky portraits — was a dramatically complex personality. He was an ambivalent man: a murderer who sent assassins to kill the Tsarevich Dmitri, the rightful heir to the throne, and at the same time, he was a man of strength, wisdom, and kindness, who sought progress for his people. He was a sympathetic and loving father: he grieved with compassion over the death of his daughter Xenia’s fiance, and with his son Feodor, he devoted genuine loving concern, pouring over maps of Russia and approving of his son’s intelligence and education.

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