Books: Moussorgsky

MOUSSORGSKY—Oskar von Riesemann, translated by Paul England—Knopf ($5).

Great Russian writers are Gogol, Tolstoy, Turgeniev, Dostoievsky—products all of the first days when Russia dared declare herself artistically, when French frippery first seemed foolish and the longings of the Slavic soul important. Great Russian composers are Rimsky-Korsakov, Borodin, Moussorgsky. They too with Glinka. Balakirev and Cui were pioneers in the school of realism. Yet compared with the less Russian Tchaikovsky their fame has spread so slowly that even today outside Russia Moussorgsky is known for his Boris Godounov alone and that in the...

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