Music: Blood-Warm

In 1872 Russian Composer Modest Mussorgsky began putting together a notebook entitled "Khovanchina; a People's Musical Drama—Materials." It was the biggest project of his career: a historical opera dealing with the abortive revolt of the feudal Princes Khovansky and their followers (Khovanchina) against the Westernizing influences of Peter the Great's court.

Mussorgsky's notebook did not fatten very quickly. Poverty, a growing fondness for vodka, other musical chores, and the necessity of supporting himself by work as a government office drudge kept distracting him. When he died in 1881 at the age of 42 there were still some patches of the opera left...

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