Musorgsky and his contemporaries in the 'moguchaya kuchka (mighty handful) tend to be regarded in musical circles as a freak phenomenon, eccentric because untutored. But it’s more helpful to see them as an outcrop of general literary, artistic and intellectual tendencies in the fifties and sixties, with certain attributes peculiar to the discipline of music.
Stephen Walsh is the author of a recent study, Musorgsky and his Circle (2013), which was shortlisted for the 2014 Pushkin House Russian Book Prize, as well as a two-volume biography of Stravinsky, and a separate monograph on Stravinsky’s music. He is an Emeritus Professor of Cardiff University and a former music critic with The Observer, Times and Financial Times.
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