Date: December 1999
Creator: Pollard, Carol J.
Description: Modest Musorgsky completed two versions of his opera Boris Godunov between 1869 and 1874, with significant changes in the second version. The second version adds a concluding lament by the fool character that serves as a warning to the people of Russia beyond the scope of the opera. The use of a fool is significant in Russian history and this connection is made between the opera and other arts of nineteenth-century Russia. These changes are, musically, rather small, but historically and socially, significant. The importance of the people as a functioning character in the opera has precedence in art and literature in Russia in the second half of the nineteenth-century and is related to the Populist movement. Most importantly, the change in endings between the two versions alters the entire meaning of the composition. This study suggests that this is a political statement on the part of the composer.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries