Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Josephson, Nors S. “Beethoven, Schumann und Wagner: Stilistische Einflüsse deutscher Musik auf Mussorgskijs Schaffen.” Musicologica Olomucensia 18 (December 2013): 47-64. Acta Universitatis Palackianae Olomucensis: Facultas Philosophica—Philosophica/aesthetica 42. Olomouc: Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci (Filozofická Fakulteta), 2013.

Mussorgsky had a lifelong admiration for the music of Beethoven and Robert Schumann, and their influence is clearly seen throughout his oeuvre. A number of early pieces, such as the Scherzo in B-flat Major and the Intermezzo in modo classico, were clearly modeled on movements from Beethoven’s symphonies, but later works like Boris Godunov and Songs and Dances of Death drew upon Beethoven’s symphonies and late string quartets, as well. Mussorgsky also incorporated many of Schumann’s most notable compositional procedures into his music, including cyclical structures, ostinato-driven melodies, and ambiguous chord progressions. In particular, Schumann’s Fourth Symphony and his Lieder seem to have inspired several passages in Mussorgsky’s art songs. While Mussorgsky was far more critical of Wagner in general, he did not dismiss him completely, and borrowings from Wagner can be traced in Pictures at an Exhibition and Boris Godunov.

Works: Mussorgsky: Scherzo in B-flat Major (47-49), Intermezzo in modo classico (49-50), Alla marcia notturna (50-51), Salammbô (51-52), Boris Godunov (52-54, 57, 62-63), Songs and Dances of Death (54-55, 62), Khovanshchina (55), Pictures at an Exhibition (56-59), No jesli-by s toboju ja vstretit’sja mogla (60), List’ja schumeli unlyo (60), Zhelanije (60), Strekotun’ja beloboka (60-61), Kozjol (61), Zabytiy (61), Kinderlied (62), Ohne Sonne (62).

Sources: Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Minor, Op. 92 (47-48, 50-51), Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125 (47-50), Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60 (48-49, 52-54), Fidelio, Op. 72 (51-52), String Quartet in E Minor, Op. 59, No. 2 (52), String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, Op. 131 (53-54), String Quartet in A Minor, Op. 132 (54-55), Große Fuge, Op. 133 (54-55); Gregorian Chant: Dies irae (54); Wagner: Siegfried (56-57), Lohengrin (57); Robert Schumann: Carnaval, Op. 9 (58-59), Kinderszenen, Op. 15 (58-59), Dichterliebe, Op. 48 (60, 62), Der Bräutigam und die Birke, Op. 119, No. 3 (60-61), Liederalbum für die Jugend, Op. 79 (61), Die beiden Grenadiere, Op. 49, No. 1 (62), Symphony No. 4 in D Minor, Op. 120 (62-63).

Index Classifications: 1800s

Contributed by: Matthew G. Leone

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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