Friday, 31 March 2023 to Sunday, 2 April 2023

Michel Dimitry Calvocoressi’s Activities to Promote Modest Musorgsky’s Legacy in its Authentic Form

Fri31  Mar12:30pm(15 mins)
Main Building Room 132


Vasilisa Aleksandrova1
1 Personal capacity, Russian Federation


The work of M. D. Calvocoressi (1877–1944) in the study and promotion of Modest Musorgsky’s legacy, first in Paris and then in London, was extraordinarily fruitful.

Calvocoressi’s acquaintance with the most prominent figures of Russian culture, such as Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov, Diaghilev, and his knowledge of Russian language enabled him to become one of the most competent foreign specialists in Musorgsky's work. But this scholar's role in the study and dissemination of Musorgsky's legacy is still insufficiently researched.

As is known, Musorgsky's output suffered a surprisingly unhappy fate. A huge part of his work became known to the audience not in the original versions, but in artistic arrangements by other composers. It is clear from the archival documents and printed editions, that Calvocoressi defended the right of Musorgsky’s work to be published and performed in its original form, not in the revisions made by Rimsky-Korsakov and others.

This presentation is based on the unpublished materials from Moscow and St. Petersburg archives, museums, and libraries. A study of these sources clarifies Calvocoressi’s role in popularizing Musorgsky’s authorial legacy throughout his life, from the mid-1900s to his death in 1944.