Modest Musorgskij, Chovanščina
Milan, Teatro alla Scala, 27 February 2019
Khovanshchina, the apocalypse
Of Modest Mussorgsky’s ten projected operas, Boris Godunov, despite its numerous versions, is the only one he fully completed: three operas remained mere projects and six were unfinished. Khovanshchina, started in 1872, was incomplete by the time of the composer’s death in March 1881, still lacking endings for Acts 2 and 5 and almost all its orchestration.
The first performance in St Petersburg in 1886 was in Rimsky-Korsakov’s heavily reworked version, but there were also editions orchestrated by Stravinsky and Ravel…