Modest Mussorgsky

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“All in him is flabby and dull. He is, I think, a perfect idiot.”
~ Oscar Wilde, while talking about Texan presidents and drunken Russian composers.
“Modest my arse....he was a big-headed twat”
~ Noel Coward on Mussorgsky
460px-Mussorgsky by repin

Mussorgsky while composing. To "get in the mood," he has just downed stuff that makes a bunch of monkeys banging out the works of Shakespeare on typewriters look like taking a shit.

For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia have an article about Modest Mussorgsky.

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was another one of those damn drunk Russians. However, unlike his crocked composing comrades, Mussorgsky was taught very little music, he derived much of his music from nights spent binging on alcohol laced with LSD, rather than the commonly thought fabrication that it was based on "Russian folk songs." Seriously, unless every word in his operas was "Long live the Great Commissar Stalin/Lenin/Putin," nobody's buying that explanation.

edit Life

Unlike the Commie Russians of later years, Mussorgsky lived in the time of the tsars as a noble. Unfortunately, he squandered his family fortune on blank score paper and Mickey Dees, destroying the family name.

edit Youth and abilities

I don't want to get into the details of his terrible, terrible childhood, but it's clear that he was obviously in the habit by the time he was several months old. It is believed that he was possessed by the drunken Austrian/German composers Mozart and Beethoven, which endowed him with a terrible habit of chugging alcohol as well as being able to play the piano like a friggin' maniac. Really, if Rachmaninoff and Mussorgsky had a piano face-off, Mussorgsky would kick his ass with his Pictures at an Exhibition and a good bottle of Smirnoff. He attempted to join the army, but was court-martialed after a particularly bad hangover caused him to miss the Crimean War, which ended in Russian defeat.

edit Composing operas

After joining the army, he returned to find supplements to his whiskey: LSD and shrooms. His first experience knocked him out for a year but gave him the ability to write music, specifically operas. An extremely long session led to him writing down a whole bunch of random crap that was in no way marketable. His friend Rimsky-Korsakov then suggested that he tout it as "high art," which at the time consisted of operas. Thus, Boris Godunov was created. Unfortunately, the opera consisted of a highly unoriginal plot about a guy with hallucinations who kills himself, a problem that was only exacerbated by the inexperienced shouting serfs hired to "sing" in the opera. It was the shock of this that created a conspiracy that would totally rewrite history. With the advent of avant-garde composers, however, it was reintroduced as a classic great for smearing excrement on the faces of traditional music theorists.

edit Decline and death

Mussorgsky continued his drunken ways, tripping out and having Rimsky-Korsakov adapt his crazed music into something that wouldn't kill entire audiences with the first chord. He eventually came to enjoy imbibing drug-laced vodka in public and composing works to make up with those institutions that gave him the boot. He composed Night on Bald Mountain and Pictures at an Exhibition for a barbershop and an art museum, respectively. As a result of his sinful escapades, he was deserted by his friends, and in reply drank even more to drown his sorrows. He died from withdrawal symptoms while composing music for a fair that had forcibly ejected him from the premises, an opera which would be known as Sorochinsk Fair.

edit Conspiracy

Even though this guy spent half of his life stone cold, he still managed to make music that was both good and bad at the same time. For this reason, jealous racists like Wagner derided Mussorgsky as unoriginal throughout his lifetime. After his death, German composers banded together and bribed several Russian serfs to sing Mussorgsky tunes. Then, they claimed that Mussorgsky was only a fucking cheat who stole Russian folk music. This sort of history rewriting would undermine the works of many other non-German composers, such as Bartok and Smetana. These accusations continued until the end of the Third Reich, but by this time, they had begun to become accepted as fact, along with the truth that elephant populations in Africa had tripled in the last six months.

edit Music

According to those so-called experts, Mussorgsky's music is "stylistically romantic." That's like calling Metallica a lullaby band. In reality, Mussorgsky's music had to be watered down by Rimsky-Korsakov to prevent it from either killing the audience or driving them Bat Fuck Insane.

Mussorgsky is best known for his barbaric operas. The only person known to have survived listening to the worst of them, Night on Bald Mountain, was Walt Disney, who later incorporated it into his child-traumatizing film, Fantasia. Boris Godunov also stands out as one of the worst operas of all time, consisting of masses of people shouting in Russian.

Drunk Russian Composers
Modest Mussorgsky | Sergei Prokofiev | Sergei Rachmaninoff | Dmitri Shostakovich | Igor Stravinsky | Pyotr Tchaikovsky
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