Modest Mussorgsky was a 19th century Russian composer. He was a member of the group of Russian nationalist composers known as “The Mighty Five”. The group’s main goal was to produce a specifically Russian kind of music and not an imitation of older European sounds or European-style conservatory training.
“Thanks to nanny, I’ve got a deep understanding of Russian tales.” – Modest Mussorgsky
“My music must be an artistic reproduction of human speech in all its finest shades. That is, the sounds of human speech, as the external manifestations of thought and feeling must, without exaggeration or violence, become true, accurate music.” – Modest Mussorgsky
As quoted in a Letter to Lyudmila Shestakova, July 30, 1868; Jay Leyda and Sergei Bertensson The Musorgsky Reader (1947) p. 113.
“Art is not an end in itself, but a means of addressing humanity.” – Modest Mussorgsky
“In poetry there are two giants, rough Homer and fine Shakespere. In music likewise we have two giants, Beethoven, the thinker, and the superthinker Berlioz.” – Modest Mussorgsky
As quoted in a letter to Vladimir Stassov, October 18, 1872; Oskar von Riesemann (trans. Paul England) Moussorgsky (1929) p. 107.
“I regard the people as a great being, inspired by a single idea. This is my problem. I strove to solve it in this opera.” – Modest Mussorgsky
MS dedication to Boris Godunov, January 21, 1874.