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Salzburg Festival: Austrian Premiere of Mussorgsky's “Songs and Dances of Death” for Tenor

Following the successful world premiere of Alexander Raskatov's adaptation of the “Songs and Dances of Death” for tenor and orchestra by Modest Mussorgsky with interludes on 26 May 2012 in St. Petersburg, the new version will be given its Austrian premiere one month later at the Salzburg Festival on 30 July 2012. This year's festival will be held from 20 July until 2 September.

As with the world premiere and a concert at the festival “New Horizons” on 2 June in St. Petersburg, the Raskatov adaptation will be presented by the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra under the direction of Valery Gergiev.

Modest Mussorgsky's Songs and Dances of Death" were composed during the years 1875 to 1877. During his lifetime, Mussorgsky found no possibility of publishing his cycle, which he himself once called "Totentanzlieder.“ The text is by Arseny Golenishchev-Kutuzov, of whom Mussorgsky was a personal friend.

Alexander Raskatov confesses that he has always found Mussorgsky's "Songs and Dances of Death" to be a kind of "musical Bible." For each composer who attempts a new instrumentation of the work, it becomes increasingly difficult to add new aspects when following up on these great paragons. He, however, has especially concentrated on the many nuances still to be found in the texts.

30 July 2012
Festival, Großes Festspielhaus, 8:30 PM
Austrian premiere: Modest Mussorgsky / Alexander Raskatov
“Songs and Dances of Death” for tenor and orchestra
Sergei Semishkur (tenor)
Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre
Valery Gergiev (direction) 


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