Arseny Golenishchev-Kutuzov (R)
4 The commander
Musorgsky was one of Shostakovich’s favourite composers and this cycle for voice and piano was one of his favourite works by the 19th century composer. By the time he made this orchestration, Shostakovich had already made his own versions of two of Musorgsky’s operas, ‘Boris Godunov’ op.58 and ’Khovanshchina’ op.106. He made this arrangement of the cycle for his friend the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, who gave the first performance with her husband Mstislav Rostropovich conducting. Since then, the work has become a standard part of the concert repertory for voice and orchestra.
Note by Gerard McBurney