The Nursery (song cycle)

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Musorgsky in 1870

The Nursery (Russian: Детская, Detskaya, literally Children's [Room]) is a song cycle by Modest Mussorgsky, composed between 1868 and 1872, set to his own lyrics.

Song Data[edit]

Series Title Translation Date Dedication Pub. Date Publisher Notes
Series 1, No. 1 С няней With Nanny 1868-04-26 Aleksandr Dargomïzhsky 1872 Bessel
Series 1, No. 2 В углу In the Corner 1870-09-30 Viktor Gartman 1872 Bessel
Series 1, No. 3 Жук The Beetle 1870-10-18 Vladimir Stasov 1872 Bessel
Series 1, No. 4 С куклой With the Doll 1870-12-18 Tanyushka and Goga Musorgsky 1872 Bessel
Series 1, No. 5 На сон грядущий At Bedtime 1870-12-18 Sasha Cui 1872 Bessel
Series 2, No. 1 Поехал на палочке Ride on a Hobby Horse 1872-09-14 1882 Bessel
Series 2, No. 2 Кот Матрос The Cat 'Sailor' 1872-08-15 1882 Bessel
Series 2, No. 3 Сон Dream Projected or not written down
Series 2, No. 4 [Unknown] [Unknown] Projected or not written down

Synopses[edit]

Series 1: The Nursery[edit]

1. With Nanny
A child begs the nurse to tell a story, first about the awful bogey-man who carries naughty children into the forest and devours them, and later about a fairy-tale Tsar and Tsaritsa who live in a rich palace by the sea.
2. In the Corner
The nurse berates Mishenka for spoiling her knitting and sends him to the corner.
3. The Beetle
A child relates to the nurse an encounter with a large beetle.
4. With the Doll
A child sings a lullaby to her doll.
5. At Bedtime
A child recites his prayers.

Series 2: At the Dacha[edit]

The two surviving songs of Series 2 (Russian: «На Даче», Na Dache, At the Dacha) along with new edition of the five songs of Series 1, were published by V. Bessel and Co. in 1908.

1. Ride on a Hobby Horse
A child relating his imaginary journey to Yukki on a stick (hobby horse) falls, injures himself, and resumes his journey.
2. The Cat 'Sailor'
A child foils the attempt by Matros ("Sailor") the cat to catch the family canary.
3. Dream
A child's fantastic dream
4. [Unknown title]
A quarrel between two children

Notes[edit]

An orchestral (no voice) version was arranged by Peter Breiner and recorded in 2012 by him with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra on Naxos.

References[edit]

  • Calvocoressi, M.D., Abraham, G., Mussorgsky, 'Master Musicians' Series, London: J.M.Dent & Sons, Ltd., 1974
  • Calvocoressi, M.D., Modest Mussorgsky: His Life and Works, London: Rockliff, 1956
  • Orlova, A., Mussorgsky Remembered, translated by Zaytsev, V. and Morrison, F., Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991
  • Unknown compiler, notes to Moussorgsky: Integrale des Melodies CD recording by Boris Christoff, EMI Records Ltd, 1989