Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was a Russian composer, active in the mid-19th century. He was one of the group of composers known as 'The Five' or 'The Mighty Handful', who sought to find a Russian nationalist identity in music. This movement, which was particularly revolutionary at the time, led to much of his music being based on Russian history and folklore, and rejected the influences of European classical music, which had been the fashion in Russia until this point.
Although Mussorgsky was a prolific composer in many genres, the majority of his operas were never finished. In fact, only Boris Godunov, based on the drama by Alexander Pushkin, was ever completed. After his death, the four acts he had written for Khovanshchina were completed with the addition of a fifth act by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, based on Mussorsky's sketches.
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