Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky(, Modest Petrovi? Musorgskij, ) (March 9/21, 1839 – March 16/28, 1881), one of the Russian composers known as the Five, was an innovator of Russian music. He strove to achieve a uniquely Russian musical identity, often in deliberate defiance of the established conventions of Western music.Like his literary contemporary Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Mussorgsky depicts in his music "the insulted and the injured" with all their passion and pain. He raises these characters to tragic heights until the grotesque and majestic coexist. Mussorgsky could accomplish this not simply out of compassion or guilt toward them, but because in his works he almost becomes them. Mussorgsky's music is vivid, confused, feverish and ultimately hypnotizing?again, like Dostoyevsky at his best.Volkov, St Petersburg: A Cultural History (New York: The Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1995), 85.Many of his major works were inspired by Russian history, Russian folklore, an
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