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The Nursery (song cycle)

The Nursery (song cycle)

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The Nursery is a song cycle
Song cycle
A song cycle is a group of songs designed to be performed in a sequence as a single entity. As a rule, all of the songs are by the same composer and often use words from the same poet or lyricist. Unification can be achieved by a narrative or a persona common to the songs, or even, as in Schumann's...

 by Modest Mussorgsky
Modest Mussorgsky
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky was a Russian composer, one of the group known as 'The Five'. He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period...

, composed between 1868 and 1872, set to his own lyrics.

Song Data

Series Title Translation Date Dedication Pub. Date Publisher Notes
Series 1, No. 1 С няней With Nanny Aleksandr Dargomïzhsky
Alexander Dargomyzhsky
Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky was a 19th century Russian composer. He bridged the gap in Russian opera composition between Mikhail Glinka and the later generation of The Five and Tchaikovsky....

 
1872 Bessel
Series 1, No. 2 В углу In the Corner Viktor Gartman
Viktor Hartmann
Viktor Alexandrovich Hartmann was a Russian architect and painter. He was associated with the Abramtsevo Colony, purchased and preserved beginning in 1870 by Savva Mamontov, and the Russian Revival.-Life:Victor-Edouard Hartmann was born in St...

 
1872 Bessel
Series 1, No. 3 Жук The Beetle Vladimir Stasov  1872 Bessel
Series 1, No. 4 С куклой With the Doll Tanyushka and Goga Musorgsky 1872 Bessel
Series 1, No. 5 На сон грядущий At Bedtime Sasha Cui 1872 Bessel
Series 2, No. 1 Поехал на палочке Ride on a Stick Horse 1908 Bessel
Series 2, No. 2 Кот Матрос The Cat 'Sailor' 1908 Bessel
Series 2, No. 3 Сон Dream Projected or not written down
Series 2, No. 4 [Unknown] [Unknown] Projected or not written down

Series 1

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


The two surviving songs of Series 2, along with new edition of the five songs of Series 1, were published by V. Bessel and Co.
V. Bessel and Co.
V. Bessel and Co. was a musical firm founded in 1869 in St Petersburg by Vasily Vasil’yevich Bessel . His brother N. V. Bessel was a co-owner of the firm....

in 1908.
1. Ride on a Stick Horse

A child relating his imaginary journey to Yukki on a stick 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