Dawn on the Moscow River

From Wind Repertory Project
Modest Mussorgsky

Modest Mussorgsky (arr. Cameron Kotovsky)

This work may also be found under the title Dawn over the Moscow River.

General Info

Year: 1874 / 2019
Duration: c. 5:35
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Orchestra
Publisher: Kotovsky Arrangements
Cost: Score and Parts - $75.00


Full Score
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
B-flat Flugelhorn
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II
Percussion, including:

  • Crotales I-II
  • Marimba
  • Tam-Tam
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Dawn on the Moscow River began as a Prelude to Khovanshchina, Modest Mussorgsky's epic opera about the political turmoil surrounding Peter the Great's accession to the throne. Mussorgsky began compiling the libretto for the opera, which he wrote himself, in 1872. Over the following nine years, Mussorgsky shifted his attention between Khovanshchina, Boris Godunov, and Sorochintsï Fair, leaving Khovanshchina unfinished at the time of his death in 1881. Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, a prolific Russian composer and Mussorgsky's close friend, took it upon himself to orchestrate and complete a number of Mussorgsky's works, including Khovanshchina. He assembled the work into its present form from two separate versions. Even still, the opera takes approximately four hours to perform.

The comparatively short prelude lasts a mere six minutes and sets the stage for the opera by subtly evoking a sunrise. The prelude is a lyrical string of variations based on a Russian folk song. The work avoids bombastic outbursts, moving seamlessly between different orchestrations and harmonizations of the folk song. Dawn on the Moscow River has since solidified its place in orchestral literature as an independently performed tone poem.

- Program Note by composer


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Northern Illinois University (DeKalb) Wind Symphony (Cameron Kotovsky, conductor) – 22 April 2019

Works for Winds by This Composer

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