Mussorgsky Self Portrait from “Pictures at an exhibition”

As you remember, in one of the episodes I had an idea that it would’ve been nice to take advantage of the modern possibilities of home electronics and technology to cut out everything that had to do with physiognomy, with the self-portrait of Modest Petrovich, and to put it all together, to be able to take in the whole complete self-portrait of our wonderful author.

Person one. A powerful character with great inner conflicts. (0:57-2:29)

Next, person two. An enlightened, if you remember, a swinging, a slightly flirting Modest Petrovich. (2:44-3:48)

Person three. Modest Petrovich the rocker, with the root-deep energy that we only discovered by the end of the twentieth century, whereas he knew it from his Slavic roots, from his life in the mid-nineteenth century. (4:09-4:43)

The enlightened and weeping with luminous tears Modest Petrovich is the next look at his physiognomy. (4:51-5:41)

The next look, the complete look. After all he had suffered, Modest Petrovich has grown stronger. (5:52-7:25)

And lastly, that, which we to expect in the future episodes, and it is the emersion of Modest Petrovich in the other world. He is not with us any longer; he is with Gartman who leads him by the hand into the world of the shadows. A surrealistic, and at the same time a psychedelic statement of our great musical surrealist. (7:51-8:08)

We will analyze this in future episodes.

The only thing I would like to mention is that these intermittent intonations, which we see in the portrait (8:17-8:23), they are Modest Petrovich fears. The fear of non-existence, the fear of departing into a different plane, the fear of departing from the material world, in the real sense of this word, into a non-existence.

And this wincing of his that has no adequate word in Russian. In English, they have something like it; it is described with the word “ouch!”, when you are in fear and in pain. In Russian, we only have something that sounds like “tsssss!!!”, horrific hissing.

For now, we are not going to go deeper into this part of his self-portrait; I just wanted you to understand how deep all of it is, how dreadful, otherworldly and how it does not belong to this world of ours any longer. (9:15-11:12)

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