Hebrew song

About this work

Mussorgsky's Hebrew Song sets an adaptation of Solomon's Song of Songs by Lev Mey, a dramatist and a prolific translator of European texts into Russian. Composed on June 12, 1867, on his brother Philarete's estate at Minkino and dedicated to his brother and sister-in-law, the Hebrew Song was one of the first songs by Mussorgsky to be published by Jurgenson, in 1868. In style, the Hebrew Song is closer to the "oriental" manner of Rimsky-Korsakov or Borodin than to the Russian folk idiom Mussorgsky had been using for the past couple of years. Indeed, there exists a setting of another section of Mey's adaptation of the Song of Songs, done in the same style, with some of the same "oriental" melodic embellishments and with the same title of Hebrew Song, composed the same year by Rimsky-Korsakov and dedicated to Mussorgsky.