'Khovanshchina' is an opera in five acts by Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881). The opera was written between 1872 and 1880 in St. Petersburg, Russia. Mussorgsky wrote the libretto based on historical sources. The opera was unfinished and unperformed when the composer died in 1881. Like Mussorgsky's earlier opera Boris Godunov, 'Khovanshchina' deals with an episode in Russian history.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov completed, revised, and scored 'Khovanshchina' in 1881-1882. Because of his extensive cuts and 'recomposition', Dmitri Shostakovich revised the opera in 1959 based on Mussorgsky's vocal score, and it is the Shostakovich version that is nowadays usually performed.
The opera starts with a prelude: 'Dawn over the Moscow River'. This beautiful prelude became popular on its own and is now transcribed for Symphonic Band by Gregor Kovaciv.