Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky was born in Karevo, Russia. Educated for the army, he resigned his commission in 1848 after the onset of a nervous disorder and began studying music. Along with Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov, he was one of the first to promote a national Russian style of music. Mussorgsky first became known for his songs, among them the well-known setting of Goethe's (see Vol. 2) satirical "Song of the Flea" (1879). His masterpiece, however, is the opera Boris Godunov (1874), a wonderful example of his ability to "color" his music. His piano suite Pictures from an Exhibition (1874) is also a standard work in the concert repertoire of today. During the latter part of his life, Mussorgsky sank into chronic alcoholism, and this contributed to an early death. After his death, his friend Rimsky-Korsakov took many of the composer's unfinished pieces and completed or arranged them. Today, the original versions of many of Mussorgsky's works are making a comeback and deserve serious attention.