The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents

By Jay Leyda; Sergei Bertensson et al. | Go to book overview
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place to ours on Razyezhaya Street and, besides, you're not feeling very well . . . however, I appeal to your indulgence and kindness and I hope you won't be angry and will love Razyezhaya Street as ever.--My brother asks me to convey to you his most respectful compliments.

Yours,

MODESTE MUSORSKY

P.S. I am on duty tomorrow; this is terribly disappointing, for I have been wishing so to see you.


5. To MILI BALAKIREV

[Postmarked: 25 February, 1858]

MOST PRECIOUS MILI,

To my very great shame I must confess that the allegro8 is not yet ready--so, annoying as it may be, I comply with your request: to write you in case I do not finish it--this allegro that's boring me sick. However, I am not desperate; I hope to see you this week, in order to test my labor as your pupil on your piano. Incidentally I am lately so lazy and languorous that I don't know how to get rid of the feeling; never, now that this is finished, not for anything will I again write oriental music, it's all snares.9 Till we meet. I started this letter sadly and end it stupidly.

Devoted to you from the soul,

MODESTE MUSORSKY

Soldier or Artist

. . . I told him that Lermontov could remain a hussar officer and be a great poet, regardless of all sorts of guard duty in the regiment and in the guardroom, regardless of all sorts of reviews and parades. Musorgsky answered that "that was Lermontov and this is I; he, perhaps, was able to fit one into the other, but I--I can't; the service interferes with my working as I must!" The final occasion, deciding the matter, was basically this situation: that they transferred him to a sharpshooters' battalion and, therefore, beginning with the summer of 1859, he would have to be moved out to permanent residence in Tzarskaya Slavyanka, and this he definitely could not agree to: to

____________________
8
This allegro may be the first movement of the sonata in E-flat major referred to in Letter 6.
9
This early distaste for "oriental" music toward which Balakirev was so attracted, may be the first indication of Musorgsky's lifelong search for "real" sources.

-6-

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