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

By Jay Leyda; Sergei Bertensson et al. | Go to book overview

the street walkers, without, however, erasing from my mind my wonderful impressions of the Kremlin.--Now, dear brethren, I await a letter from you to Nizhnii Novgorod . . .


6. To MILI BALAKIREV, Nizhni Novcorod

[Postmarked: 12 July. 1858 St. Petersburg]

DEAR MILI,

Yesterday at the Stasovs I had the pleasure of reading your letter to them from Moscow and I was mightily happy to learn that you are quite well. The story of the cane made me laugh a little (but when I recalled how fond you were of it--through habit, of course--I immediately stopped laughing); your observations on the trip were very amusing; the weeping ladies, the doctor from the Hussar regiment, the salmon (in the cold fish soup) that cost you 50 silver kopeks, that was terribly funny. Petrusha [Borozdin] on the Moscow streets attracted by the women, who very likely pushed him aside, all these scenes were extremely amusing.--Your description of the Kremlin, Mili, has plunged me deep in thought; however, thanks to you, these five minutes of reverie about it have given me unspeakable delight. And in general I must tell you that I read your letter with delight.-- There's nothing to write about myself; the same absent-mindedness, the same occupations (music and literature), my departure to the country to attend a wedding, that is all I can tell you about myself. As for my musical activities, I will tell you that I'm beginning to write a sonata (in E-flat major), I'll manage it somehow; and I will try to make this come out well.15 I plan to do a brief introduction in B (B-flat major) and lead up to the allegro by means of a pedal point; and in addition a scherzo is in work and in leisure moments I practice harmony; how terribly I want to compose decently! Kito bows to you and endeavors to embrace you from Krasnoye Selo, although I don't know how successfully he can do this. We played Schumann's symphonies (in B-flat major and C major), because he is very fond of them and reads music splendidly.--We are expecting him to come to town; he may add something to this letter, as he very much wanted

____________________
15
This sonata, in E-flat major, was either left unfinished or was destroyed by Musorgsky, as it does not appear in the catalogue of his works which he prepared for Shestakova (No. 73) and the only fragments of it in existence are the themes noted in the following letter.

-9-

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