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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rangement of the Second Sp[anish] Overt[ure]57 doesn't count.-- We'll see each other at the Stasovs.

MODESTE


20. To MILI BALAKIREV

[end of December, 1860]

I should like very much to see you, dear Mili, but I can't, because "it snows and blows outdoors" and a cough has so completely broken me that my nerves have turned to jelly, and I shall stay home.

I am sending you your scores58--is the orchestration as it should be? Do look it over; I have yet to note the instruments in the transcription. Bach is well; if you will be at the Stasovs on Sunday bring the overture (the orchestration) and I'll give the entr'actes myself to Bach. --Give a splendid answer for everything with the formation which results from Dargun's notification about Rusalka--simply Yasha.59

Till Monday, January 2, at the Stasovs.

MODESTE.


20a. MILI BALAKIREV to AVDOTYA ZAKHARINA [Extract]

December 31, 1860

. . . Our entire company lives as before. Musorgsky now has a happy and healthy appearance. He has written an allegro and thinks that he has already accomplished a great deal for art in general and Russian art in particular. Every Wednesday evening now I have an assembly of all the Russian composers; new compositions (when they compose any) are played for us and, in general, good, edifying things by Beethoven, Glinka, Schumann or Schubert, etc. Even Cui has waked up and comes every Wednesday; he jokes and amuses us greatly, he's recently written a scherzo, a very good one, which he has dedicated to us three: to me, Modeste and Apollonti [Gussakovsky] . . .

____________________
57
This Glinka overture is also known as Night in Madrid. The score of Musorgsky's transcription for four hands is dated "Begun October 28, 1858, and finished November 11."
58
These transcriptions are possibly those done by Musorgsky for Balakirev's overture and entr'actes for King Lear.
59
"The meaning of this sentence is not clear. Yasha is possibly the lackey of Dargomizhsky (Dargun)."--Andrei Rimsky-Korsakov. Rusalka ( 1856) is Dargomizhsky's most popular opera.

-28-

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