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

By Jay Leyda; Sergei Bertensson et al. | Go to book overview
produced so wonderful an effect on me that I gave it a place among the first class of symphonic dramas for its truth and full sensuous impression.--Well, I'm unable to express all I feel--I firmly press your hand. MODESTE MUSORGSKY
34a. CESAR CUI to MILI BALAKIREV [Extracts]
St. Petersburg. June 14, 1864. . . Modinka--is resurrected. He's at my place weekly. He's composed two songs and Nekrasov Kalistratushka, a tableau de genre musicale.22 There's a new musical form for you. All this is not devoid of good turns, harmonies, thoughts, but as a whole--it's rather ridiculous . . . August 15, 1864. . . You are too hard on Modinka. To be indignant with him is impossible, but not to pity him is difficult. I sympathize with him in his avoidance of Zakharin; that's a terrific chatterer capable of making anyone shiver; but in his [ Modinka's] work, of course, I don't believe . . .
35. To MILI BALAKIREV
[ St. Petersburg, end of February, 1865]MILI,The program of the Thursday concert on February 20 [actually given February 29] will be as follows:
Symph. (C minor) by Spohr
Excerpt from Lélio by Berlioz
____________________
22
The manuscript of "Kalistrat" is dated May 22, 1864, dedicated to Alexander Petrovich Opochinin, and bears die inscription: "A first attempt at humorous music."

Two other songs dating from this spring, to which Cui may be referring, are: "Blow Winds, Wild Winds," with text by Alexei Koltzov (dated "28 March 1864. S.-Petersburg," and dedicated to Vyacheslav Alexeyevich Loginov), and "Night," a fantasy, with text by Pushkin (dated "10 April 1864. S.-Petersburg," and dedicated to Nadezhda Petrovna Opochinina).

-64-

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