from my Salammbô27--a male chorus based on a theme that you know, with variations à la Georgienne.
I've begun to sketch the witches28--am stuck at the devils--the cortege of Satan doesn't satisfy me yet.
Impatiently waiting to be with you, I press your hand firmly.
Pavlovsk 14th of August 1866
Tell me: will you be at home some morning this week, and on which morning exactly? By the first train I can arrive at your place by about ten o'clock in the morning.--I pledge myself to bring the score of my little Libyan chorus and I thirst to talk with you about the witches. If convenient for you, we could together burst in on Cesar to chew and while away the after-dinner time, which in Europe is known as the avant-soirée.
I haven't seen you for so long and a meeting would be extremely close to my heart.
I firmly press your hand.
Address: In Pavlovsk on the Soldatski Slobodka at Popov's dacha.
. . . What compelled Musorgsky to give up such an outwardly interesting subject as Salainmbô? . . . Once I applied to Modeste Petrovich with this question, why had he stopped the work that he had begun? He looked at me intently, then burst out laughing and, with a gesture, said: "It would have been fruitless, what a laughable Carthage would have come of it!" Then he stopped laughing and went on, seriously, "We've had enough of the Orient in Judith. Art isn't a pastime, time is precious." M.P. implied that one can't picture the Orient without having seen it or without knowing its melodies . . . --NIKOLAI KOMPANEISKY____________________