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

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

with me, after such a casus he'd probably baptize all the conservatories in musical . . . As you can see, I am spilling about the poison of musical nihilism, as well as organizing a party for the support of A Life for the Tzar, which the Polish counts (there are plenty here), together with the conductor Smetana and several other gentlemen with musical authority, for example, Mr. Procházka,43 want to chase off the stage, as a Tartar opera.

Today I visited classes of schools where the students assemble voluntarily to study Russian (a chair of Russian language is not allowed officially at the university). There are many of them and they're all going to hear A Life for the Tzar, which will probably be given on February 3, by the local calendar, conducted by me. The merchants will go, too. In a word I'm working with as much energy as [ General] Kaufman in Vilna.

Today I was at the society called Hlahol [Tone], listening for two hours to a Männer chorus with extreme patience; to oblige me with Russian (!) singing, they sang some Männerchor by Rubinstein. Such anathema I've never heard.--Well, this is enough for you; write me more often, and get the address from Cesar, or Ludmila Iv., or Korsinka.

Your

M. BALAKIREV

The conservatorists call me nothing but "Pane Professore"--which is flattering and pleasant.


41b. CESAR CUI to MILI BALAKIREV, Prague [Extract]

January 18, 1867

. . . Hasn't Modinka written you even once? This insane youngster is completely lost. When you get back, his "Gopak"44 and "Savishna" will have to be printed . . .

____________________
43
Dr. Ludevit Procházka--a Prague critic and intimate friend of Smetana's.
44
The song, "Gopak," on a text from Shevchenko Haidamaks (translated from the Ukrainian by Lyov Mey), has this subtitle: "Lute player. The old man sings and dances." It is dated " Pavlovsk. 31 Aug. year 1866," and is dedicated to Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov. "Savishna" is dated September 2, 1866, and is dedicated to the author of this letter.

-75-

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