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

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

myself at all skilled enough to perform at the piano, and due to my being out of practice, particularly in playing Schumann Faust9--I would be more of an embarrassment than a help to you. And that thought--of accompanying your chorus--is so repellent to me and it so alarms my brain, that if in your soul you should accuse me of a ridiculous caprice, even in such a case I would not come--although it would be heavy for me to bear the accusation of a ridiculous caprice. --Nadezhda Petrovna [Opochinina] said she wasn't home because she wasn't dressed, this is the arrangement she has established: Till two o'clock she is not at home to visitors--and today she planned to go out at three o'clock on various tiresome errands.

Firmly kiss you, dear, and I beg you not to impose on me any accusation for my refusal.

Your
MODESTE

I received an envelope with tickets for the quartet and symphony concerts of the musical slum. 10 I decided--at once to send back these tickets to the musical slum.--Demidov has gone out of his mind and is staying at Stein's.11 He bit Rubinstein and at once landed at Stein's. --How sad.


60. To KARL ALBRECHT, Moscow

[ December, 1869]

DEAR SIR,

KARL KARLOVICH:

Our indirect acquaintance must begin on my part by my begging your pardon for my tardy reply. The fact is, that with full sympathy

____________________
10
After the break between Balakirev and the Imperial Russian Musical Society, the Society attempted a friendly gesture toward the members of the "nationalist" group by sending them all free season tickets for their symphonic and chamber music concerts. For contrast to Musorgsky's reaction to this gesture, we have Borodin's happy gratitude for the tickets, expressed in a letter to his wife.
11
Grigori Alexandrovich Demidov was inspector of music classes at the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Mme. Stein operated a nursing home for mental cases on Vasilyevsky Island.
9
The church scene from Schumann's secular oratorio Faust was performed by soloists, chorus and orchestra at a concert of the Free Music School on October 26, 1869. Platonova sang the part of Gretchen, Kondratyev the part of the Evil Spirit. Balakirev had asked Musorgsky to accompany choral rehearsals of this work.

-132-

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