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

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

[On the back of this letter there is Musorgsky's penciled version for this song:]


IN PSKOVITYANKA

(The girls sing in the forest, Act I, Scene 4)
(borrowed from a Pskov song)

Ah, you grove, you little grove,
Mother mine, little green grove,
Why such noise--you'll hurt yourself,
You must see dark clouds up there.
The darkness covers us, dear grove,
The noise drowns the crying birds.
Cuckoo cries there cuckoo,
Grief to us and sorrow.
Ah, this little cuckoo,
A sly and restless bird,
Like an unmarried wife, bold, young.
She has no snug and warm nest.
She has none and needs none,
Like the unmarried wife, she's free.
The little grove offers plenty
Of other birds' snug warm nests
There, in the stormy weather,
To shelter the free little bird.


71. To VLADIMIR STASOV

Your epistle, dear généralissime, was received in my absence; I thought I would catch you at Hartmann's but this didn't happen-- that's the reason for my tardy reply.--At "The Power of Serov,"57 I will be with my people, because this arrangement was made long ago; Korsinka surprised me at Ludmila Ivanovna's when he announced that the "company" would be united in a loge--I knew nothing about this. Well, what of it? We'll run into each other in the entr'actes and

____________________
57
On the following evening, April 19, 1871, was to be given the première of Alexander Serov's posthumously produced opera, The Power of Evil, based on Ostrovsky's play, Don't Live as You'd Like To ( 1855). Serov died in January of this year. The playwright had adapted most of the libretto himself, only quitting when his wish for fantasy collided with Serov's urge toward naturalism. Victor Hartmann had designed the sets for this production at the Marinsky Opera.

-162-

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