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

By Jay Leyda; Sergei Bertensson et al. | Go to book overview
Let the god of arts lead you,
With speeches ringing with you frame,
Let word of you pass from year to year.
M.M.
FEBRUARY 1872

82. To MILI BALAKIREV

22 March 1872

MY DEAR MILI,

Your note came to me simultaneously with a card from Gayevsky, on which it is indicated that the concert of the literary foundation will be conducted by Leschetizky--well, let him conduct.89--If, my dear, you find the polonaise worthy of inclusion in the program of your concert,90 I am delighted and I don't see any harm in the fact that it goes on at the end: those who remain in the salle will be those who are really interested in this work. And for that which can be read between the lines of your note, I firmly and warmly thank you.

MODESTE MUSORGSKY

You will do me a great service by performing the polonaise; it is indispensable for me to hear myself on the orchestra, without the participation of the chorus, which hasn't occurred since I began to compose [ Boris?].91

A Group Commission

. . . the following work fell to the lot of the members of our circle. Gedeonov, Director of the Imperial Theatres at the time, had considered the idea of producing a work which should combine ballet, opera, and féerie. For this purpose he had written a program for a

____________________
89
Balakirev's ties to music and musicians were being cut--one by one. The Literary Foundation, where Balakirev had conducted his successful Shakespeare program, had now put its concerts in the hands of Theodor Leschetizky.
90
The last concert for the Free Music School which Balakirev conducted. During the preceding month Napravnik had programed the Coronation Scene at a concert of the Imperial Russian Musical Society.
91
Balakirev later wrote Stasov in regard to this polonaise: I made several suggestions to him which he made use of, as I can see from the published Klavierauszug. I don't know if his orchestration was corrected. I never heard it on the stage. The remaining numbers of Boris were instrumented and composed without any participation of mine . . ."

-180-

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