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

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

97. To EDUARD NAPRAVNIK

6 February, '73

Eduard Frantzovich, you do not accept eulogies--which makes you all the stronger and loftier; but won't you receive the confession of a musician?

On Monday, February 5, you did an unheard-of thing; only your artistic strength could have, with 2 rehearsals, interpreted the scenes of Boris with such fire and artistry. Considering all my painful excitability, your first assault, and the following ones, on Boris, made me begin to love you warmly, as a champion-artist (you can't forbid me this). You probed not only into the details of orchestral performance, but into all the finest shades of staging and declamation; in all your remarks I perceived a sincere desire for the success of the work; I considered and I consider your remarks an honor and reward to my student labor: such fine, such artistically true understanding of a composer's intentions could only come from an artist of great talent.-- Neither in thought nor in dream, in spite of the ovations, not once did I attach any importance to myself (this was my only merit on the evening of February 5): all the honor and glory of the performance of the scenes of Boris I ascribe to you, Eduard Frantzovich, and to our dear comrade-artists and to the glorious orchestra. I tell you frankly that I bless your name for enabling me to continue my studies.

MUSORGSKY

P.S. They say that gingerbread [ Gedeonov] felt abominably and conducted himself likewise on the evening of February 5, they say that his lip reached out towards your conductor's baton wishing to catch it and swallow it, but was limited to his customary chewing, because of his total weakness from senility.

Announcement by VASILI BESSEL Printed in Muzikalny Listok, March 25, 1873

Having obtained the copyright in all countries for the composition Boris Godunov (opera in 4 acts with prologue, the subject taken from Pushkin and Karamzin), music by Musorgsky, we have the honor to announce the opening of a subscription for an edition of the complete piano and vocal score of this opera. The subscription price is 10 silver rubles. The sales price will be 15 silver rubles. In this published transcription there will be included scenes which, in order to avoid length in the spectacle, will not be performed in the opera's

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