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

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

I am rereading Solovyov,95 to become acquainted with this epoch, as I became acquainted during Boris with the source among vagabonds of the "troubled times," so that history is my nocturnal mate--I absorb it and more than enjoy it, despite my weariness and my dismal mornings at the office. I want to apply for a rest and use it for good purposes, rather than to bring foresters to trial, the longer this goes on, the less it is to my liking.--Well, till we meet, my dear géné ralissime, don't curse me and don't pity me. Flagon [ Shcherbachov] has composed a splendid etude [in B major], hot, nervous and dashing.

Your

MUSORYANIN

The admiral has a son--Misha.96

". . . Our Poor Musoryanin!"

. . . V. V. Stasov was in an especially happy mood all this time there (in Paris]. Only one sorrow gnawed at his heart: he was often mentally desolate on Musorgsky's behalf: "Ah, what is going on with our poor Musoryanin!" More than once V. V. attempted to rescue his genius friend, who in his absence sank to the bottom. It was really incredible how that well-bred Guards officer, with his beautiful and polished manners, that witty conversationalist with the ladies, that inexhaustible punster, as soon as he was left without V. V., quickly sank, sold his belongings, even his elegant clothes, and soon descended to some cheap saloons where he personified the familiar type of "has-been," where this childishly happy chubby child, with a red potato-shaped nose, was already unrecognizable . . . Was it really he? The once impeccably dressed, heel-clicking society man, scented, dainty, fastidious. Oh, how many times V. V., on his return from abroad, was hardly able to dig him out of some basement establishment, nearly in rags, swollen with alcohol . . . He would sit with shady characters till 2 in the morning, sometimes till daybreak. While still abroad V. V. would bombard all his closest acquaintances with letters, asking for word of him, of this now mysterious stranger . . . for no one knew to where Musorgsky had vanished . . . --ILYA REPIN


113. TO VASILI BESSEL

DEAREST VASILI VASILYEVICH:

The Director has sanctioned Boris. I beg you to get the Klavieraus-zug

____________________
95
Sergei Solovyov History of Russia.
96
The first child of Nikolai and Nadezhda Rimsky-Korsakov was born on August 20--Mikhail Nikolayevich.

-251-

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