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

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

become so vulgarized that it would be delicate to release at least the composers from these. In the second place, a beginning composer, to whom such a presentation is made at the première of his first work, not knowing what his work is like as a whole, not knowing how it will look to a real audience, rather than to six initials--such a composer, if only he would not be blinded by himself finally, in the moment of presentation must sustain only one passionate, uncertain [irresistible?--R-K.] desire to sink through the earth. I am very glad that Mr. Musorgsky did not have to undergo this desire, the more so that if this had happened, we would have been deprived of a very talented composer with an enormous future, to which the path through wreaths is as inconvenient, as in the circus where riders also have to jump through wreaths.


127. To VLADIMIR STASOV

My dear and ever dear généralissime in spite of everything and everybody. I was angry, as a loving woman is angry; I fumed and raged . . . now I am grieved and indignant, indignant and grieved. What a horror that article of Cui's is! To begin at the end: no well- bred man would dare to refer to women as Cui has done in his inconsiderate witticisms. But shame on him who in print, publicly, makes fun of women who deserve nothing but sympathy (as I heard) for their brave and fearless conduct. (As to me personally--that's another story, but I remain silent and will not forget a good deed.) In anger at you, my dear, at your rejection of my plea [to suppress the wreath story], I was rough--to the devil with tenderness! . . . I was nasty to you at the theater, my anger nauseates me. I dare to confess proudly, that neither at dinner at Dimitri's, nor even at the theater, was I contemptible nor did I belie your love. I repeat: no matter what would have happened--I could not part from you, I love you passionately and in your blanched face I read just as strong a love for me. I am happy about our quarrel, it has strengthened and heartened me;--it is good, it is important when people clash thus. I've said everything, I am whole before you, as I am.

Thus, it seems, it was necessary for Boris to appear for people to show their true selves. The tone of Cui's article is odious: what childish nonsense about the peasant women!17 And this reckless assault on the self-satisfaction of the composer! The brainless ones are not satisfied with that modesty and humility, which has never left me and

____________________
17
Cui said in his review, "In our choral dances the peasant women scream almost continually."

-266-

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