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

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

129a. SERGEI TANEYEV23 to PIOTR TCHAIKOVSKY, St. Petersburg [Extract]
March 24, 1874, MoscowI asked Nikolai Albertovich [Hubert]24 for Pskovityanka, The Nursery and several songs by Musorgsky to show Fyodor Ivanovich [ Maslov].25> This music gave the Maslovs a headache: on another day they hid the score. However Fyodor Ivanovich liked "With the Doll" from The Nursery. But in general they say this is no better than Johann Sebastian Bach . . .
130. To VLADIMIR STASOV
Wednesday, some day or other [the 12th?] in June '74MY DEAR généralissime. Hartmann26 is boiling as Boris boiled--the sounds and the idea hung in the air, and now I am gulping and overeating, I can hardly manage to scribble it down on paper. Am writing 4 numbers--with good transitions (on "promenade"). I want to do it as quickly and steadily as possible. My physiognomy can be seen in the intermezzi. I consider it successful so far. I embrace you and I take it that you bless me--so give me your blessing! MUSORYANINV[otre] S[erviteur]Curious nomination [nomenclature]: "Promenade (in modo russico)"
No. 1. "Gnomus"--intermezzo (there's no name for the intermezzo);
No. 2. "Il vecchio castello"--intermezzo (also unnamed);
No. 3. "Tuileries (dispute d'enfants après jeux)";
____________________
23
Sergei Taneyev, then a student at the Moscow Conservatory and the favorite pupil in Professor Tchaikovsky's harmony class.
24
Director of the Moscow Conservatory since Nikolai Rubinstein's resignation.
25
A friend of Tchiaikovsky and Taneyev.
26
In January 1874, Vladimir Stasov and Count Paul Suzor, president of the Architects' Society, organized a memorial exhibition of the works (water colors, drawings, projects) of Victor Hartmann, in the galleries of the Academy of Arts. Musorgsky was moved by the exhibition of his dead friend's career, but found no channel for his emotion until after the excitement of Boris's staging had passed. Then he began a piano suite in memory of Hartmann, based largely on particular items in the memorial show.

-271-

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