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

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

ond song which you know and which he liked very much; and finally we got around to Shuisky.33 My wife and I played it in 4 hands and we earned his complete approval and he often patted our heads. Shuisky seems to have completely satisfied him, he doesn't demand any changes except some most insignificant ones, for instance to repeat two bars of the Adagio religioso, where the bells are.

Musorgsky promised to come again in order to play over Shuisky a couple of times with me and definitely give his opinion of some changes then, which I repeat are of the most trifling sort (in one place to insert a pause and in another place to remove one).

I've kept aside the most interesting news for you till the end. Musorgsky has finished the 1st act of Khovanshchina and has begun the second and, to be exact, has written two scenes of it and prepared material for further work. What he has just written is indeed marvelous and I like it unreservedly. The entrance of Dosifei and the chorus of dissenters turned out extremely successfully. Golitzin's theme in the second act in the generally European mood is terribly beautiful and melodic. God grant that he continue thus. He is now living at Naumov's, but absolutely plans to move in with you as soon as you return. He seems in good health and his stay with us left us with the most cheering impression.

That, it seems, is all our news.

I almost forgot to tell you the most interesting of all: Petrov is taking The Stone Guest for his bénéfice and it seems he wants to maneuver a production of the 1st act of Khovanshchina.34 How's that! I am in ecstasy . . .


151b. ALEXANDER BORODIN to YEKATERINA BORODINA, Moscow [Extracts]

S. Peterburg 19 September, 1875

. . . News of my musical activity in Moscow has spread with the speed of lightning since my first day here: Stasov Vladimir, with the Shcherbachovs, flew to me the next day and, of course, didn't find me home. Close upon this I received a whole series of floods of words from Vladimir Vasilyevich [ Stasov] who, by the way, hasn't yet heard my music and won't until Sunday. I must admit I never expected my

____________________
33
Possibly Katenin was composing incidental music for Golenishchev-Kutuzov's drama.
34
A good idea that did not materialize.

-305-

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