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

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

Déclamateur

. . . In 1874 [ 1875], being one evening at Camille Saint-Saëns's, who had just returned from a tour to Moscow, I happened to lay hands on a score of Boris Godunov. As I leafed through it, reading with increasing interest the pages of a composer unknown to me, Saint-Saëns uttered the pronouncement that "all the ridiculous criticisms usually addressed to Wagner could be applied exactly to Musorgsky."

The rapid reading that I was able to make prevented me from concurring with this opinion; and two or three weeks later, having gone again to Camille Saint-Saëns's, I took away the score to study it at leisure. Later I attempted, on several occasions, to share with my friends this admiration of mine, which grew endlessly for this music, whose formula was so strangely new. But everywhere I met nothing but scorn, sneers and indifference. Decidedly, Saint-Saëns was not the only one of his opinion, and quantities of "the musically eminent," whose authority is law, agreed with him on this point: "Musorgsky is nothing but a fool, an obscure and grotesque déclamateur." . . .--

JULES DE BRAYER


161. To ARSENI GOLENISHCHEV-KUTUZOV

My dear friend Arseni, whatever happens, my own, we absolutely must meet, drag yourself along with your little children [poems], "it is not for me to be a stranger--it is nothing but the lure of loving hearts." How much business, how much disgust and dissipation, and hopes--great desires (terrible to utter!)--and you, my own, you haven't acted properly. What happened to you? Shall I open myself? All right--listen: you are loved by me, with you I feel at ease; do not bow to the Prince of the Earth, but hold your head higher and remember: verily, is it so? This day Wednesday (December 10) we await you--when you will grant us your presence, and kindly bring your good offspring; how fond I am of talking with them.

Come when you wish: come, if you wish and we love you--I repeat this.

Yours, without any doubt,

MODESTE MUSORGSKY

9-10 December, Night, '75

Under the impression of your first verses for the subject "Danse macabre" there is something,--I speak of the theme of "The Exile."54

MUSORGSKY

____________________
54
A draft of these verses for an unused subject in Songs and Dances of Death was found among the poet's papers--the ship bringing a political exile home

-320-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 478

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?