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

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

yourself and how you're getting on, about your works and your artistic dreams, about everything. I have, as you see, moved on with my pen to another sheet of paper; meaning--that I'm not lazy, friend. See how I boast. Are we going to see each other this winter season? How fine it would be to go, if not to "the chilly Finnish rocks," then at least to the coast of Ingermanland; perhaps the Muse herself will agree to such an excursion; she is a rather capricious lady and her shrewish nature shows itself occasionally. However, you are on splendid terms with Lady Muse and consequently you yourself will agree to her favorite request if such a request does come from her. But truly, it would be fine if we could see each other. Everything can't be written in a letter: according to Tredyakovsky--"This is no work for mere men"; talking face to face is quite a different matter. Aside from talking, haven't we sinners the right to be introduced to your new works? I even dare to be sure that the Countess Olga Andreyevna will also not complain because of my good wish to see you this winter in the northern capital. New grass has appeared here, and there are new buds on the trees; it seems that the gap left by the continuous cold of the summer is being filled, according to the law of averages, by a warmish and intolerable November; this dusky warmth treads on the nerves. Bruce's calendar stubbornly goes on predicting a bitter winter; how good that would be, it's about time to get out the sleighs.

I beg you, friend, to deliver my soul's greetings to the Countess Olga Andreyevna and to Countess maman.

In the absolute expectation of a meeting, I firmly embrace you, dear friend. Send me a missive.

Your MODESTE MUSORGSKY

November 10, 1877. P-bg.


195a. PIOTR TCHAIKOVSKY to NADEZHDA VON MECK, Moscow42

San Remo 24 December, 1877--5 January, 1878

. . . All the new Petersburg composers are very talented, but they are all permeated by horrible presumptuousness and a wholly amateur conviction of superiority to all other musicians in the universe.

____________________
42
Madame von Meck has written Tchaikovsky for his opinion of the "nationalist" group of Petersburg composers. This extract from his reply is translated by Sonya Volochova.

-364-

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