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

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

have lost an irreplaceable guide. He nourished me with artistic truth and inspired me to creativeness. Know--that in that coffin lies the fate of the whole scarcely blossomed Russian opera. From now on it will again be overgrown by foreign weeds, and for a long time they will stifle our green shoots. So it will be." These last words of M. P. were pronounced between clenched teeth in a deafening voice and again he broke into sobs . . . --NIKOLAI KOMPANEISKY


196. To VLADIMIR STASOV

March 22, 1878

MY DEAR généralissime,

I have seen the Archdeacon44 whom our splendid Ilya Repin created. Yes, this is a whole fire-breathing mountain! and those Varlaam-like eyes seem to follow the spectator. What terrific-sized brush-strokes, what an abundant breadth! And that one--"From the Shy Ones"--a rascal, a peasant-bandit: the turned head and the inhuman glance, guarantee that when he gets a chance, he'd wipe out ten human souls.

Your

MUSORYANIN


196a. VLADIMIR STASOV to ARSENI GOLENISHCHEV-KUTUZOV [Extract]

April 1, 1878

. . . The "wretched old woman" tells me that Musoryanin was at her home a few days ago, completely recovered and looking almost like a respectable person. God grant this, for I had already placed a cross over him and expected nothing more of him . . .


197. To LUDMILA SHESTAKOVA

Dear little dove of mine, Ludmila Ivanovna, on July 28, Friday, I will come straight from my duties to you, with a great desire to talk

____________________
44
This painting and Repin "From the Shy Ones" were in the sixth Itinerant Exhibition of the realist group of painters. On November 9, 1863, thirteen students of the Academy of Arts, headed by Kramskoy, refused to accept the mythological theme ( "A Feast in Valhalla") offered by the Academy. These thirteen left the Academy and in 1870 formed the Society of Itinerant Exhibitions, to show their works throughout Russia.

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