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

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

Rescued in Yalta

. . . At that time I lived in Yalta, where I managed a large hotel, the Russia . . . you may imagine what delight I felt when I saw notices of a concert by Musorgsky and Leonova . . . The concert was to be in the building of an old club . . .

When I came to the concert I was distressed to see the very small attendance, although at that time high society, so to say, came from both the capitals and from other cities to Yalta . . .

In the first intermission I rushed to the greenroom. There in an armchair sat M. P., with arms drooping like a wounded bird. The absence of an audience, the failure of the concert were obviously having a depressing effect on him. It seems that, having arrived on the eve of their concert in Yalta, which was jammed with people, as August was nearly the height of the season, they could find no place to stay and were forced into some private house, absolutely disorganized, and dirt and disgusting besides. And this had to happen to the adored Musoryanin, to be in such surroundings! Of course I arranged for them to move the following day to the Russia, which was provided with great comforts, and had an excellent large salle with a fine piano, and furthermore was filled with the sort of people who could interested in the next concert . . . -- SOFIA STASOVA- FORTUNATO8


205. To LUDMILA SHESTAKOVA, St. Petersburg

Yalta, Hotel Russia September 9, 1879

Dear little dove of ours, Ludmila Ivanovna, the decisive step, taken by me in my art life, is justified: Poltava, Yelizavetgrad, Nikolayev, Kherson, Odessa, Sevastopol, Yalta all have rung, in a real way, with the sounds of the creative thought of the immortal founder of the Russian school of music, Glinka, and of his fine fellow-champions; for the first time in these places has been heard and, I hope, has been realized all the mighty power of that immortal who bequeathed to posterity the true unshaken testament to Russia's musical creative spirit. Glory to Glinka, who pointed out the road to truth! Of those stops on our tour mentioned by me, Odessa and Sevastopol have proved to be comparatively less musical, but even in these two cities the cause of Russian music was recognized and those who must be left behind the barrier, were left behind irrevocably. I am enclosing in this epistle to you, dear little dove of mine, the piece by the Kherson

____________________
8
Sofia Vladimirovna had married a second husband, Mikhail Fortunato, and was managing Yalta's best hotel.

-388-

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