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

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

mer cleaning of all rooms, the housekeeper, without consulting my aunt, decided to burn all the papers which she found in Musorgsky's old rooms. As he had left them without any word as to their disposition, and as no one after his death inquired about them, she attached no importance to them, and added them to the bonfire of the house-trash . . . --YELENA ROERICH


212a. NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV to VLADIMIR STASOV, Rome [Extract]

[ May 11, 1880]

I am very delinquent, Vladimir Vasilyevich, in not answering you at once; my excuse is Musoryanin, whom I wanted to visit before writing you. Well, I was at his place. He is terribly busy, exhausted by a ceaseless writing of music, exhausted by the 2 concerts he gave with Leonova (the Japanese) in Tver. However, he has written, apparently, the fifth (?) scene of Khovanshchina, where Golitzin is taken away to exile. He also says that he's almost finished the intermezzo (scene on Bald Mountain or "Dream of the Peasant Lad") in Sorochintzi up to the pedaling (the bells) in C-sharp; though when I asked him to show me the score, it turned out to be all old stuff, left over from Mlada and, except for two or three pages, not even copied out afresh. He is considering living this summer at the Jap's house in Oranienbaum, but the Jap is going away somewhere. He has printed his Seamstress at Bernard's. I learned from him that Bernard has lost 2 or 3 numbers of the manuscript of Fair at Sorochintzi, which he had taken away to print, so Musorgsky was obliged to write them out all over again. He is also publishing the fair scene from Sorochintzi for 2 hands. It seems to me that ZZ & Co., who are paying Musorgsky for Sorochintzi, are behaving mistakenly, by forcing him to print separate numbers from it at Bernard's, for he has to prepare these for the press; and, by the way, Bernard loses them, so Musorgsky is distracted from the completion of the opera which, he says, he is obliged to finish by November, thus putting aside the completion of Khovansh- china till next year. I strongly urged him to come to our dacha for the summer and to be our guest there; at first he was evasive, and then he began to surrender. Perhaps we'll succeed yet in luring him. For the concerts of the Free School he promises to instrument the intermezzo from Sorochintzi, which would be good. But this intermezzo doesn't have much to do with Fair at Sorochintzi. I went to him in

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