Oranienbaum, house of Leonova
27-28 Aug. '80
My dear généralissime, with all my heart and all my understanding I am glad about the return of dearest Dimitri Vasilyevich:28 Glory be to God! the good, hospitable family can be at peace (that family so beloved by me). I am completely overjoyed. As for the sinful Musoryanin I can only say that at this very second, at night, he has done the fair scene of Sorochintzi--as for Khovanshchina it is on the eve of completion: but the instrumentation--O gods!--time . . .! Perhaps Musoryanin will be faithful to that of which he always spoke: a new, untrodden path, and he stops before it? Not so. Dare!
Ever, with all my soul, Your MUSORYANIN
. . . The last time I saw him before his illness was at the "Maly Yaroslavetz" restaurant, where I, Laroche and Glazunov29 had gone in order to see him. We found him in a completely irresponsible condition. As soon as he saw me he immediately, as if habitually, burst out against Rubinstein, Balakirev, and Rimsky-Korsakov for their erudition and repeated several times: "Must create, create" and then became silent. Then he raised his sleepy eyes to me and asked unexpectedly: "And with what do you remove spots from your cut- away?"--"I try not to make any, M.P.," I answered. "And you know, I do it with green soap," said he, "it takes them out very nicely, very nicely." And he became completely silent. On this our conversation with him ended . . . --MIKHAIL IPPOLITOV-IVANOV
November 9, 1880
. . . One can learn by oneself; sometimes one needs advice, but one has to learn, that is, one must not neglect harmony and counterpoint____________________