An Article by ALEXANDER SEROV
THE FIFTH, SIXTH AND SEVENTH EVENINGS OF THE RUSSIAN MUSICAL SOCIETY
in Muzikalni Vestnik, January 17, 1860
. . . It was even more pleasing to encounter the warm sympathy of the public to the Russian composer A. [sic] P. Musorgsky, making his debut with a fine but regretfully too brief orchestral piece.45
This scherzo has not the interest, in my opinion, that the scherzo of C. A. Cui has, performed in the fourth concert, but it shows decided talent in the young musician, beginning his career as composer.
It is noteworthy that the symphonic fragment of a composer as yet unknown, side by side with the music of a "famous" maestro,46 not only lost nothing thereby, but gained a very great deal. . .
10 February, 1860
Thank God, it looks as though I were beginning to recover from my severe, unendurably excruciating sufferings, mental and physical.-- You remember, my dear, how two years ago we were walking down Sadovaya Street (you were on your way home); it was summertime. Just before our walk we had been reading Manfred,47 and I became so electrified with the sufferings of this lofty human spirit that I immediately said to you, "How I would like to be Manfred" (I was a mere child at the time) and evidently fate decided to grant me my wish --I became literally "manfredized," my soul slew my flesh. Now I am obliged to take every kind of antidote. Dear Mili, I know you love me; for God's sake keep a tight rein on me when we are talking together, and don't let me go wild; for a time it is absolutely necessary to give up both musical activities and every kind of intense brain work so that I can fully recover; my prescription--everything must be done for the material cure as much as possible at the expense of the mental side. The reasons for the irritation of my nerves are clear____________________