Exploration 1863 - 1868
Toropetz, 10 June 
I share with you my impressions of Serov's opera.1 All five acts are herewith properly laid out and justly appraised. It would seem that such a big thing would require more than two hearings; it is difficult to judge an opera's quality from first impressions; anyway this Wagner's Kindchen during its whole five-act life does not offer one place that deeply touches one, nor one scenic episode that makes one think deeply.
Besides, the libretto is extremely bad, the declamation is pitiful and un-Russian; only the orchestration is interesting in spots, although often too intricate. However, Judith is the first seriously worked-out opera on the Russian stage since Rusalka.--As all things must begin at the beginning, we have:
Espèce de Vorspiel, without interest, chaotic, but with intentions which however are not realized--suspected intentions. A somber largo (the Jews), led astray by sudden wild blasts from the trombones (probably Holofernes); and after it, agitato, a harp (Judith); husky Judith was unthinkable for Serov without a harp, even though the personal-____________________