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

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41c. MILI BALAKIREV to CESAR CUI, St. Petersburg

Prague. 23 Jan., 1867

DEAR CESAR!

I received your dear little letter and many thanks to you for having written. Korsinka has written only once, and then as if unwillingly, forcing himself, but the absurd author of the Libyans' and the Mixolydians' drama simply doesn't want to know me. Aside from his simpleton's postscript to the collective letter, sent from Ludm. Iv., I've had nothing from him. Tell him that this isn't correct even for the Carthaginian manner, and may great Moloch forgive him this!!!45 In regard to Moniuszko,46 I take back one-half of what I said. The rumors about his intrigues turned out to be untrue . . .


42. To MILI BALAKIREV, Prague

"Peter-Kashin Bridge"

23 January, 67

DEAR MILI--CZECH PANE PROFESSORE ALSO--

On the 16th of January you honored me with a pleasant awakening --I received your dear epistle [Letter 41a] and laughed over the conservatory capon-pupils in Czechia and over general-capon Tupinstein in regard to your suspicions about the immaculacy of that venerable capon. [. . .]

Three things have happened during your absence: (1) the Petersburg conservatory is dissolving--the general-of-music-corps Tupinstein has quarreled with the conservatory clique and plans to resign 47 --the poor professors are crestfallen and one may now see them on the streets in penitential rags, with penitential penny cigars (in place of candles) in their teeth (hands) and their heads scattered with ashes (from these cigars)--the very heart contracts when one encounters them. (2) The vision of the in spe sainted Druklin--of the flight of the Russians and the restoration of the Polish fatherland at exactly

____________________
45
The references in this extract are to Musorgsky Salammbô project.
46
Stanislaw Moniuszko Halka ( 1854), most famous of all Polish operas, was being prepared for a Prague production on February 28, 1868. Balakirev has cursed him roundly in his letters to Shestakova and to Cui, for turning up at this time.
47
Anton Rubinstein did resign that June from both the conservatory and the Musical Society. Zaremba then became director of the conservatory and Balakirev was appointed conductor of the Society's concerts--apparently on Rubinstein's own recommendation.

-76-

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