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

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

terials; as long as you have handled the Petersburg sweetheart--the public, so much the better will you handle the Czechs--I firmly trust and believe this.

I think that at this time you must be very busy, Mili, and you have no time to scribble me a line about your work, but if a convenient moment should turn up--dash off a line and in particular about your activity--it will make me happy.

Now avoiding the length so peculiar to my compositions, avoiding it because it already exists in this letter (another long drawn-out formulation), I close my scrawl and kiss you warmly.

Your

MODISTE MUSORGSKY

P.S. Tomorrow I'll be at Ludmila Ivanovna's, and the day after at Cesar Cui's--this is my release after my ailment. And what (it comes to my mind) if Shornik should smear his compositions with Smetana --he would spoil them, and if the smetana should spread itself over the saddle-makers' materials, it would stink of leather--it seems unquestionable and indeed it is so upside down that even if you have a dog's sense of smell, you can't tell where Smetana begins and Shornik leaves off--it is amazing to what incredible things music can lead humanity!

You ask me to write more often--I'll send you another letter the day after tomorrow.


43. To MILI BALAKIREV, Prague

Peter. Kashin Bridge

26 Jan., '67

GREETINGS, DEAR MILI,

I begin this epistle with two delightful facts: (1) Dargunchik has failed in Moscow with the production of The Festival of Bacchus50 and has failed brutally.--In Sovremennaya Letopis and in Golos mournful reviews appeared simultaneously about Dargun's boring festival. The former begs Dargun not to bore the public with his old worthless things and, further, they ask: did the ancient Greeks dance French galops and sing French polkas? The columnist of Golos collapses with laughter at the sight of eight muses playing clarinets on

____________________
50
Dargomizhsky Festival of Bacchus, an opera-ballet, was completed in 1848 but didn't reach the stage until this Moscow première in 1867, a dismal failure.

-78-

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