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

By Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky; Jay Leyda et al. | Go to book overview

I'm very glad that you've gotten rid of your B minor Intermezzo, and started Poděbrad. Both of the suggested themes are good, and the one in B major is delightful, in my opinion; only you didn't write what it is to represent [in the program].

I await a letter from you in Peter, but it would be even better to receive you yourself.

Loving you,

N. RIMSKY-KORSAKOV


48. To MILI BALAKIREV, St. Petersburg

Minkino Farm, 24 September [1867]

DEAR MILI,

Your friendly appeal74 is so strongly put that to refuse it would be, at least, a violation on my part of the sincere disposition toward me of my friends. This is the conclusion from your warm and sincere epistle which can be thanked only in deeds, not words, and so it is superfluous to write about it.--But this is how things are, my dear. If I were in such circumstances that I should have nothing to bite upon and could see nothing in the waves75 of the future, the answer to your appeal would be explained by the desperate situation of a man.--Now though, in the present situation, I regard myself as not justified in alarming my friends and in deceiving them, for their disposition toward me is too valuable.--My means have shrunk--this is true, but not so far as to absolutely deprive me of any possibility of existing independently. Being accustomed to wealth and partly to luxury I am, in my present circumstances, not completely calm about the future and no wonder I made a wry face; at first sight of such a situation anyone would do the same in my place.--I can well understand the alarm that shows in your friendly letter and I am more than convinced of its authenticity.--But that is exactly why, for the sake of sincerity, I do not ask, I implore you to be calmed on my account and to pacify all those dear to me, for their fears for me weigh unbearably heavily upon me and my situation does not justify them.-- Their fears weigh all the more heavily on me in that I am more afraid of deceit than of all else. Believe me, my dear Mili, that living in a

____________________
74
It is not known what Balakirev offered to Musorgsky--another government job? financing?
75
A phrase from the folk song, "Down the Mother Volga."

-98-

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