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

[luncheon]. I went to her home and with great impatience awaited the arrival of those persons. Naturally I greeted them with the words: "Is Boris accepted?"--"No," they answered me, "it's impossible for an opera to have no feminine element! Musorgsky undoubtedly has a great talent, let him insert one more scene, then Boris will be presented!" I knew this news would be unpleasant for Musorgsky and I hesitated to tell it to him at once; but I immediately wrote to him and to V. V. Stasov, asking them to come to me at six. By the time I returned home, I found them already there and I told them what I had heard. With warm concern Stasov began to discuss with Musorgsky the new insertions to be made in the opera and Modeste Petrovich himself began to play various themes, and the evening passed in great animation. Musorgsky started this further work without delay . . . --LUDMILA SHESTAKOVA


69b. PAVEL FYODOROV to MODESTE MUSORGSKY

DEAR SIR,

By order of the Director of the Imperial Theaters, I have the honor to advise you that upon examination by the Musical-Theatre Committee of the score of the opera of your composition, Boris Godunov, this opera was not approved for production on the Russian stage of the Imperial Theaters. Returning the aforesaid score and the libretto of the opera, I sincerely ask you to accept this expression of my respects.

P. FYODOROV

17 February, 1871


70. To NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV

27 March, 1871 [Saturday]

Friend Korsinka, here you have a text for the girls who are honoring Vanka;56 according to my understanding it's better if they would honor the Tzar at the very end--because not without reason is he the terrible.

Under the hillock--
Under the green mound
Springs a swift brooklet
Rippling and running.

____________________
56
For the arrival at Pskov of Ivan the Terrible (he of the "bright eye" and "black brow")--Act II, Scene 2 of Pskovityanka. Rimsky-Korsakov used this text, omitting only the seventh and ninth stanzas.

-159-

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