theatrical production in 4 acts on a subject taken from the Elb Slavs and had commissioned V. A. Krylov to develop the text. Mlada, with its fantastic and genre scenes, appeared a most grateful subject for a musical portrayal. Gedeonov offered the composition of this music to Cui, Borodin, Musorgsky and myself; moreover the purely ballet numbers were to be composed by Minkus, the official ballet composer of the Imperial Theatres. From where this order originated, I do not know. I presume here the influence of Lukashevich . . . I also assume that this affair would not have happened without V. V. Stasov's participation. The four of us were invited to Gedeonov's for a joint discussion on the work. Act I, as the most dramatic, was entrusted to the most dramatic composer--Cui; Act IV, a mixture of the dramatic and the elemental, was entrusted to Borodin; Acts II and III were distributed between Musorgsky and me. Some portions of Act II (folk choruses) were assigned to me; and in Act III, I was given the first half: the flight of the ghosts and the appearance of Mlada; while Musorgsky undertook the second half--the appearance of the Black God, into which he wanted to fit his Night on Bald Mountain, which had been left inactive . . . --NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV
You don't complain that I did not answer your letter, and this troubles me; this event occurred because our writing table looks like the Augean stables and only now was I able to find a scrap of paper. How delightful you are--this you know. And that I don't stop kissing you, that you also know. I am sending the requisition to Repin this very day,92 but Mlada!
And beyond the damp sepulchre
There is no peace for me*
From her, the dear departed (read "still-born").
It's a shame to take my pen to picture "Saganu, hush!" and such rot, written by somebody, sometime, perhaps, with a drunken eye and brain93--and I am expected to be inspired by these fumes of delirium____________________