MY DEAR généralissime, 20 June '74
"Crab & Co."30ought to be thought about; the crab's "anathema" on the tramp is particularly amusing. I suppose it is possible to concoct it and soon, too. But what a marvelous man you are--what a pusher1 Yes, if only there were free time--it wouldn't be necessary for me to work this way; I myself feel that it wouldn't be necessary thus; anyway, the crab affair can be pictured. I thank you. Therefore till Saturday or Sunday in "Pärgala."
. . . Here, Vladimir Vasilyevich, is the form in which your splendid idea for the "Hill of Nettles" has been dressed by me. If it's not suitable--throw it away, if it is--deliver it to Modeste, the sound- creator. I'm afraid he has forgotten the "Crab's" theme, which he found at Dmitri V[asilyevich's] at Pargolovo . . .
Spb. July 1, 1874
. . . Musoryanin has positively completed and written the last stroke of his piece on Hartmann. The second part you don't know at all, and there, I think, are the very best things. "The Limoges Gossips at the Market"--an enchanting Scherzino and very pianistic. Then comes "Baba-Yaga"--excellent and powerful, and in conclusion--"The Kiev Bogatyrs' Gate"--in the manner of a hymn or a finale à la "Slavsiya"31--of course a million times worse and weaker, but all the same a lovely, mighty and original thing. There is a particularly lovely church motif: "As you are baptized in Christ," and the ringing bells--are in a completely new style. In this second part are a few unusually poetic lines. This (musical quotation] is the music for____________________