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
avoid genre scenes in historical opera. I know the Great-Russian to some extent, and for me his sleepy cunning under a haze of goodheartedness is not foreign to me, just as his sorrow which is a real burden to him is not foreign to me.--At present Count Kutuzov and I are constructing a Danse macabre--so far two scenes are ready, a third is in work, and there behind it is a fourth!23 In Khovanshchina I am bringing the 1st act to its conclusion.That's all my business, highly esteemed Lubov Ivanovna. I await some little missive from you.Devotedly yours, MUSORGSKY
147. To ARSENI GOLENISHCHEV-KUTUZOV, Tver
11 May, 1875 PetrogradMY DEAR FRIEND ARSENI,Our first installment of the Macabres is finished, for today the "Serenade" is written, which is why I did not show up at your dearest maman's. I think you will agree on the simplest of titles, one worthy of our new album--together we continue to overcome men with our albums: immodestly, but honorably. I have named the new child- album She. The first installment will be published (I hope) in this order: (1) "Cradle-Song," (2) "Serenade" and (3) "Trepak."24Several additions were considered at various times for this new album and a pencil sketch by Golenishchev-Kutuzov for an enormous cycle has been found among his papers:
1. Rich Man
2. Proletarian
3. Great Lady
4. Statesman
5. Tzar
6. Young Girl [ Serenade?]
7. Peasant [Trepak]
8. Monk [see p. 340]
9. Child [ Cradle-Song]
10. Merchant
11. Priest
12. Poet
____________________
23
The song cycle, Songs and Dances of Death, whose first title, according to the following letter, was She (the Russian word for death is in the feminine gender).
24
"Cradle-Song" is dedicated to Anna Vorobyova-Petrova, and is dated "14 April, year 1875"; "Serenade" is dedicated to Shestakova, and is dated "Petrograd, 11 May, year 1875"; "Trepak" is dedicated to Petrov and is dated "17 February, year 1875."

-297-

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