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

168. An Inscription on a Photograph [See Frontispiece]

To Ludmila Ivanovna Glinka-Shestakova.

MUSINKA. 1 February, '76

Be patient, little dove, love as you have loved and everything you've passed through will pass.

Khovanshchina, 3rd act. MODESTE MUSORGSKY


169. To VLADIMIR STASOV

My dear généralissime, thank you for the wonderful letter in regard to "the quarrel of the princes in Khovanshchina" This is a rare hour in my life. Frankly and with complete sincerity: I am grateful for that great word--respected!--which rings in the speech of people greater and better than I. You, perhaps, cannot entirely know of my stimulation from that word, said by an unchangeable man, a mighty fighter for independence of thought and problems in art, for the eternity * of art. Remember how your Musor5 was delighted by the article about your impressions of the London universal exposition (the 1st) in Sovremennik.6--Thank you, my dear! and our aims and tasks in "the quarrel of Princes" are very similar, except in Marfa's entrance (I am doing a lot of thinking now)--[more] of this when we meet on Sunday.

This is what, my splendid one; I have just come from O. A. Petrov. If the sculptor Laveretzky is still willing--he may present himself to Osip Afanasyevich (he's always at home) in Malaya Podyacheskaya-- house of Berte, No. 10, and model the artist who has returned to life, who on his death-bed reviewed his roles, of which this writer was a witness. Let Laveretzky gather all his strength and hand down our dear Osip Afanasyevich to posterity.

How have society's demands on modern Russian artists grown! A great proof of the discontent in these terrible times throughout all classes. And how intolerable are the old-believer artists, stagnating in their closet labor and their four-walled dreams. O Angelo!7--Dixi.

____________________
*
Musorgsky's note: I'm entangled in the dirtiest gossip.
5
This humblest of Musorgsky's nicknames means "sweepings."
6
This article, on the London Exhibition of 1862, is the one to which Musorgsky referred in Letter 31, to Cui.
7
Angelo had finally reached the Marinsky stage on February 1, at a bénéfice for Melnikov.

-327-

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