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

177. To VLADIMIR STASOV

My dear généralissime, for the first time you've taken the trouble to frighten Musoryanin, and to do it by appearing to get angry. Musoryanin hardly called forth your wrath, but if it's thus--believe me, my dear, that Musoryanin will accept and endure this wrath with love. For some little time, but long enough, Musoryanin has been subject to doubts, misgivings, conjectures and all these tutti quanti of leisure in the country. Musoryanin is working--but only, for work he needs peace. Khovanshchina is too big, too extraordinary a task. You, généralissime, I am sure, did not suppose that your remarks and suggestions had been taken by me in any other manner than Musoryanin's usual one. I have halted work--I have fallen into thought, and now, and yesterday, and weeks ago, and tomorrow are all spent in thought --the one thought to go forth as a conqueror and speak to people a new word of friendship and love, a frank word, one as broad as the Russian plains, the true-sounding word of a modest musician, but a fighter for the true concept of art. And here's your last letter: I have again fallen into thought. Your proposal screams of something good; the idea must be given a lot of thought, and already there is a program in regard to Marfa. By the way, it's thanks to you that we understood Marfa and that we are doing this Russian woman purely. But the pathos is good, and is well placed in the tragic quality of Marfa and why try to conceal its usefulness for the musician. I thank you. Thus or otherwise, but I have fallen into thought and if you're still the same (for you to change would be a crime), our business will move more speedily, and it already goes speedily. After our long separation, that's what I wanted to tell you; here's the present, and not the former

MUSORYANIN

Another by the way: so far fate has taken care of me. In the present general state of affairs, one can expect anything. During this time, working a great deal at the piano, I'm coming to the conviction that if I am destined to earn my daily bread by clattering--we'll be able to do this. Another by the way (passez--moi ça) I, during this time of thinking, shall rest in the folk scenes--I am very much in the mood for this. Well, and in order for there to be no doubt, généralissime, what disorderly nonsense!

Ever your MUSORYANIN

'76. 15 June. Day of St. Modestus

-338-

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