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

you; without you, it's always so cold and not quite the same under Minerva. If possible, write me two lines [about this].

And now: I begin to feel rested and, consequently, work is boiling.

You know that before Boris I did some folk scenes. My present desire--is to make a prognostication, and here it is--this prognostication: true to life and not melodic in the classical sense. I'm working with human speech; I've arrived at a sort of melody created by this speech, I've arrived at an embodiment of recitative into melody (aside from dramatic movements, bien entendu, where one may even make interjections possible) I should like to call it intelligently justified melody. And this work pleases me; suddenly, unexpectedly and ineffably, something different from classic melody (so beloved) but at once understandable by everyone and everybody, will be sung. If I achieve this--I will consider it a conquest in art, and it must be achieved. I should like to do a few scenes as a test. However, there are already some examples of this in embryo in Khovanshchina ( Marfa's grief before Dosifei) and in Sorochintzi--both are mapped out.

V[otre]. S[erviteur].

I bow to you, généralissime.

Your

MUSORYANIN

A few more words. During this time, willed by motives that were inexplicable to me, I have acted in our way, dans les plus hauts rangs and I have conquered a good field of battle for art. The position is entrenched. I've become tired, but my work is irrevocable, this I guarantee.

THE SAME MUSORYANIN


188. To LUDMILA SHESTAKOVA

Little dove of mine, dear Ludmila Ivanovna, you alone with your wonderfully loving heart have recognized what your Musinka has succeeded in doing in art during the past season. To what extent I have done any real service for art, I don't know; I haven't rested yet and my ideas are all wandering; but I feel that I have done something righteous, and irrevocable. You alone, and only you, little dove, have given me the consolation of completely understanding me. I have only just realized that I was tired to death. My kindest thanks to

-353-

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