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

and touched me to the very core. Secondly--there is a grave error in the enclosed clipping from Kherson, as if Glinka had written his contralto roles for Leonova; the whole world knows that they were created for the splendid Anna Yakovlevna Vorobiova-Petrova, first and genius interpreter of Glinka's genius. With all my heart I kiss the little hands of splendid Anna Yakovlevna.

MUSINKA


206. To VLADIMIR STASOV, St. Petersburg

Yalta. Hotel Russia (Grand Hôtel de Russie) September 10, 1879

My splendid and dear généralissime, greeting! "The runaway from the blessed native land" finds himself in Yalta in a magnificent hotel overlooking the Black Sea itself, with its wonderful aquamarine color and luxuriously breaking surf, under the patronage of the lovely, lovable Sofia Vladimirovna and her dearest, nicest husband, Mikhail Antonovich. A team of four quadrupeds with extremely long manes and tails brought us here to Yalta, through the Baidari valley up the Baidari approach, through its pass, and along its slopes, which seem to dive into the very depths of the sea, from scorching vertical cliffs, and here they put us down in some mud-hut along with centipedes that bite and a kind of snapping beetle, which also bites, and other insects that justify their earthly existence by an ideal of making life nasty for people; but the magic hand of lovely Sofia Vladimirovna extracted us in a twinkling from the aforesaid bug-infested place in the Vereshchagin manner,11 and transplanted us into Europe. Furthermore: Sofia Vladimirovna, like a kinswoman, looks after us and cherishes us even in the extraordinary orderliness, the astonishing cleanliness, comfort and luxury of this hotel. This is what I must tell you: I could not have wished for a better administrator, not for myself alone, but for all the world of good people. And this is a fact, that everyone is hurrying and rushing to the Grand Hôtel de Russie à Jalta, under the patronage of the dearest Sofia Vladimirovna; and they hurry and rush because everyone, without exception, including the scullery maid, feels good, comfortable and peaceful under the magic wand of the magic regent Sofia, yes and this time, happily for the

____________________
11
Referring to Vereshchagin's ultrarealist painting of the romantically filthy Samarkand bazaar.

-391-

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