The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents

By Jay Leyda; Sergei Bertensson et al. | Go to book overview

the morning, at about noon, he was still in bed and vomiting nearly every minute; but he seems little disturbed by this, as if it were the most ordinary thing, and he says, indeed, that this is very good . . .


213. To VLADIMIR STASOV, St. Petersburg25

Rambov,26 Aug. 5. '80, house of Leonova

Why has Your Excellency showered me with such severe epithets such as even the shark, who appeared in the vision of Pythagoras, could not have swallowed? But, all joking aside, I am happy about your return, and all that's left to be written of Khovanshchina is a little bit of the self-immolation scene, and then all is ready. I'll write you in detail about Fair at Sorochintzi; there's a great deal done and the Black God is all ready. I am undertaking a suite for orchestra with harps and piano on motifs I've collected from various good pilgrims of this world: its program is from the shores of Bulgaria, through the Black Sea, the Caucasus, the Caspian, Ferghana to Burma. The suite is already somewhat begun.

My hand has become terribly tired writing. I greet the two Alexander Vasilyeviclies [ Stasov and Meyer] and I embrace you.

A FRIEND

Soirée

In the year 1880 I was living with my parents at Oranienbaum, in the dacha of D. M. Leonova. I was 11 years old. I saw M. P. Musorgsky every day in the garden and the courtyard. He looked remarkably like his celebrated portrait by Repin. His costume was always somewhat shabby, and Mr. Drury told me later that he had often bought second-hand clothing for the unfortunate musician . . . Once a week D. M. Leonova gave a musical soirée, with a supper, which was usually managed by "Musinka." From the room in the rear, you could hear the clatter of plates and the uncorking of bottles. Every time he came out of that room, Musorgsky became more and more "tight." After supper the concert began, where Musorgsky, who was already quite "full") acted as accompanist and as soloist. He played his own pieces with amazing perfection and with "thrilling effect" upon his audience . . . --S. V. ROZHDESTVENSKY

____________________
25
Just returned from a tour of several months through the Balkans, Austria, Poland, Germany, Italy and France, examining the archives of monasteries and libraries in preparation for his monumental work, Slavic and Eastern Ornament.
26
The peasants' name for Oranienbaum, which they found too difficult to pronounce.

-404-

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