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

everything and heard a great deal [about the death and funeral] I wish to hear full details from you; Bach, you are no mere man, you are more than a man, or I should say, in you alone is all that is best in everyone else, collected together. And I will say that for me Musorgsky will live forever, not only as the author of Boris, but as a rare, kind, honest and gentle man.

Your L. SHESTAKOVA

I am ill and cannot leave the house, but of course the first time I go out it will be to Musorgsky's grave.

Soon after Musorgsky's death Stasov organized a campaign to erect a monument over the grave in Alexander Nevsky cemetery. To defray the expenses of this, Repin turned over the amount paid by Tretyakov for his portrait of Musorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov gave the receipts from the first performance of Khovanshchina(which had been edited and orchestrated by him), Lyadov turned over the receipts of a Musorgsky concert given by him, Glazunov gave the prize money awarded him for his first symphony, and both the architect Bogomolov and the sculptor Ginsburg refused all remuneration for their work.

The monument was erected. Under a bas-relief portrait of Musorgsky, Vladimir Stasov ordered this inscription, from Pimen's monologue in Boris Godunov:

"So that the descendants of the orthodox
may know the past fate of their own land."

At the unveiling ceremony in 1885 the four corners of the veil were lifted by Borodin, Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov and Cui.


219. Autobiographical Note38

[ June 1880]

Modeste 〈Piotr〉 Musorgsky. Russian composer. Born in 1839, the 16th of March, province of Pskov, county of Toropetz. Son of an ancient Russian family. Under the direct influence of his nurse, he

____________________
38
This note was prepared for Hugo Riemann's music dictionary, and as Musorgsky knew that at least a year would pass before its publication, he felt safe in going a little beyond the present, such as imagining both Khovanshchina and Fair at Sorochintzi on the press! The other weakness of this note has been excused by Dr. Samuel Johnson: ". . . he that speaks of himself has no motive to falsehood or partiality except self-love by which all have so often been betrayed that all are on the watch against its artifices."

-416-

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