Anda di halaman 1dari 1

I do not take seriously what is insulting in your letter regarding me personallyI

am only defending Csar.50

Immediately clear from this letter is a sharp contrast in the views of Raden
and Rubinstein. Raden, as the grand duchesss secretary, saw her role as entirely
subservient: her actions and words derive from humility. Rubinstein, on the
other hand, acts out of a sense of worth, which society interprets as haugh-
tiness. It is surely not too fanciful to see in this clash of wills the acrimonious
encounter between the Demon and the Angel in the prologue to the opera The
Demon, where the humility of the Angel is pitted against the pride of the
Demon. If this is the case, then was not Rubinstein secretly depicting Raden/
Yelena Pavlovna in the role of the meddling Angel? Much of his anger stemmed
from a feeling of intense resentment at the peremptoriness with which he was
being treated within the walls of the Mikhaylovsky Palace. He complained bit-
terly to Raden that he did not know who he was to accept the grand duchessess
instructions from concerning music and the Thursday soires: through her
(Raden) or through Runtsler or Chekalov (palace ofcials). Exasperated, he told
Raden: You say that Davdov, Becker and Mme Leschetizky need to be in-
vited.51 Along comes Runtsler and says that they want Mendelssohns Octet and
Mme Kochetova. Chekalov tells me that it will be upstairs, but Runtsler assures
me that it will be downstairs on the stage of the Small Theater. In a word,
everyone has something to sayand best of alleveryone has something dif-
ferent to say.52 He demanded to know once and for all who he was to take the
grand duchesss orders from, and told Raden that until the matter was claried
he intended to heed no one. This is just one of several incidents that caused
Rubinstein to feel that he was being treated no better than a lackey.
At the end of March Rubinstein was due to leave for Weimar, but before
setting out he had a few public engagements in St. Petersburg, including an
RMS concert intended to raise money for the Conservatory.53 Just a few days
before, a similar concert had taken place at the Hall of the Nobility to raise
money for another new institutionthe Free Music School, founded jointly by
Balakirev and Gavriil Lomakin. The ofcial opening of the school took place
on 18/30 March 1862, thereby preempting the opening of the Conservatory by
six months. Possibly on the recommendation of the grand duchess, Kologrivov
tried conciliation and evidently approached Balakirev in an attempt to smooth
relations and strive for cooperation rather than open rivalry. A reection of this
is to be found in Musorgskys letter to Balakirev of 31 March/12 April when he
writes: What about the notorious matchmaker? Is Dubinstein still keeping him
on tenterhooks; does he dare, or has he stopped caring about getting you en-
gaged?54 The gap between the aims of the two institutions was far too wide
and Kologrivovs overtures fell on deaf ears. A month later Musorgsky wrote to
Balakirev in a disdainful tone:
Two schools, wholly contrasting in character, have been formed in St. Petersburg
at a negligible distance from each other. The one is a professoria, the other a free
association of people who have a kinship with art. In one, Zaremba and Tupin-

The Founding of the Russian Music Society 99