Memoirs of a Musician
Nikolai Cherepnin (1873-1945) was a composer.
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My father entered the artistic milieu through his contact with his patients, among whom there were quite a number of leading musical and theatrical figures. In the welcoming ambience of the house of Dr. Golovin, his colleague, my father fell under the spell of the Musorgsky cult which reigned there. The creator of Boris willingly performed his “novelties” at Dr. Golovin’s, playing with great inspiration.1
The summer when I was working on “Printsessa Greza” [Princess Dream] was a happy one and quite propitious for my musical work. At the time we lived near Oranienbaum. . . . In great agitation I would often walk past the little house where the famous singer Dar’ia Mikhailovna Leonova lived, [knowing that] Modest Petrovich Musorgsky was her great admirer, accompanist, and friend; he often crossed her threshold and created great musical works there.2
Malyi Iaroslavets, a Petersburg tavern, is closely linked with Musorgsky’s name. The tavern . . . was the favorite place of the leading figures in Petersburg’s world of the arts. Musorgsky was often there in the last few years of his life, usually in the company of his best friend, the writer I[van] F[yodorovich] Gorbunov, known for his public reading. Musorgsky called him the “national artist” and he dedicated his piano piece “V derevne” [In the country] (1880) to him.3