Most of the selections in the present volume appeared originally in M. P. Musorgskii k piatidesiatiletiiu so dnia smerti, 1881-1931. Stafi’ i materialy [M. P. Musorgsky on the fiftieth anniversary of his death, 1881-1931. Articles and materials], edited by Iurii Keldysh and Vasilii Iakovlev (Moscow: Muzgiz, 1932). Additional selections, short biographies of the memoirists, and endnotes were added by Alexandra Orlova for this edition.
The composer’s name is spelled in a variety of ways in the documents: Musarskii, Musirskoi (as in the entry for his birth in the Register of Births), Muserskoi, Musurskii. None of the spellings include the letter g. It was Modest who added it, on the basis of an ancestor whose nickname was Musorga. In the present work we use the spelling “Musorgsky” in the translation but “Musorgskii” in the notes in citations of Russian-language publications.
Names well known to English-language readers, such as Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky, are spelled with a y. Less-familiar names are spelled according to the Library of Congress transliteration system, with some minor variations.