RIMSKY-KORSAKOW, Nicolai MUSSORGSKY, Modest [1839-1882]. - [1844-1908]: Autograph manuscript of the hand of Rimsky-Korsakov for the first edition of the complete 56-bar song of Mussorgsky’s "Kot Matros." Without place and date. [St. Petersburg 1882?], 2 p. Narrow horizontal format (ca. 15.3 x 33.3 cm, from a larger sheet) 12 lines. Brown ink. Title underlined in blue pencil, few additions in lead. Fold traces, 3 small marginal tears. 2 pages notated in dark brown ink, on four three-stave systems per page. Cut down from a larger leaf, edges trimmed, horizontal and vertical folds, some splitting to horizontal fold, light browning.

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  • Music manuscripts of Rimsky-Korsakov are of the greatest rarity in the trade Complete transcription of the song "Kot Matros" (Sailor' the cat) by Modest Mussorgsky, written down for "Canto" and "Piano". It is N° 6 from the cycle "Detskaya" ("Children's Room"). 56 measures, marked "vivo" (measures 1-32) or "Allegro, meno vivo" (measures 33-56), with the text (Cyrillic). To the right of the title the indication "M .P. Mussorgsky / 1872" (also in Cyrillic). Modest Mussorgsky composed the song to his own text in the summer of 1872 for the cycle "in the summer resort", which he did not continue. The song was eventually integrated into the cycle "Detskaya" (1868-72) ("Children and their sorrows"). In 1871-1872, Rimsky-Korsakov and Mussorgsky occupied a common room, worked together at the same table, and even used the same piano. After Mussorgsky's untimely death, Rimsky-Korsakov was responsible for the preservation, completion, and revision of Mussorgsky's music. This is the manuscript score of a complete song by Mussorgsky in the hand of his friend and ardent promoter Rimsky-Korsakov. Original sources for Mussorgsky's music are of the utmost rarity on the market. For us only one Rimsky-Korsakov manuscript traceable in bookauctionrecords (JAP Online), two manuscripts at Sotheby’s in the last 20 years and none at Christies. Rimsky-Korsakov was responsible for preserving, completing and revising Mussorgsky's music after his early death. The present song was intended to be part of a larger cycle called "Na Dache" ("at the Dacha"), but there were no further songs composed, so it was integrated together with five other songs in the cycle "Detskaya" ("the nursery"). In "Kot Matros" every turn of the story - the child's hunt for the shade, her spying of the cat preying on the bird cage, the palpitations of the bullfinch, the interaction between the girl and the cat, the mis-planted swipe and the final lament to the girl's mother - is brilliantly captured with absolute precision by Mussorgsky's music.
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