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music library and the collection of instruments which Count Matvey Wielhor-

ski had bequeathed to the Conservatory after his death on 26 February/5 March
1866.
In October the concert season began again and performances of Gades sym-
phony [sic] In Scotland,121 a concert overture by Azanchevsky, the overture to
Spohrs opera Der Berggeist, Berliozs overture Le Carnival Romain, and excerpts
from a mass by Liszt were given under Rubinsteins direction. His position was
looking increasingly more isolated. Having provoked the fury of Yelena Pav-
lovna and the court circles, he now alienated himself from the teaching staff of
the Conservatory. At a meeting of the Council of Professors on 21 October/
2 November he came into conict with the majority over their right to choose
the works which their pupils could perform at Conservatory soires and in ex-
aminations. The same day he wrote to the council:
I cannot agree with the opinion of the majority because I consider that the aim of
the Conservatory is to shape the musical tastes of the students, to acquaint them
with the model works of the classical composers, to open up for them the lofty ho-
rizon of musical art, etc. To achieve this aim I consider it impossible to permit any
teacher to give a student works which do not have artistic merit and are based only
on more or less elegant passages and melodies, that is, so-called fashionable music.
Or, at least, to permit a choice of this sort I consider possible only in the classroom
in the form of exercises for the complete development of the mechanism, in the
rarest circumstances, as an exception, but not at Conservatory soires where the
programs must bear witness to the direction and spirit of our institution.122

A further disagreement arose two months later on the matter of awarding


diplomas, when Rubinstein disagreed with Wieniawski. Once again Rubinstein
wrote a letter of protest to the Council of Professors:
I cannot agree with the opinion of the majority because I consider that the di-
ploma is too great an award for people who are not absolutely mature in musical
art; it is desirable to avoid the accumulation of mediocrity in art and not to encour-
age it. It is possible to award certicates of various sorts to people who have more
or less satisfactorily completed the institutions program, but a diploma must be
awarded only to a student who stands out from the mundane. In the rst year of
graduation blunders of that kind were made, in the second year they ought to be
avoided, and the same blunders not committed because of poorly thought-out
resolutions. Therefore I protest against awarding the diploma to Mr. Altani, Mlles
Altani, Tarnovskaya, Smiryagina, Terminskaya, Shchetinina, Dobzhanskaya, Khvos-
tova, Klemm, and Loginova, and I nd it necessary for all these people to remain at
the Conservatory and continue their studies for at least another year.123

These two disagreements ultimately led to Rubinsteins resignation.

Resignation as Director of the Conservatory


Toward the end of February 1867 matters had reached a head and Ru-
binstein wrote to Dmitry Obolensky, vice president of the Chief Directorate of

118 Anton Rubinstein