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Rubinstein cannot in any way serve as the basis for discussions with him. . . .

It
even seems improbable that the government would agree to concentrate in the
hands of one person the authority to confer a title which is associated with the
rights of estate.125 Rubinstein was left with no other alternative, and on 10/22
April Andrey Klimchenko, one of the directors of the RMS, reported to the
board that Rubinstein was resigning. The ofcial resignation made by Rubin-
stein himself came a few months later in a letter of July 1867, addressed to
Prince Obolensky.
News of Rubinsteins imminent departure from the Conservatory was greeted
gleefully by the nationalists. In a wave of pan-Slavic sentiment, Balakirev had
been recently dispatched to Prague to conduct Glinkas operas A Life for the Tsar
and Ruslan and Lyudmila at the national opera. He had suffered considerable
opposition from the conservatives headed by Smetana and even more hostility
from the Poles living in the city. The crushing of the uprising in Poland in 1863,
the attempted assassination of Alexander II by pro-Polish revolutionaries, and
the depiction of the Poles as the villains in Glinkas A Life for the Tsar had the
effect of turning these opera productions into a sensational political event, ag-
gravated by rumors that the costs of staging the operas had been nanced by
the Russian government to the tune of fty thousand rubles. The operas scored
a resounding triumph with the public, but the political turmoil they caused
proved too much for the Czech authorities, and after only one performance of
A Life for the Tsar on 10/22 February 1867 Balakirev was politely asked to return
home to Russia.126
A clear reection of xenophobic, anti-Polish, anti-Jesuitical, and anti-Semitic
sentiments can be readily found in the correspondence between Balakirev and
Musorgsky from this period. In one particularly malicious letter dated 23 January/
2 February 1867, Musorgsky replied to a letter Balakirev had written to him
from Prague on 11/23 January. Musorgsky addressed his mentor as My dear
Mily-Czech, pane professore, and then goes on to tell him:

On 16 January you honored me with a pleasant awakeningI received your dear


letter and roared with laughter about the conservatory alumni-capons in Bohemia,
and about General Capon Tupinstein,127 this most esteemed of capons, whose
immaculateness you suspect. Such a brilliant idea leaves an important gap in the
most Catholic fantasies of the indefatigable Pius IXpontifex maximus! You know
what, Mily? I dare to think that if by misfortune (the Lord spare us from this!) you
happened to have a chat with the Most August and the Most Stinking Pius IX on
the subject of the secret illusions of the quasi Orthodox intelligentsia, then you, as
a Russian, would not be slow in advising the Glorious (read, Freakish) Pius, in rais-
ing Pater Druklin (in the monkish trade corporation) to the rank of a saint, to ex-
cite a treatise on his immaculateness; there is no need that Druklin grammatically
speaking belongs to a person of the male gender, for Catholics, acknowledging the
infallibility of the Pope with his stink, must be, in all probability, genderless.
Three facts have occurred during your absence: the St. Petersburg Conservatory
is in disarray; General of Music Tupinstein has quarreled with the conservatory

120 Anton Rubinstein