Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov


Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), Russian composer.


Published in Seroff, Victor: The real Isadora. New York, Dial Press, 1971.



  "Concerning Duncan, I shall tell you that I have never seen her.

  Presumably she is very graceful, a splendid mime, etc; but what repels me in her is that she foists her art upon and tacks it onto musical compositions, which are dear to my heart and whose authors do not at all need her company, and had not reckoned with it.

  How chagrined I should be if I learned that Miss Duncan dances and mimetically explains, for instance, my Scheherezade, Antar, or Easter Overture! Musical works intended for dancing and miming must really be accompanied by the latter, and, moreover, in certain decorative surroundings, but works not intended for it do not re-quire any mimic interpretation, and, in truth, it is powerless to in-terpret them.

  All in all, miming is not an independent kind of art and can merely accompany words or singing, but when it foists itself unbidden upon music, it only harms the latter by diverting attention from it."