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Lodyzhensky was valued as an improviser at the piano, but did seldom finish any composition. Only a set of six songs was ever published (1873). These were praised by Stasov in his well-known essay on 25 years of Russian music (1883). In the sixties Stasov prepared an incomplete libretto for an opera after Pushkin’s "Boris Godunov", with the false Dimitri as the protagonist. Although he had composed part of a Polish act. Lodyzhensky abandoned the project when Mussorgsky started work on his Boris. Lodyzhensky’s place in music history rests solely on his connection with Balakirev’s circle.
Bibliography Lodyzhensky is mentioned in Rimsky-Korsakov’s memoirs and in several publications on the composers of the Balakirev’s circle.
(His birth and death dates in Julian calender dates are 20 December 1842 and 2 February 1916.)
Introduction Like Gussakovsky a few years earlier, Nikolay Nikolayevitch Lodyzhensky (1842/3-1916) was a member of Balakirev’s circle in St. Petersburg for some years.
Lodyzhensky, the son of an impoverished landowner, came from a musical family related to the composer Dargomyzhsky. He joined Balakirev’s circle in the season 1866-7 attending regularly their musical gatherings. His contributions to these evenings were admired by Rimsky-Korsakov and others, who deplored that most of his compositions were left unfinished.
At one of these evenings Lodyzhensky introduced his brother and sisters to his friends. Lodyzhensky’s twenty-year-old sister Anka fell in love with Alexander Borodin in October 1868 (Dianin, the editor of Borodin’s letters, states that he has more than 70 of her letters to Borodin in his files). Rumours got round, which eventually reached Borodin’s wife, who lived in Moscow at that time. Borodin wrote her several long letters within one week to explain his daily meetings with Anka.
After his transfer abroad, the civil servant Lodyzhensky, found no more time for music. In April 1873 he wrote to Stasov from Budapest, that it was impossible for him to dedicate himself to composing. Eventually, he became consul in New York. After his return to St. Petersburg, he again visited his musical friends occasionally.