"'Rubinstein is not a Russian composer,' declared Cesar Cui. 'He is only
a Russian who composes.' And the distinction has been generally
accepted, although Cui was the last person who ought to have made
(Gerald Abraham, _Slavonic and Romantic Music_, New York, 1968, p99)
"My favorite Russian composer is Borodin, mainly because he had the
shortest name. Except for Cui, who was just showing off. [...] Cui wrote
an opera called _A Feast in Time of Plague_. Shows you what kind of guy HE
(Victor Borge, _My Favorite Intermissions_, New York, 1971, p133)
"Cui was no better critic than he was composer. The majority of his
judgments, on friend and foe alike, are very wide of the mark."
(Gerald Abraham, _On Russian Music, 1939; rpt. New York, 1970, p5)
(Victor Borge, _My Favorite Intermissions_, New York, 1971, p136)
"Rheinhold mailed us the sheet music of Cui's _A Feast in Time of Plague_.
[...] I showed [...] jealousy toward Cui. I played his opera music
belligerently. It was ugly; mine was better. And what an
itsy-bitsy-overture: mine was long, and the real thing. [...] 'This
passage of his is rather ugly,' I told my mother.
"'Shall I play my version? Do you like it?'
"'Yes, of course,' she said, out of politeness. 'But just don't play his opera too badly.'
"'It's not that I play it badly. It's a bad opera.'"
(Sergei Prokofiev, _Prokofiev by Prokofiev_, tr. Guy Daniels, ed. David Appel, New York, 1979, p72-73)
"Pallid talent [...] short-winded and anaemic lyrical style
Gerald Abraham, _On Russian Music_, New York, 1939; rpt. 1970, p94
"An experienced craftsman [...]"
(Sergei Prokofiev, _Prokofiev by Prokovfiev_, tr. Guy Daniels, ed. David Appel, New York, 1979, p72-73)
"These duets [from _Angelo_] reveal a composer of surprising
individuality and polish."
(Richard Taruskin, _Opera and Drama in Russia as Preached and Practiced in the 1860's_, Ann Arbor, 1981, p519)