Letter 16

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 18 February/2 March 1851
Addressed to Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya and Ilya Tchaikovsky
Where written Saint Petersburg
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 17–18)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 20–21
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 22 (dated 17 February)
Notes Postscript to a letter from his brother Nikolay and their guardian Modest Vakar dated "18 February 1851" [1].

Text and Translation

Spelling and punctuation errors in the original text have not been indicated.

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Милые Мамаша и Папаша!

Вот уже третий день что мы у Модеста Алексеевича. Уже давно мы не писали к вам мои прекрасные оттого, что все ожидали Папашу, который ещё не приехал, но скоро приедет. Июнь не за горами как вы говорите и если приедете то верно уже совсем останетесь.

Я ещё когда был в приготовительном классе то написал вам письмо, но забыл привезти. Итак я попрошу М[onsieur] Berar, чтоб он бы отослал письмо.

Завтра мы вместе с Модестом Алексеевич поедем в театр.

Спешу приготовлять уроки которые мне задали и потому милые, чудные мои небесные Ангелы целую и прощаюсь с вами. Ваш сын,

П. Чайковский

Поцелуйте за меня всех моих милых сестёр и Тётю Лизу.

Dear Mamasha and Papasha!

This is now the third day that we have been staying at Modest Alekseyevich's [2]. We haven't written to you for a long time, my wonderful ones, because all this time we have been expecting Papasha, who still hasn't come but who will soon come. June is not far off, as you say, and if you come, then you will probably remain here for good.

When I was still in the preparatory class I wrote you a letter, but I forgot to bring it with me. So I shall ask M. Bérard [3] to post the letter for me.

Tomorrow we are going to the theatre together with Modest Alekseyevich.

I am hurrying to prepare the lessons I have been set, and so, my dear, wonderful, heavenly Angels, I kiss you and bid you farewell. Your son,

P. Tchaikovsky

Kiss for me all my dear sisters and Aunt Liza.

Notes and References

  1. Note by Vladimir Zhdanov in П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 661.
  2. Modest Alekseyevich Vakar was a friend of Ilya Tchaikovsky's who had agreed to act as the guardian of young Pyotr after his enrolment in the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg in September 1850. Although the latter was a boarding-school, Pyotr was allowed to stay at the Vakars' house on Sundays and on other holidays. Pyotr's brother Nikolay, two years his senior, was also in Saint Petersburg as a boarder at the Mining College and was also allowed to stay with the Vakars on holidays.
  3. Joseph Bérard (known in Russia as Iosif Iosifovich Berar; 1800-1883) taught literature and French at the School of Jurisprudence, including in the preparatory class which Pyotr was attending at the time. He was the latter's favourite teacher. See Пётр Чайковский. Биография, том I (2009), p. 46.