Difference between revisions of "Letter 576"

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<ref name="note4">See [[Letter 551]] to [[Taneyev]], 25 April/7 May 1877.</ref>  
 
<ref name="note4">See [[Letter 551]] to [[Taneyev]], 25 April/7 May 1877.</ref>  
 
<ref name="note5">In his brief letter to Tchaikovsky from [[Paris]] on 25 April/7 May 1877 [[Taneyev]] had written: "Much esteemed Pyotr Ilyich. This summer I would very much like to gain some practice in the vocal style by trying to write one act of an opera. You once offered me the libretto for an opera entitled ''[[Ephraim]]'' which was lying around in a red folder at your place. If you are not planning to set it to music in the near future, would you be so kind as to arrange, before your departure from [[Moscow]], to have it forwarded it to me or to [[Fyodor Maslov|Fyodor Ivanovich]] or to our house?" See {{bib|1951/48|П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма}} (1951), p. 17. The libretto for the projected opera ''[[Ephraim]]'' had been drawn up by [[Konstantin Shilovsky]], and Tchaikovsky had briefly considered using it in early 1876. [[Taneyev]] did not make use of this libretto either.</ref>
 
<ref name="note5">In his brief letter to Tchaikovsky from [[Paris]] on 25 April/7 May 1877 [[Taneyev]] had written: "Much esteemed Pyotr Ilyich. This summer I would very much like to gain some practice in the vocal style by trying to write one act of an opera. You once offered me the libretto for an opera entitled ''[[Ephraim]]'' which was lying around in a red folder at your place. If you are not planning to set it to music in the near future, would you be so kind as to arrange, before your departure from [[Moscow]], to have it forwarded it to me or to [[Fyodor Maslov|Fyodor Ivanovich]] or to our house?" See {{bib|1951/48|П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма}} (1951), p. 17. The libretto for the projected opera ''[[Ephraim]]'' had been drawn up by [[Konstantin Shilovsky]], and Tchaikovsky had briefly considered using it in early 1876. [[Taneyev]] did not make use of this libretto either.</ref>
 +
</references>
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:Letter 0576}}
 
{{DEFAULTSORT:Letter 0576}}

Latest revision as of 21:34, 9 November 2019

Date 5/17 July 1877
Addressed to Sergey Taneyev
Where written Moscow
Language Russian
Autograph Location Moscow: Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (ф. 880)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 19–20
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том VI (1961), p. 148–149

Text and Translation

Russian text
(original)
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
5-го июля 1877 г.

Милый друг Серёжа!

Вчера я явился проездом в Москву и получил оба письма Ваши: одно из Парижа, другое по городской почте, пришедшее не знаю когда. Письмо это меня удивило. Удивил меня не Рубинштейн, который всегда был самодуром, не холуйски-комическое пресмыкание гг. Самарина и Губерта, но Сергей Иванович, который принял это так близко к сердцу и который способен думать, что я могу в подобном случае тянуть одну ноту с этими господами.

Что Рубинштейн на Вас дуется—это я знал, но за что?—этого я никак не мог понять. Мы имели с ним по этому поводу довольно неприятный разговор, из которого я узнал следующее: 1) что Вы нигилист, 2) что Вы неспособны восхищаться природой, 3) что Вы неблагодарны, 4) что Вы лишены артистического самолюбия и т. д. Разговор этот происходил у M-me Бернар как-то вечером, и в этот-то самый вечер я написал Вам моё последнее письмо. Из письма этого Вы, кажется, достаточно могли усмотреть, что моя нежная любовь к Вам, моё искреннее уважение к Вашей честной, благородной, доброй, милой особе никогда не могут поколебаться.

Вот что я Вам скажу. Не тревожьтесь этим вздором. Рубинштейн самодур, — но, в конце концов, человек хороший и в глубине души очень Вас любящий. Он подуется, и пройдёт. Что касается остальных, то плюньте

Серёжа! Когда Вы получите это письмо, я уже буду женатым человеком. Завтра утром моя свадьба, и после неё я тотчас уезжаю. Буду я здесь через неделю и проведу несколько дней. Если Вы черкнёте мне ответик, то буду Вам очень, очень благодарен

Мне очень досадно, что Вы не застали меня в Москве.

«Евфраима» я перешлю Вам, но так как мне сегодня решительно некогда этим заняться, то я попрошу Варвару Павловну взять на себя этот труд

Никого из консерватории я не видел и в настоящее время не желаю видеть. Но дней через 10, по возвращении, я схожу к Рубинштейну и поговорю об Вас Кланяйтесь всем Масловым

Ваш неизменный друг
П. Чайковский

5th July 1877

Serezha, dear friend!

Yesterday I came to Moscow, where I am stopping briefly, and received both of your letters: one from Paris, the other through the city post, although I don't know when it arrived [1]. I was surprised by that letter. What surprised me was not Rubinstein, who has always been a petty tyrant, nor was it the comical servile cringing of Messrs Samarin and Hubert, but rather Sergey Ivanovich, who has taken all this so closely to heart and who is capable of thinking that in such a case I would ever sing from the same hymnsheet as these gentlemen.

That Rubinstein is angry with you, that I knew, but for what reason I could never figure out. I had a rather unpleasant conversation with him, from which I learned the following: 1) that you are a nihilist [2], 2) that you are incapable of delighting in Nature, 3) that you are ungrateful, 4) that you are devoid of artistic ambition, etc. This conversation took place one evening at Madame Bernard's [3], and it was on that very evening that I wrote you my last letter [4]. From that letter I think you must have been able to see for yourself quite clearly that my affectionate love for you, my sincere respect for your honest, noble, kind, and dear person can never be unsettled by anything.

I would like to say this to you. Don't trouble yourself over this nonsense. Rubinstein is a petty tyrant, but, when all is said and done, he is a good person and in his heart of hearts he loves you very much. Let him be angry—it will pass. As for the others, just spit [upon what they say].

Serezha! When you receive this letter I shall already be a married man. Tomorrow morning is my wedding, and after it I shall be leaving immediately. I will be back within a week and will stay here for a few days. If you drop me a few lines by way of a reply, I shall be very, very grateful to you.

I am very annoyed that I wasn't here when you came to Moscow.

I shall dispatch "Ephraim" to you [5], but since today I just don't have the time to occupy myself with this, I will ask Varvara Pavlovna to take this errand upon herself.

I haven't seen anyone from the Conservatory, and at the present moment I don't wish to either. But in ten days' time, when I get back, I shall go and see Rubinstein and have a talk with him about you.

Give my regards to all the Maslovs.

Your devoted friend,
P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Only Taneyev's letter of 25 April/7 May 1877 from Paris has survived, not this other letter which Taneyev had evidently sent to Tchaikovsky after his return to Moscow, and in which he discusses his meetings with various members of the Conservatory staff. There is a longer letter which Taneyev wrote to his former teacher in Paris on 12/24 May 1877, but because Tchaikovsky does not comment on any of the points raised in it in the above letter, it seems that he had not yet received it. Both of Taneyev's letters from Paris have been published in П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 17–19.
  2. Ever since Turgenev's novel Fathers and Children (1862), with its rebellious young hero Bazarov, the term "nihilist" had been used to brand those who showed insufficient respect for established authorities.
  3. Sofiya Alekseyevna Bernard (d. 1920), a lady in Moscow who ran various philanthropic enterprises, including the cheap flats that were made available to staff and students at the Conservatory.
  4. See Letter 551 to Taneyev, 25 April/7 May 1877.
  5. In his brief letter to Tchaikovsky from Paris on 25 April/7 May 1877 Taneyev had written: "Much esteemed Pyotr Ilyich. This summer I would very much like to gain some practice in the vocal style by trying to write one act of an opera. You once offered me the libretto for an opera entitled Ephraim which was lying around in a red folder at your place. If you are not planning to set it to music in the near future, would you be so kind as to arrange, before your departure from Moscow, to have it forwarded it to me or to Fyodor Ivanovich or to our house?" See П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 17. The libretto for the projected opera Ephraim had been drawn up by Konstantin Shilovsky, and Tchaikovsky had briefly considered using it in early 1876. Taneyev did not make use of this libretto either.