Diaries (April 1886)

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Tchaikovsky's Diaries
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1887 January · February · March · April · May · June· July · August · September · October · November · December
1888 January · February · March
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1890 January · February · March
1891 April · May

Tchaikovsky's Diary No. 4 covers the period from 1/13 February to 14/26 October 1886, and includes the composer's visits to Tiflis and France during the spring.

Tchaikovsky spent most of April 1885 living in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), where he was staying with his brother Anatoly Tchaikovsky (known as "Tolya"), Anatoly's wife Praskovya ("Panya" or "Parasha"), and the couple's daughter Tatyana ("Tatyusa"). The composer was accompanied by his valet Aleksey Sofronov ("Alyosha").

On 19 April/1 May 1886 a special concert of Tchaikovsky's own works was to be given in his honour by the Tiflis branch of the Russian Musical Society. At the very end of the month the composer began a voyage through the Black Sea and the Mediterranean to the French port of Marseilles.

Text and Translation

The following diary entries were first published in Дневники П. И. Чайковского (1873-1891) (1923), p. 47-55, edited and with notes by the composer's brother Ippolit. They were also translated into English by Wladimir Lakond in The Diaries of Tchaikovsky (1945), p. 61-70, and into German by Ernst Kuhn and Hans-Joachim Grimm in P. I. Tschaikowsky. Die Tagebücher (1992), p. 50-59.

The new English translation and detailed commentary published here for the first time was prepared by Brett Langston and Alexander Poznansky.

For consistency with previous diaries, entries are given according to Russian [O.S.] dates, which were twelve days behind the Western calendar.


Tuesday 1/13 April 1886
1 апреля. Погода с утра славная, потом немного испортилась. Пил чай с Толей. С ним же вышел, и частью пешком, частью конкой добрались кругом к Окружному Суду. Оттуда я пошёл от дворца вверх и долго бродил по различным улочкам и переулочкам. И в Майдане (народно-туземном квартале) был. Завтракал с Паней и Танюшей. Разговор с Паней о её отношениях к Толе. Прогулка в саду. Иванов и Корганов. Письма. Коля Переслени. Перед обедом, в ожидании Толи, сидели на балконе и смотрели на проезжих. Обед. Посещение бани Мирзоева. Оригинальное зрелище ломанья. Серная вода. Мне было как-то странно и скорее неприятно. Чай дома. 1 April. The weather was glorious in the morning, then deteriorated somewhat. Drank tea with Tolya. Going out with him, partly on foot and partly by horse-drawn tram, we wended our way to the District Courthouse [1]. From there I walked up from the Palace and for a long time roamed around the various side-streets and lanes. I was even in Maydan (the local native quarter). Had lunch with Panya and Tanya. Conversation with Panya about her relations with Tolya. Strolled in the garden. Ivanov [2] and Korganov [3]. Letters. Kolya Peresleni [4]. Before dinner, waiting for Tolya, we sat on the balcony and watched the passers-by. Dinner. Visit to the Mirzoyev baths. The singular rituals of bathing. The sulphurous waters. To me this was somehow strange and most unpleasant. Tea at home.
Wednesday 2/14 April 1886
2 апреля. День серый, дождливый. После чая читал статью Sarcey о Толстом и едва сдерживал рыдания... от радости, что наш Толстой так хорошо понят французом. Ходил по городу. Возвратился с шампиньонами к завтраку. Переоделся и пошёл к Иванову. Его жена и другие, певицы и артисты. Горский. У агента франц[узского] пароходства. Дома. Обед с Гаккелем. Симфонический концерт. Симфония (3) Бетховена. Моя серенада. Смирнова. В Средней Азии Бородина. Меня вызывали,—не вышел. Дома чай с Колей и Коргановым. Разговоры о музыке и музыкантах. 2 April. A grey and rainy day. After tea read Sarcey's [5] article on Tolstoy and could scarcely contain myself from sobbing... with joy that the French understand our Tolstoy so well. Walked around the town. Returned with some champignons for lunch. Changed and went to see Ivanov. His wife [6] and others, singers and artists. Gorsky [7]. Visited the agent of the French steamship company. Home. Dinner with Hackel [8]. Symphony concert [9]. Symphony (No. 3) by Beethoven. My serenade. Smirnova [10]. In the Steppes of Central Asia by Borodin. I was called for, but didn't go out. Tea at home with Kolya and Korganov. Discussions about music and musicians.
Thursday 3/15 April 1886
3 апреля. Чудная погода, но на улице грязно. После чая и чтения газет пошёл в город и вернулся к завтраку, на коем и Толя присутствовал. Писал письма и много их написал. Читал историю Кавказа. Пошёл погулять [по] Муштаиде, которая не понравилась мне. Между тем принесли ко мне нанятое утром пьянино. Вскоре Коля Переслени появился. Ждали долго Толю. Обед. После обеда поехали в цирк (г. Гертнер, Гаврюша Полтавцев, Маргарита Братц и т. д.). В антракте история, за коей мы с Колей следили. После цирка чай дома. Все сонные. 3 April. Wonderful weather but the street is filthy. After tea and reading the newspapers I went into town and returned in time for lunch, for which Tolya was also present. Wrote letters and lots of them [11]. Read about the history of the Caucasus. Went for a stroll around the Mushtaid which I didn't like [12]. Meanwhile the upright piano which I'd hired in the morning had arrived. Soon Kolya Peresleni appeared. We waited ages for Tolya. Dinner. After dinner we went to the circus (Messrs. Gärtner, Gavryusha Poltavtsev, Margarita Bratz, etc.). During the interval there was a story which I watched with Kolya. After the circus, tea at home. Everyone was sleepy.
Friday 4/16 April 1886
4 апр[еля]. После чая (во время коего Татуся со мной болтала и играла) гулял в Муштаиде. Занимался. Завтракал. Разговоры с Паней о её мании всем внушать страсть. Был у Иванова; застал его жену и много гостей. Сделал визит Корганову, насилу нашёл, но не застал и не дозвонился. Дома. Занимался. Чтение. Руфь Иванова. Коля Переслени, получивший только что жалованье. Обед. Шампанское по случаю дня свадьбы. Концерт Корганова и Бичуриной 2-й. Кружок. Знакомства. Чай втроём дома. 4 April. After tea (during which Tatusya chatted and played with me) I walked to the Mushtaid. Worked. Had lunch. Discussions with Panya about her mania for inspiring passion in everybody. Visited Ivanov; found his wife and many guests. Made a visit to Korganov's, having struggled to find it, but there was no answer and I didn't keep ringing. Home. Worked. Reading. Ivanov's Ruth [13]. Kolya Peresleni who had just received his salary. Dinner. Champagne for the wedding anniversary celebrations. Concert given by Korganov and Bichurina 2nd [14]. The Circle [15]. Acquaintances. Tea for three at home.
Saturday 5/17 April 1886
5 апреля. С утра погода была дивная. Я ходил в монастырь Св[ятая] Давида. Это одна из тех прогулок, которые не забываются никогда. Завтрака настоящего не было по случаю предстоявшего кутежа. Возвратившись домой, занимался чтением и работой. Кутеж в Вазе (Паня, Коля Пер[еслени], Толя, Корганов и Гаккель). Отвратительная Грузинская кухня,—но было очень весело благодаря близости реки и чудесной игре красок при захождении солнца. Однако ж потом дождь пошёл. Дома играли в винт (Орловский) и ужинали. 5 April The weather was marvellous from the morning onwards. I walked over to the Monastery of Saint David. This was one of those never-to-be-forgotten walks. There was no proper lunch owing to the carousing that lay ahead of us. On returning home, I occupied myself with work and reading. Carousing at the Vase [16] (Panya, Kolya Peresleni, Tolya, Korganov and Hackel). The Georgian cuisine was repulsive,—but it was very good-humoured thanks to the proximity of the river and the marvellous interplay of colours as the sun went down. However, afterwards it came on to rain. At home we played vint (Orlovsky) and had supper.
Sunday 6/18 April 1886
6 апреля. Воскр[есенье]. Дождь. Пошёл в город. Попал сначала в Армянскую церковь, потом в Сионский Собор. В первой был поражён новостью зрелища и безобразным пеньем; во второй видел Экзарха и слышал его проповедь. Дома завтракал с Вас[илием] Вас[ильевичем]. Гости. Ушёл к себе. Коля Пер[еслени], Карнович. Визит целой компанией к Гончаровым. Возвратившись домой, ходил с Паней и Колею по галерее. Свинкин. Читал. Обед. Корганов и офицер Вериновский. Винт. Испытывал ощущения... особого рода. 6 April. Sunday. Rain. Went into town. Stopped first at the Armenian Church, then at the Sioni Cathedral [17]. In the first I was struck by the novelty of the spectacle and by the abominable singing; in the second I saw the Exarch and listened to his sermon. At home had lunch with Vasily Vasilyevich. Guests. Off by myself. Kolya Peresleni, Karnovich [18]. Vint. A visit of the entire company to see the Goncharovs [19]. Returning home, took a stroll with Panya and Tolya around the gallery. Svinkin [20]. Read. Dinner. Korganov and officer Verinovsky [21]. Vint. Experienced a sensation... of a particular sort [22].
Monday 7/19 April 1886
7 апреля. Вставши, напившись чаю и прочтя газету, отправился гулять. Был в Сионском Соборе. (Часы; Паня и Акуля, коих я не сразу узнал.) Пошёл дальше по Майдану и, перешедши реку, спустился в необыкновенно грязную, хотя и оживлённую часть города (Мешехская тюрьма и т. д.). На возвратном пути снова заходил в Армянскую церковь. Завтрак дома с Паней. (Постное! брр...!) Писал письма. Сидел с Паней в кабинете (она только что перед тем проводила Иванова и Зарудную). Занимался. Гулял по Муштаид. Дома. Ожидание Пани, ездившей к Экзарху. Пари. Визит Гончарова. Паня. Обед. Коля мрачен. Маленький армяшка (сын бар[она] Николай). С Колей выехали. Вечер у Иванова. Его романсы. Пение его жены. Гости. Его симфониетта. Ужин. Они провожали до дома. Отворял милый мой Степан. Окно. 7 April. On rising, drank tea, read the newspapers, set off for a walk. At the Sioni Cathedral (the Hours [23]; Panya and Akulya whom I didn't recognise right away). Went around the Maydan some more, and, crossing the river, I descended into an unusually dirty, but lively part of the town. (The Meshekh Prison, etc.). On the way back I stopped again at the Armenian Church. Lunch at home with Panya (Lenten fare! Brr..!). Wrote letters [24]. Sat with Panya in the study (just before that she had seen off Ivanov and Zarudnaya). Worked. Walked around the Mushtaid. Home. Waiting for Panya who had gone to see the Exarch. Wagers. Visit from Goncharov. Panya. Dinner. Gloomy Kolya. The little Armenian (the son of Baron Nikolay). We went out with Kolya. Evening at Ivanov's. His romances. His wife's singing. Guests. His sinfonietta [25]. Supper. They saw us home. My charming Stepan [26] opened the door. The window.
Tuesday 8/20 April 1886
8 апр[еля] 1886 г. Ночью спал тяжело, а утром проснулся с страшной головной болью и тошнотой... Пришлось раздеться и лечь. Я страдал невыразимо до 1-го часу. Потом заснул и около 3 встал все ещё с тошнотой. Пошёл болтать с Паней, и тут вскоре мне стало лучше. Мало-помалу совсем выздоровел. Коля появился в 5-м часу; он писал письма к Ал[ександре] Ив[ановне] Дав[ыдовой] и матери. Я сделал приписку. После обеда появился симпатичный Вериновский; играли в винт. M[ada]me Андреева. 8 April 1886. I slept heavily during the night, and in the morning awoke with a terrible headache and a feeling of nausea... I had to undress again and lie down. I suffered indescribably until 1 o'clock. Then I fell asleep and rose around 3, still feeling nauseous. Went for a chat with Panya and I soon began to feel better. Little by little I recovered completely. Kolya appeared at 5 o'clock; he wrote letters to Aleksandra Ivanovna Davydova [27] and his mother [28]. I added a postscript [29]. After dinner the charming Verinovsky appeared; we played vint. Madame Andreyeva.
Wednesday 9/21 April 1886
9 апр[еля]. Волновался по поводу позирования. В 10½ приехал Иванов. Фотография. Как водится, голова дрожала. Завтрак в Лондоне. Прогулка по дороге в Коджоры. Дома. Паня причащалась сегодня, Алексей тоже. Писал трудное письмо Шпажинской. Суета с читкой комедии у Гончаровых. К обеду Гаккель, Тебеньков, Карнович. Позже Корганов. Винт. Макао. То не везло, то страшно выигрывал. Дурные вести о Быкове. Радость по поводу известия о suffrage universel. 9 April. I was anxious about the posing session. At 10.30 Ivanov arrived. The photographs [30]. As usual, my head was shaking. Lunch at the London [31]. Stroll along the road to Kojori [32]. Panya took communion today, Aleksey too. Wrote a difficult letter to Shpazhinskaya [33]. Excitement at the read-through of the comedy at the Goncharovs. Hackel, Tibenkov [34] and Karnovich came for dinner. Later Korganov. Vint. Macau [35]. Unlucky, then won an awful lot. Bad news about Bykov [36]. Joy regarding the news about suffrage universel.
Thursday 10/22 April 1886
10 апр[еля]. Погода отличная, хотя старенькая. Сейчас после чая отправился в Сионский Собор. Архиерейская служба, Экзарх, омовение ног (очень устал, но церемония эта понравилась мне). Завтрак в Лондоне отличный. Гулял по верхней дорожке, вдоль развалин крепости. Женщины в чадрах. Дома. Наши (Паня, Коля Карнович, Вериновский) отправились на репетицию спектакля к Гончаровым. Я занимался. Обедал у нас кроме своих Карнович. С Колей и Толей на 12 евангелий в экзаршескую церковь. Застали последние 4 Евангелия. Дома. Паня ушла к Гончаровым. Мы с Колей пили чай вдвоём. Романсы Корганова (очень слабые). Беседа с Колей. 10 April. Weather excellent, if a little cloudy. Straight after tea I set off for the Sioni Cathedral. High Church service, the Exarch, the washing of the feet (I was very tired, but liked this ceremony). Excellent lunch at the London. Walked along the high road, beside the ruins of a fortress. Women in yashmaks. Home. Our folk (Panya, Kolya Karnovich, Verinovsky) set off for the rehearsals of the production at the Goncharovs. I worked. Dinner for all of us except Karnovich. With Kolya and Tolya for the 12 Gospels in the Exarch's Church. We arrived in time for the last 4 Gospels. Home. Panya went to the Goncharovs. Kolya and I drank tea together. Korganov's romances (very feeble). Conversation with Kolya.
Friday 11/23 April 1886
11 апр[еля]. Серо. Ходил к вокзалу и гулял в тех странах. Завтракал дома с Толей. Перед тем и после того занимался просмотром сочинений Корганова в ожидании его. Он сначала, а потом и Иванов пришли. Бедный армяшка (очень милый человек и хороший музыкант) очень огорчился моей критикой. Потом Иванов играл свои вещи—много хорошего. Были Толя и Паня. По их уходу (погода испортилась) ходил гулять до моста. Обед. Паня в преувеличенно оживлённом настроении, что я не очень-то люблю. Орловский. Винт. Я был сонлив. Очень везло. 11 April. Overcast. Walked to the railway station and strolled around the area. Lunch at home with Tolya. Before that and afterwards I was busy looking through Korganov's works whilst waiting for him to arrive. He came first, then Ivanov. The poor Armenian (a very dear fellow and a good musician) was very downcast by my criticism. Then Ippolitov-Ivanov played his things—much was good. Tolya and Panya were there too. Once they had gone (the weather having taken a turn for the worse) I strolled as far as the bridge. Dinner. Panya was in that exaggeratedly animated mood which I don't like very much. Orlovsky. Vint. I was drowsy. Very lucky.
Saturday 12/24 April 1886
12 апр[еля]. Страсти. Суб[бота]. Вставши и напившись чаю, пошёл в город. Яйцо для Тани. Завтрак в Лондоне. Обедня у Экзарха. Так долго читали пророчества, что решился идти к Смиттенам. Назад шёл верхом. Опять в церкви. Синенькие девочки. Пели тут порядочно. Толя. Домой. Занимался. Volapük. Спал. Обед. Коля подлизывался. Субсидия. После обеда лежал у себя и читал Истор[ический] Вестн[ик]. Туалет. Заутреня в Сионском Соборе. Скоро. Назад с Колей раздавили или повалили кого-то. Страх, ужас, отвратительное чувство. Посылали отсюда. Благополучно. Слава Богу! Разговенье. Пьянство. 12 April. Passion Week. Saturday. After rising and drinking tea, went into town. Easter egg for Tanya. Lunch at the London. Mass at the Exarch's. He spent so long reading the prophesies that I decided to go the Smittens' [37]. Back along the high road. At Church again. Little girls in blue. The singing here was decent. Tolya. Homeward. Worked. Volapük [38]. Slept. Dinner. Kolya was ingratiating himself. The subsidy. After dinner I lay down in my room and read the Historical Herald [39]. Toilet. Matins at the Sioni Cathedral. Hurrying back with Kolya we crushed or ran over somebody. Alarm, horror, a wretched feeling. A doctor was sent for. All was well. God be praised! Breaking the fast. Drank heavily.
Sunday 13/25 April 1886
Пасха. 13 апр[еля]. Ужасная погода, дождь бесконечный, обративший Михайловскую улицу в реку. Встал в 11 часов. Один чай пили завтракал. Пошёл походить. Дождь. Барашек или собака на обрыве под мостом. Сидел в café Европа. Под ливнем домой возвращался. Дома. У себя занимался и читал. Обед. Карнович, Иванов, Зарудная, Геничка, Коля, Вериновский и т. д. Винт. Репетиция. Зарудная пела. Ужинали с грехом пополам. Easter. 13 April. Horrible weather, incessant rain turning Mikhailovsky Street into a river. Arose at 11 o'clock. Drank tea alone and had lunch. Went for a walk. Rain. A lamb or a dog on a ledge under the bridge. Sat in the café Europe. Returned home in a downpour. Home. Worked by myself and read. Dinner. Karnovich, Ivanov, Zarudnaya, Genichka [40], Kolya, Verinovsky, etc. Vint. Rehearsals. Zarudnaya sang. We somehow muddled through supper.
Monday 14/26 April 1886
14 апр[еля]. Погода отличная. Встал поздно. После чая занимался. После завтрака (старик Соколов, Гаккель, доктор с шишкой) отправился пешком с визитами. У Смиттенов. Их дочки-пианистки. Слушали высказал мнение. У Алиханова и т. д. Встретил Корганова, сидел у него: беседовали о музыке. Пешком домой. Коля Переслени рассказывал про свою ссору с Свинкиным. Обед. Опять преувеличенный манифестант любви со стороны И. [41]. Сидели в кабинете: я читал La morte Feuillet. Толя. Истор[ический] Вест[ник]. Коля спал на тахте. Они ушли на репетицию с Андреевыми и Девдориани. Я остался читать и пил чай с Толей. Он, поспавши, тоже пошёл к Гончаровым. Я играл немного. Сижу в своей комнате и слышу звуки зурны и барабанов из соседних садов. Противно. 14 April. Excellent weather. Arose late. Worked after tea. After lunch (old Sokolov, Hackel, the doctor with a wart) I set off on foot to make some visits. At the Smittens. Their daughters are pianists. I listened and gave my opinion. Visited Alikhanov [42], etc. Met Korganov and sat with him; conversed about music. Walked home. Kolya Peresleni described his quarrel with Svinkin. Dinner. Once again exaggerated manifestations of love on the part of I [41]. We sat in the study: I read Feuillet's La morte [43] Tolya. The Historical Herald. Kolya slept on the ottoman. They went off to the rehearsal with the Andreyevs and Devdoriani. I remained behind to read and drink tea with Tolya. After nodding off, he also went off to the Goncharovs. I played a little. Sitting in my room listening to the noise of the zurnas [44] and drums from the neighbouring gardens. Objectionable.
Tuesday 15/27 April 1886
15 апр[еля]. Ушёл утром. Был не в духе с самого пробуждения. Завтрак дома без Пани, которая поехала визиты делать. Вас[илий] Васильевич. Занимался. Дремал. Чай у себя в комнате. Пошёл гулять с Колей Переслени в Муштаид, на луг, по направлению немецкой колонии. Веселье народа. Обед. Вериновский, приглашённый мной для винта, и капризы Пани. Винт. Доктор. Макао. После чая и ухода доктора возобновление винта. Зурна и шарманка. Симпатичность Вериновского. 15 April. Went out in the morning. Was out of sorts from the moment I awoke. Lunch at home without Panya who went off to make some visits. Vasily Vasilyevich. Worked. Dozed. Tea by myself in my room. Went for a stroll with Kolya Peresleni to the Mushtaid, over the meadow, in the direction of the German colony. Happy people. Dinner. Verinovsky, my invitation for vint, and Panya's whims. Vint. The doctor. Macau. After tea and the doctor's departure, vint was resumed. The zurna and barrel organ. Verinovsky's attractiveness.
Wednesday 16/28 April 1886
16 апр[еля]. Позанялся и в 11 ч[асов] отправился на rendez-vous с Вериновским. Азиатский ресторан. Коля Пересл[ени]. Отличный завтрак. Гулял по Головинскому до спуска на мост на шоссе. По дороге заходил на русские качели и изволил забавляться качаньем, имея седую голову и 46 лет на плечах. Встретил на возвратном пути Толю, ехавшего с компанией на охоту. Сидел у Ивановых-Зарудной. Застал их за обедом с гостями. Домой. Обед с Гакелем, Фишером, Карновичем. Концерт Чези и Барби. Имел от него ложу. Со мною Коля Пер[еслени], Верин[овский], Свинкин. Бал в кружке. Паня—хозяйка. Скучно. Винт с Карновичем, Орловским и милым грузном?? Ужин. Пьянство с Свинкиным и Колей. Паня в котильоне с Верин[овским]. Лезгинка. Вернулись в 6-м часу. 16 April. Worked a little and at 11 o'clock set off for a rendez-vous with Verinovsky. The Asiatic restaurant. Kolya Peresleni. Excellent lunch. Strolled along the Golovinsky up to the hill leading down to the bridge on the highway. On the way I stopped off at the Russian swing and allowed myself the pleasure using it, notwithstanding my grey head and 46 years on my shoulders. Returning I ran into Tolya who was going off hunting with the company. Sat with the Ivanov-Zarudnayas. Found them having dinner with guests. Homeward. Dinner with Hackel, Fischer [45], Karnovich. Concert given by Cesi [46] and Barbi [47]. He gave me a box. Kolya Peresleni, Verinovsky and Svinkin accompanied me. Ball given by the Circle. Panya was the hostess. Tedium. Vint with Karnovich, Orlovsky and a charming Georgian?? Supper. Drank heavily with Svinkin and Kolya. Panya in the cotillion with Verinovsky. The lezginka [48]. We came back at 6 o'clock.
Thursday 17/29 April 1886
17 апр[еля]. Встал с головною болью, и немножко тошнило. Немножко в Муштаиде погулял. Письма. Завтрак. С Паней в Муштаиде. Дома ждал официального визита Иванова и Алиханова. Приглашён на торжество. Вериновский. Пошёл с визитом к Чези. Застал их за обедом. На возвратном пути заходил в зверинец. Обед. У нас Коля Переслени (встреченный мной на прогулке в коляске) и Вериновский. Коля рассказывал про встречу с грозным прокурором. После обеда в винт играли. Все были сонные. 17 April. Arose with a headache and feeling a little nauseous. Roamed a little around the Mushtaid. Letters [49]. Lunch. With Panya at the Mushtaid. At home I waited for the official visit from Ivanov and Alikhanov. Invitation to the festivities [50]. Verinovsky. Went to visit Cesi. Found them at dinner. On the return journey stopped at the menagerie. Dinner. Kolya Peresleni with us (I met him taking a ride in a barouche) and Verinovsky. Kolya described his encounter with the fearsome prosecutor. After dinner we played vint. Everyone was sleepy.
Friday 18/30 April 1886
18 апр[еля]. Занимался. Несмотря на то что спал от 12 до 9, чувствовал себя усталым. После завтрака с Паней сначала шли, потом ехали до Дворцовой. Визиты к Книне (антипатичен чрезвычайно) и к Орловскому. Восхождение к Давиду и выше. Домой [вернулся] усталый. С Колей и Паней на балконе. Письма. Обед. Лишнее выпил. С Паней в концерт: отказан по причине болезни Барби. Домой. Андреевы. Ушли на репетицию. Я читал орнитологию. Очень устал. 18 April. Worked. Despite sleeping from 12 until 9, I still felt tired. After lunch with Panya we started walking and then rode to the Palace. Visited Knina [51] (extremely antipathetic) and Orlovsky. Climbed up to St. David's and beyond. Homeward, tired. With Kolya and Panya on the balcony. Letters [52]. Dinner. Drank to excess. With Panya to the concert: it was cancelled due to Barbi's illness [53]. Homeward. The Andreyevs. We went off to the rehearsal. I read ornithology by [...] [54]. Very tired.
Saturday 19 April/1 May 1886
19 апр[еля]. Вставши, немножко занялся, но вскоре пошёл, согласно уговору, к Свинкину, у коего кроме Коли позднее был Вериновский. Завтрак с ним в Лондоне. Приятно кутили. Великан. Цирк и конюшни. Качели. У Пани. Её безобразничание по поводу Вериновского. Дома. Спал. Вместе в театр. Толя. Вериновский. [...] Театр. Ложа. Овации. Очень тронут. Ужин в Лондоне. Официальные тосты. Пьян, как... Тысяча нежностей со всеми. Не мог дойти до дому. Пьян. 19 April. Upon rising I worked a little, but soon went as arranged to see Svinkin, where, besides Kolya, Verinovsky joined us later. Lunch with him at the London. We caroused pleasantly. The giant. The circus and stables. The swing. With Panya. Her disgraceful behaviour towards Verinovsky. Home. Slept. Together to the theatre. Tolya. Verinovsky. [...] [55]. The theatre [56]. The box. Ovations. Very touching. Supper at the London. Official toasts. Drunk as a ... [57]. A thousand kind words from everyone. I couldn't make it home. Drunk.
Sunday 20 April/2 May 1886
20 апр[еля]. Противно ожиданиям, встал бодро, и голова не болела. Погулял. После завтрака поехал на публичный экзамен старика Эпштейна. Гулял по невыносимой жаре. Дома. У Пани посетители. Ждал Иванова с портретом. Надпись. Обед у Чирли-Пучурли. Так себе. Джиоконда. (Супруги Рядновы, Зарудная и т. д.) 20 April. Contrary to expectations, I rose feeling fresh and without an aching head. Walked. After lunch went to the public examination of old Epstein [58]. Walked in intolerable heat. Home. Panya's visitors. Waited for Ivanov with my photograph. Inscription. Dinner at the Churli-Puchurli. So-so. Giaconda [59] (the Ryadnovs, husband and wife [60], Zarudnaya, etc.).
Monday 21 April/3 May 1886
21 апр[еля]. Занимался крайне неудачно до завтрака. Свинкин приходил прощаться и завтракал. Он уезжает на 2 месяца. Известие о картёжной ночи и проигрыше Вериновского. Визиты к Питоеву (не застал), к Андрониковым (тоже), к Рогге. Жена водила к нему в канцелярию. Домой. Чай. Занимался. Лучше шло. Обед втроём. Толя и Дундукова. Концерт Чези и Барби. Чай дома. Разговор о завтраке, который я даю 25 апреля. 21 April. Worked downright uselessly until lunch. Svinkin came to say goodbye and had lunch. He's going away for 2 months. News about the nocturnal card session and Verinovsky's losses. Visits to Pitoyev (no answer), the Andronikovs (the same), to Rogge [61]. His wife [62] led me to him in his office. Homeward. Tea. Worked. Went better. Dinner for three. Tolya and Dundukova [63]. The concert given by Cesi and Barbi. Tea at home. Discussion about the lunch I'm giving on 25 April.
Tuesday 22 April/4 May 1886
22 апр[еля] 1886 г. Вставши, напившись чаю, пошёл к Саванели. Он служит в Госуд[арственном] Банке. И он, и жена его милы и симпатичны. Дома. Завтракал с Паней и Татой. Паня, заговорив о моем отъезде, заплакала. Не помню, чтоб в жизни я когда-нибудь был так тронут. Пошёл с ней в Муштаид и долго беседовал о Тане (???). Чай дома. Занимался. Коля Переслени. Обед на балконе. Вериновский. Одевали его в моё платье. Репетиция у Гончаровых. Беседа с M[ada]me Андреевой. Ужин. Тоска. 22 April 1886. On rising I drank tea, and set off to see Savaneli [64]. He's employed at the State Bank. Both he and his wife are sweet and charming. Home. Had lunch with Panya and Tata. Panya started talking about my departure and began to cry. In my whole life I cannot ever remember being so touched. Walked with her to the Mushtaid and for a long time chatted to her about Tanya [65] (???). Tea at home. Worked. Kolya Peresleni. Dinner on the balcony. Verinovsky. We dressed him in my clothes. Rehearsals at the Goncharovs. Conversation with Madame Andreyeva. Supper. Anguish.
Wednesday 23 April/5 May 1886
23 апр[еля]. Занимался,—не без труда. После завтрака пошёл с визитом к Иванову (застал и сидел) и к Тебенькову. Чувствовал весь день необычайную слабость и склонность к сну, и бездействие. Ходил по Майдану, тщетно ища агента Messageries. Дома. Обед. Вериновский. Переодеванье. Репетиция. После нашей пьесы поехал в Театр. Жизнь за Царя, 4-e действие. В ложе у В. П. Рогге. В режиссёрской. Питоев. Ужин у Эпштейна. M[ada]me Ферзинг. Форшмак. Ужин. Рядом Зарудная. Консул Герман[ской] Империи, по выговору напоминающий не то Бюлова, не то Клиндворта. Тосты до бесконечности. Меня провожали Иванов, Корганов и милейшая В. М. Зарудная. Больная Паня. У них в спальне. У себя ещё пьянствовали. 23 April. Worked, not without effort. After lunch went to visit Ivanov (he was in and I stayed), and then to Tebenkov. All day I felt extraordinarily feeble and inclined to sleep and idleness. Walked around the Maydan searching in vain for the Messageries agent [66]. Home. Dinner. Verinovsky. Change of clothes. Rehearsal. After our play went to the theatre: A Life for the Tsar, 4th act [67]. In V. P. Rogge's box. To the stage director. Pitoyev [68]. Supper with Epstein. Madame Ferzing. Hors d'oeuvres. Supper. Next to Zarudnaya. The German Imperial Consul, whose accent reminded me somewhat of Bülow or Klindworth. Incessant toasts. I was seen off by Ivanov, Korganov, and the most sweet V. M. Zarudnaya. Panya was unwell. With them in their bedroom. More drinking in mine.
Thursday 24 April/6 May 1886
24 апр[еля]. Безобразно болен был. Проснулся в ужасном состоянии. Муштаид... Дома. Сон. Лучше. Опять спал. Проснулся в 3 часа почти здоровый. Чай у Пани (ночью за доктором Толя ездил). Выздоравливаю. У Гаккеля с Колей (коего я встретил). Сад при дворце. Удивительная красота. У агента Paquet. Почти решаюсь. Пешком. Обед с больной Паней. Сонливость. Валялся. Одевание. Спектакль у Гончаровых. Я аккомпанировал Толе. Боялся за больную Паню. Уборная. В гостиной знакомства. Любезность кн. Дондукова. Ужин. Ушли на последний стол. Гончаров вытребовал меня на главный. Княгиня Меликова. Княжна Маня. Я совершенно влюблён в неё. Бесконечный котильон. Пьянство с немецким консулом, Тебеньковым и Гакелем. Болтовня милого консула. Турецкий консул указал мне настоящий путь. Еду с пароходом Paquet. 24 April. Revoltingly ill. Woke in a terrible state. Mushtaid... Home. Sleep. Improved. Slept again. Woke at 3 o'clock, nearly well. Tea with Panya (in the night Tolya had gone for the doctor). Recovery. To Hackel's with Kolya (whom I met). The palace garden. Astonishingly beautiful. With the Paquet agent. Nearly decided. Walking. Dinner with the ailing Panya. Sleepiness. I ambled around. Dressed. The performance at the Goncharovs. I was accompanist for Tolya. Concern for Panya's health. Toilet. Acquaintances in the drawing room. Prince Dondukov's kindness. Supper. We went to the last table. Goncharov insisted that I should sit at the head. Princess Melikova [69]. Princess Manya [70]. I was completely in love with her. An endless cotillion. Drank heavily with the German consul, Tebenkov and Hackel. The chatter of the dear consul. The Turkish consul showed me the correct route to take. I'm going on the Paquet steamship [71].
Friday 25 April/7 May 1886
25 апр[еля]. 46 лет стукнуло! Встал без головной боли, но с пустотой в голове. Прошёлся сигар купить. Встреча с агентом Paquet. Гости начали у нас собираться около 1½. Рогге. Завтрак был весел, но не особенно удачен по еде. Тулумбашем был Гаккель. Кн[язь] Андроников тоже речи говорил. Чай в саду. Винт, коему помешал старичок Соколов. Мазепа. Очень хорошее исполнение, особенно Лодий и Зарудная. (Рябинин—любитель—Мазепа). Много вызовов и оваций. Ужин в Лондоне. Усталость. 25 April. Hit 46 years! Arose without a headache, but empty-headed. Walked about smoking a cigar. Meeting with the Paquet agent. Our guests started to assemble around 1.30. Rogge. The lunch was cheerful, but not particularly successful in respect of the food. Hackel set the mood. Prince Andronnikov [72] also made speeches. Tea in the garden. Vint, which was hampered by old man Sokolov. Mazepa. Very good performance, especially Lody and Zarudnaya. (Ryabinin [73]—an amateur—was Mazepa). Lots of calls and applause. Supper at the London. Weariness.
Saturday 26 April/8 May 1886
26 апр[еля]. Трудно себе представить более очаровательной погоды. Чудесно спал. Встретил Рябинина, который не только пошёл со мною, но и до парикмахера довёл, и там сидел, и потом все шёл. Впрочем, очень милый человек. Назад ехал и частью шёл, восхищаясь изумительной красотой колорита, синим небом, горами, зеленью. Не хочется умирать в такие дни. За завтраком спор с Паней из-за Вериновского. Однако поехала вместе к Быкову. Грустное впечатление. Быкова, Андреева, Гончарова. У Алиханова (не застал). У Генички. В саду Дондукова. Обед дома. Цирк. Дождь. Чай дома. 26 April. Hard to imagine more enchanting weather. Slept wonderfully. Met Ryabinin, who not only accompanied me, but conducted me to the barber's, and stayed before leaving suddenly. However, he is a very sweet fellow. I partly rode and partly walked back, admiring the astonishingly beautiful colours, the blue sky, the mountains and the greenery. Whoever would want to die on such a day. At lunch, an argument with Panya over Verinovsky. However, she went with me to Bykov's. Gloomy mood. Bykova, Andreyeva, Goncharova. Alikhanov's (no answer). Genichka's. In Dondukov's garden. Dinner at home. The circus. Rain. Tea at home.
Sunday 27 April/9 May 1886
27 апреля. Воскр[есенье]. Вставши, пошёл в Сионский Собор. Жарко. Конец простой обедни. У Зарудной. Рябинин, Краснова. На репетиции Русалки. Пошёл к Андреевым. Встретил Вериновского. Вместе к Андреевым. Застали. Нет фаэтонов. Дома. Удирал от визитов Алиханова и Андрониковых. Тебеньков. Обед в Сахаршвели. Веселье и бесконечное удовольствие, прерванное безобразной выходкой Прасковьи Владимировны. M[ada]me Карнович. С ней и Колей в Европу. Кутеж. Карты. Ужин. Бесконечно жаль Вериновского, и злюсь на дрянь. 27 April. Sunday. On rising, went to the Sioni Cathedral. Hot. End of the ordinary service. At Zarudnaya's. Ryabinin, Krasnova. At rehearsals for Rusalka [74]. Set off to see the Andreyevs. Met Verinovsky. Together to the Andreyevs. They were at home. No phaetons [75]. Home. Avoided visits to Alikhanov and the Andronnikovs. Tebenkov. Dinner at the Sakharshveli. Merriment and endless fun, curtailed by an outrageous outburst from Praskovya Vladimirovna. Madame Karnovich. Went with her and Kolya to the Europe. Carousing. Cards. Supper. Felt endless sympathy for Verinovsky, and anger at that wretched woman.
Monday 28 April/10 May 1886
28 апр[еля]. Понед[ельник]. Встал с тяжёлым воспоминанием о вчерашнем. Пошёл к Иванову. Играли его песни и ещё кое-что. Карточки, кофе, Пузанов, Рябинин. Снимание группы у фотографа. С Карновичем у его жены и у Бичуриной. Обед у Лодия. Излишки. Винт. Дома. Грустно. Тебеньков. Коля. В 10 часов ушёл к себе письма писать. 28 April. Monday. Arose with sombre thoughts about yesterday. Went to Ivanov's. Played his songs and something else. Visiting cards, coffee, Puzanov [76], Ryabinin. Group picture at the photographer's [77]. With Karnovich to visit his wife and to Bichurina's. Dinner with Lody. Overindulgence. Vint. Home. Sadness. Tebenkov. Kolya. At 10 o'clock went off by myself to write letters [78].
Tuesday 29 April/11 May 1886
29 апр[еля]. Вторник. Выезд. Провожание. Огромное число провожающих. Необыкновенно нудно и тяжело. Как нарочно поезд опоздал. Наконец уехали. Бросали цветы в вагон. Карнович с нами. Уговаривали остаться. Сурамский перевал. Необыкновенный аппетит Толи. Михайлово. Я спал после перевала. Читал чудесное, хотя в республиканском духе написанное сочинение о Каролине, Королеве Неаполитанской. По временам выходили и любовались чудными зрелищами. Наконец и Паня легла. Читал. Последняя станция Кобулет. Тут я с Колей увидали море, и притом с дивным освещением. Разбудили. Приезд в Батум. Hôtel de France оказался занят весь. Hôtel Impérial тоже. Наконец из милости пустили. Ужин. Мало-помалу все устроилось отлично. Я спал с Колей в одной комнате. Алёша рядом. Начинал чувствовать жуткость разлуки. Особенно симпатичен оказался главный прикащик и девушки, судя по языку, поляки. 29 April. Tuesday. Departure. Farewells. An enormous number of people saw me off. Extraordinarily tiresome and oppressive. As if on purpose, the train was late. Finally we moved off. Flowers were thrown into the railway carriage. Karnovich came with us. We had urged him to remain behind. The Surami pass [79]. Tolya's extraordinary appetite. Mikhaylovo [80]. I slept after the pass. I was reading a wonderful work, albeit in a republican spirit, about Carolina, Queen of Naples [81]. From time to time we went out to admire the wonderful sights. Finally Panya went to bed too. Read. The last station was Kobuleti [82], and then Kolya and I caught sight of the sea which was illuminated by the most ethereal light. People stirring. Arrival in Batum. The Hôtel de France was fully occupied. The Hôtel Impérial also. Eventually we were allowed in out of kindness. Supper. Gradually everything was sorted out excellently. I slept in the same room as Kolya. Alyosha was next door. I began to experience the pain of separation. The chief clerk was especially friendly, as were the chambermaids—Poles, judging by their language.
Wednesday 30 April/12 May 1886
30 апр[еля]. Батум. Встали и пили чай с Алёшей и Колей. Пошли к агенту Paquet. По слабости я взял билеты прямо до Марселя и потом очень мучился. Домой. Толя встал, Паня тоже. Пошли по улицам, потом в сад у моря, потом завтракать в Hôtel de France (по требованию Пани, ибо я желал быть благодарным за принятие нас в Impérial). Кутеж. Домой. Магазины. Дивное местоположение. Чай дома. Толя (добрейший Толя!!!) делает безобразную сцену Алексею из-за чистого пустяка. По правде сказать, несмотря на всю нетактичную неумелость Алёши относиться к людям Толя кругом виноват. Уехали. Замешательство. Наконец на пароходе. Нагрузка. Опоздание и необычайное тяжёлое чувство. Шампанское. Что за драгоценный человек Коля Переслени!! Слёзы Пани. Наконец они уехали. Бинокль. Бесконечное махание платком. Тяжёлое чувство. Алёша. При объяснении слёзы его. Невыразимо тяжёлое чувство, соединённое со страхом моря, которое, впрочем, более покойно, чем когда-либо!!! Ужин Solo. Писание дневника. Турецкие женщины. Спать. Не знаю, зачем капитан ходит около. 30 April. Batum. Arose and drank tea with Alyosha and Kolya. We went to the Paquet agent. Through weakness I booked a direct ticket to Marseilles and was later very annoyed with myself. Homeward. Tolya rose, Panya too. We went around the streets, then to the gardens by the sea, then had lunch at the Hôtel de France (only at Panya's insistence, because I wanted to go to the Impérial to show them our gratitude for taking us in). Carousing. Homeward. Shops. Sublime location. Tea at home. Tolya (most good-natured Tolya!!!) caused an ugly scene with Alyosha over a mere trifle. Truth be told, despite all Alyosha's tactless ineptitude in dealing with people, Tolya was entirely at fault. We left. Confusion. Finally on board the steamer. Loading up. Delay and an extraordinarily oppressive feeling. Champagne. What a priceless chap Kolya Peresleni is!! Panya's tears. Finally they left. Binoculars. Endless handkerchief waving. Oppressive feeling. Alyosha. His tearful explanation. An inexplicably oppressive feeling, combined with a fear of the sea, which, by the way, could not be calmer!!! Supper solo. Wrote my diary. Turkish women. Sleep. I don't know why the captain keeps walking past.

Notes and References

  1. Tchaikovsky's brother Anatoly was a state prosecutor at the Tiflis District Court.
  2. The Russian composer and conductor Mikhail Mikhaylovich Ippolitov-Ivanov (b. Ivanov, 1859-1935), who was the director of the Tiflis music school.
  3. Genary Osipovich Korganov (Karganov) (1858-1890), Russian-Armenian composer and pianist.
  4. Nikolay Vladimirovich Peresleni ("Kolya"; d. 1914), nephew of Tchaikovsky's brother-in-law, Lev Davydov.
  5. Francisque Sarcey (b. Dourdan, 1827-1899), French drama critic and journalist.
  6. Varvara Mikhaylovna Zarudnaya (1857-1939), Russian operatic soprano and teacher, who married Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov in 1883.
  7. Konstantin Konstantinovich (Kazimirovich) Gorsky (1859-1924), Russian-Polish violinist and composer, who taught at the Tiflis music school. Later that evening Gorsky would be the soloist in Tchaikovsky's Sérénade mélancolique for violin and orchestra.
  8. Mikhail Pavlovich Hackel (Gakkel), chairman of the Caucasus region censorship committee, and of the Caucasian Society of Fine Arts.
  9. At the second symphony concert of the Tiflis branch of the Russian Musical Society, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov conducted Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Tchaikovsky's Sérénade mélancolique (violinist: Konstantin Gorsky), In the Steppes of Central Asia by Aleksandr Borodin, and other smaller works.
  10. Possibly a vocal work performed by the mezzo-soprano Mariya Dmitriyevna Smirnova.
  11. Four of Tchaikovsky's letters bearing this date have survived: Letter 2923 to Aleksandra Hubert; Letter 2924 to Félix Mackar; Letter 2925 to Albert Repman; and Letter 2926 to Pyotr Jurgenson.
  12. The Mushtaid Garden in Tiflis (now Tbilisi) was opened to the public in 1858, and included a restaurant and open-air theatre.
  13. Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov's opera Ruth, Op. 6, was written between 1883 and 1886, and first staged in 1887. It seems likely that he had lent Tchaikovsky the score for him to review.
  14. Anna Aleksandrovna Bichurina (1853-1888), a Georgian singer (contralto) who had performed with the Imperial Opera in Saint Petersburg between 1875 and 1885, and who in 1876 premiered the role of Solokha in Tchaikovsky's opera Vakula the Smith. She would make her last stage performance just seven months later, in November 1886.
  15. The Tiflis Music Circle (Тифлисский музыкальный кружок) was an influential association of musicians who organised concerts and lectures, and hosted a library and music school.
  16. The Vase (Ваз) restaurant in Tiflis.
  17. The Sioni Cathedral of the Dormition, founded in the 5th-6th centuries and rebuilt in the 13th century, with extensive later modifications.
  18. Valerian Vladimirovich Karnovich, a chairman of the Tiflis Court of Justice.
  19. Sergey Sergeyevich Goncharev (1843-1918), senior chairman of the Tiflis Court of Justice, and his second wife Yelizaveta Nikolayevna (b. Gerstenzweig; 1845-1907).
  20. Nikolay Svinkin (d. 1888), assistant state prosecutor in Tiflis.
  21. Ivan Aleksandrovich Verinovsky (d. 1886), a young artillery officer who struck up a close friendship with Tchaikovsky. The composer later made a note in his diary against this entry: "and just 2 months later he's no longer in this world!!! 19 July [18]86". See also Alexander Poznansky, Tchaikovsky. The quest for the inner man (1993), p. 455-459.
  22. After playing the card came vint (a form of whist) Tchaikovsky often reproached himself for the strong negative emotions this often elicited in him, although it is unclear whether this "particular" sensation was the same thing. See also Tchaikovsky. The quest for the inner man (1993), p. 436-440, 456.
  23. An Orthodox Church service of worship held at specific times of the day to commemorate individual events during the time of Christ's suffering, with psalms, church members and other prayers — note by Ernst Kuhn.
  24. None of Tchaikovsky's letters bearing this date has survived.
  25. It is unclear which work of Ippolitov-Ivanov's works is being referred to here; his Sinfonietta for orchestra, Op. 34, dates from some fifteen years later.
  26. Anatoly Tchaikovsky's valet, who had previously worked as a pantryman at the Kamenka estate.
  27. Aleksandra Ivanovna Davydova (b. Potapova; 1802-1895), Nikolay Peresleni's grandmother.
  28. Yekaterina Vasilyevna Peresleni (b. Davydova; 1822-1898), elder sister of Lev Davydov.
  29. This letter has not survived.
  30. While in Tiflis, Tchaikovsky sat for at least two portrait photographs (numbered Photograph 47 and Photograph 48 in our catalogue) taken by the pioneering Russian photographer, Vladimir Barkanov (1826-1892).
  31. The London hotel in Tiflis.
  32. A small town resort around 20 miles south-west of the Georgian capital.
  33. Letter 2930 and Letter 2930a were written to Yuliya Shpazhinskaya on this date, as well as Letter 2929 to Modest Tchaikovsky.
  34. Mikhail Mikhaylovich Tebenkov (1857-?), lawyer, editor of the Caucuses (Кавказ) newspaper from 1885 to 1890, and a founding member of the Tiflis Society of Artists.
  35. A card game of Hungarian origin (also spelled "Makaó" or "Macao").
  36. Fyodor Aleksandrovich Bykov (1847-1915), a prosecutor at the Tiflis District Court, who had been a friend of Anatoly Tchaikovsky at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg during the 1860s. He was suffering from a serious illness (see Letter 2933 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 17/29 April 1886), but subsequently recovered.
  37. Nikolay Pavlovich Smitten (1848-1906), a chairman of the Tiflis Court Chamber, and a former graduate of the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg (1863). In 1886 his daughters Yelena and Yuliya were accepted into the preparatory piano classes at the Saint Petersburg.
  38. Volapük is a constructed language, created in 1879-80 by Johann Martin Schleyer, a German priest. During the 20th century it was generally supplanted by Esperanto.
  39. The Historical Herald (Исторический вестник) was a historical and literary journal, published in the Russian capital between 1880 and 1917.
  40. "Genichka" = Gennady Korganov.
  41. 41.0 41.1 The identity of "I." is uncertain, but it has been suggested that this could have been the young artillery officer, Ivan Verinovsky. See The Diaries of Tchaikovsky (1945), p. 65, and Tchaikovsky. The quest for the inner man (1993), p. 456.
  42. Konstantin Mikhaylovich Alikhanov, chairman of the Tiflis branch of the Russian Musical Society.
  43. The recently-published novel La Morte (Paris, 1886), by the French writer Octave Feuillet (1821-1890).
  44. The zurna is an oboe-like wind instrument used to play Anatolian, Middle Eastern and Central Asian folk music.
  45. Adolphe Fischer (1847 or 1850-1891), Belgian cellist.
  46. Beniamino Cesi (1845-1907), Italian concert pianist, and professor of piano at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory between 1885 and 1891.
  47. Alice Laura Barbi (1858-1948), Italian mezzo-soprano and violinist, and a close friend of Johannes Brahms.
  48. A Caucasian folk dance.
  49. Letter 2932 to Emiliya Pavlovskaya and Letter 2933 to Modest Tchaikovsky are known from this date.
  50. The Russian Musical Society concert in Tiflis devoted to Tchaikovsky's works, scheduled for 19 April/1 May 1886.
  51. Leonid Fyodorovich Knina (1842-?), Czech pianist.
  52. Only Letter 2934 to Ippolit Altani is known from this date.
  53. The concert eventually took place on 21 April/3 May.
  54. According to Ippolit Tchaikovsky, who originally edited this diary, the author's name is illegible. The foremost book in Russian on this subject at the time was Орнитология и орнитологическая география Европейской и Азиатской России [Ornithology and ornithological geography of Eupropean and Asiatic Russia] (Saint Petersburg, 1867), by Nikolay Aleksandrovich Severtsov (1827-1885).
  55. According to Ippolit Tchaikovsky, who originally edited this diary, the following word (apparently a surname) is illegible.
  56. Tchaikovsky was attending the special symphony concert of the Tiflis branch of the Russian Musical Society, devoted entirely to his own works. The programme, conducted by Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, consisted of the Serenade for String Orchestra; the Letter Scene (Act I, No. 9) from Yevgeny Onegin, sung by Varvara Zarudnaya; the Sérénade mélancolique for violin and orchestra, soloist: Konstantin Gorsky; Not a Word, O My Friend (No. 2 of the Six Romances, Op. 6) and The Canary (No. 4 of the Six Romances, Op. 25, sung by Zarudnaya; the Chorus (Act I, No. 4) from Mazepa; Lensky's Aria (Act II, No. 17) from Yevgeny Onegin, sung by Pyotr Lody; Nocturne (No. 1 of the Two Pieces, Op. 10 and The Harvest (No. 8 from The Seasons), sung by Vasily Korganov; The Terrible Moment (No. 6 of the Six Romances, Op. 28) and Why? (No. 5 of the Six Romances, Op. 6), sung by Pyotr Lody; and the overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet.
  57. It is uncertain whether the ellipses here were Tchaikovsky's own, or if language the editors deemed to be offensive has been redacted.
  58. Eduard Osipovich Epstein (1827-1889), senior lecturer in piano classes at the Tiflis Conservatory.
  59. La Giaconda (1876), an opera in four acts by Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886).
  60. Yevgeny Karlovich Ryadnov (b. Schultz; 1853-1925) and his wife Nina Alexandrovna-Ryadnova (1878-1966); sometimes known as "Rednov".
  61. Vladimir Petrovich Rogge (1843-1906), state councillor and director of the office of the supreme commander of the Caucasus.
  62. Yelena Ivanovna Rogge (b. Likhotinskaya).
  63. Probably Nadezhda Andreveyna Dondukova-Korsakova (d. 1889), wife of Prince Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Dondukov-Korsakov (1820-1893), the supreme commander of the Caucasus region from 1882 to 1890.
  64. Kharlampy Ivanovich Savaneli (1842-1890), Georgian singer (baritone). He organised choral singing classes which in 1874 formed the basis for the Russian Musical Society's school in Tiflis.
  65. Tchaikovsky's niece Tatyana Davydova (1862-1887), daughter of his sister Davydova and brother-in-law Lev Davydov.
  66. The French merchant shipping company, Compagnie des messageries maritimes (founded in 1851 as Messageries nationales), which operated passenger steamships between Marseilles and the Black Sea.
  67. The opera by Mikhail Glinka, first performed in 1836 in Saint Petersburg.
  68. Ivan Yegorovich Petoyev (d. 1904), philanthropist, founding member of the Tiflis Society of Artists and manager of the Tiflis Opera Theatre, and a member of the directorate of the Tiflis branch of the Russian Musical Society.
  69. Princess Varvara Nikolayevna Loris-Melikova (1872-1942), sister of Vladimir Argutinsky-Dolgorukov.
  70. Possibly the Princess Mariya Dmitriyevna Drutskaya-Sokolinskaya (1859-1940).
  71. A "packet" steamship was a small boat used to convey mail, passengers and cargo.
  72. Prince Iosif Zakarhovich Andronikov, engineer, member of the Tiflis branch of the Russian Musical Society, and a founder member of the Tiflis Society of Artists.
  73. Gerasim Ivanovich Ryabinin, bookkeeper and amateur singer (baritone). This production of Mazepa at the Tiflis Opera Theatre was his first performance on the professional stage.
  74. Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky's Rusalka was first staged in 1856 in Saint Petersburg, and was one Tchaikovsky's favourite operas (see his review in TH 281).
  75. A type of small open carriage drawn by one or two horses.
  76. Aleksandr Mikhaylovich Volgin (b. Puzanov; 1859-1916), Russian opera singer (bass).
  77. See Photograph 49. Tchaikovsky had returned to Vladimir Barkanov's studio for a group picture with Nikolay Peresleni, Mrs Karnovich, Sergey Goncharov, Ivan Verinovsky, Anatoly Tchaikovsky and his wife Praskovya, Yelena Goncharova, Mikhail Tebenkov, Mr Andreyev, and one more unidentified person.
  78. See Letter 2939 to Karl Davydov, Letter 2940 to Modest Tchaikovsky and Letter 2941 to Pyotr Jurgenson of this date.
  79. The railway line through the Surami pass opened in 1872, and to connect the eastern and western halves of Georgia, via the Likhi mountains.
  80. The town of Mikhaylovo was founded in 1872 with the coming of the railways; it was renamed Khashuri in 1917, then Stalinisi in 1928, before reverting to its present name of Khashuri in 1934.
  81. Maria Carolina of Austria (b. Archduchess Maria Karolina Luise Josepha Johanna Antonia; 1752-1818), from 1768 the wife of King Ferdinand IV of Naples. The volume in question may have been the recently-published La reine Marie-Caroline de Naples, d'après des documents nouveaux (Paris: P. Ollerndorff, 1886) by Albert Gagnière.
  82. A seaside resort on the Georgian Black Sea coast.