Doctor Baske

German admirer of the composer, known only as "Herr Baske" or "Doktor Baske".

In 1890 Baske wrote to Tchaikovsky informing him that Otto Neitzel had just published an article on him and Russian music in the June [sic] issue of the journal Nord und Süd. He also asked Tchaikovsky to consider setting to music Heinrich Heine's poem Der Tod, das ist die kühle Nacht (already set to music by Brahms a few years earlier) and added: "I recently spent a few weeks at one of our resorts on the Baltic Sea coast and performed many of your beautiful songs in front of a wide circle of musically minded people, who showed genuine enthusiasm in getting to know these and were always eager to hear new ones. Anton Rubinstein, who is also immensely beloved and esteemed in Germany, by no means possesses that original character and quality which resounds from you into our hearts and strikes us like a strange revelation" [1].

Correspondence with Tchaikovsky

One letter from Tchaikovsky to Doctor Baske has survived, dating from 1890, and has been translated into English on this website:

Two letters from Doctor Baske to Tchaikovsky, dating from 1890, are preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive.


Notes and References

  1. Quoted in Čajkovskij im Dialog mit Zeitgenossen (1995), p. 187–198. The article in question was in fact Tchaikovsky's "Autobiography" (TH 317).