Letter 1706

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 10/22 March 1881
Addressed to Sergey Taneyev
Where written Nice
Language Russian
Autograph Location Moscow: Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (ф. 880)
Publication Письма П. И. Чайковского и С. И. Танеева (1874-1893) [1916], p. 66
П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 67–68
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том X (1966), p. 62.

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
10/22 марта 1881 г[ода]

Само собою разумеется, что я букву А поставил не на месте. Впрочем уж если Вы насчёт этого могли хотя единую минуту усомниться, то стоило только посмотреть на партитуру, давно уже отпечатанную. Это было бы короче, чем писать в Ниццу. Спасибо Вам, милый Серёжа, за то, что взяли на себя скучную корректуру. Простите, что не успею Вам сегодня ничего написать. Впрочем, скоро увидимся. Про Н[иколая] Гр[игорьевича] не знаю ничего. Здесь его нет. Желаю Вам успешного концерта, если только таковой может состояться после происшествия 1 марта...

Искренно любящий Вас,

П. Чайковский

Ещё раз спасибо за корректуру.

10/22 March 1881

It goes without saying that I put the letter A in the wrong place [1]. By the way, if you could possibly have any doubt about that for a single instant, you need only have taken a look at the score, which was printed off long ago. That would have been quicker than writing to me in Nice. Thank you, dear Serezha, for having taken upon yourself the tedious proofs. Forgive me for not being able to find the time to write anything more to you today. We shall soon be seeing one another, though. I don't know anything about Nikolay Grigoryevich. He isn't here [2]. I wish you may have a successful concert, if it is at all possible for the latter to go ahead after what happened on 1 March... [3].

Your sincerely affectionate,

P. Tchaikovsky

Once again, thank you for the proofs.

Notes and References

  1. Taneyev was correcting the proofs for Tchaikovsky's own piano duet arrangement of his Serenade for String Orchestra which Jurgenson was preparing for publication (having already published the full score and parts in January that year). In a letter to Tchaikovsky on 1/13 March 1881 Taneyev had pointed out that under the fourth bar in the first movement allegro Tchaikovsky had written "A" as a marker to indicate the recapitulation of the allegro's first theme later on: "from A up to the 53rd bar", but that because this marker had been placed under the fourth bar rather than the second, the recapitulation would appear to be shorter than the first exposition of the theme. Taneyev asked whether this was a mistake or not. Taneyev's letter has been published in П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 66–67.
  2. Nikolay Rubinstein, who was in an advanced stage of tuberculosis, had left Russia on 28 February/12 March 1881, intending to travel to the Mediterranean, and in particular to Nice, where Tchaikovsky himself had arrived the day before writing this letter. He got no further than Paris, though, because he was seized with intense pain shortly after his arrival in the French capital. The great pianist and conductor died on 11/23 March 1881. Tchaikovsky, who arrived in Paris only in time for the requiem service which was held for his late friend in the city's Russian Orthodox church, soon afterwards wrote his letter-article The Last Days of N. G. Rubinstein's Life.
  3. In his letter of 1/13 March 1881 Taneyev had informed Tchaikovsky that he was preparing diligently for a forthcoming concert. By chance the assassination of Tsar Alexander II by terrorists from the revolutionary group The People's Will took place on the very day that Taneyev wrote his letter, before the tragic news from Saint Petersburg had reached Moscow), and this concert was subsequently cancelled .