Letter 22

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 30 April/12 May 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. 27–28)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 25
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 27
Notes Postscript to a letter from Nikolay Tchaikovsky. Includes a postscript to Lidiya Tchaikovskaya.

Text and Translation

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

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

Скоро у нас будет роспуск на каникулы и я ожидаю вас с нетерпением, у нас также скоро экзамен, от которого зависит мой переход в 1-ое Отделение. Говорят, что я непременно перейду, но есть препятствие; говорят, что я слишком молод.

В среду 25 Апреля я праздновал моё рожденье и очень плакал вспоминая счастливое время которое я проводил прошлый год в Алапаихе но у меня были 2 друга Белявский, и Дохтуров, которые меня утешали. Мамашичка вы видели, когда я поступил в приг[отовительный] кл[асс] Белявского, я вам говорил, что он мой друг.

Благодарю милые мои сестры за то что вы потрудились так хорошо вышить маленькие вещицы, а вас милые Папаша и мамаша благодарю за деньги которые вы нам послали. Поцелуйте за меня Сашу, Полю, Толю, Модю, Малю, Мину и Катю. Целую ручки у тёте Лизе, сестрицы и Настасье Петровны. Прощайте милые Папаша и Мамаша.

Прошу вашего Благословления. Ваш сын,

П. Чайковский

Милая Кузина

Так как ты желаешь чтоб я тебе писал то исполняю это. Мне совершенно нечего писать. Женя Шателен и её муж Александр Павл[ович] Нормандский приезжали к Ив[ану] Ив[ановичу] сегодня как новобрачные (мы сегодня у Ив. Ив. Вейца). Саша Вейц целует Сашу, Полю, Малю и Катю. — Мину же она не хочет целовать она говорит что она очень капризная. Твой брат,

Пётр Чайковский

My dear Papasha and Mamasha!

We will soon be breaking up for the holidays, and I am expecting you impatiently. We are soon also having an exam on which depends my moving up into the 1st Section [1]. I am told that I will definitely move up, but there is one obstacle: apparently I am too young.

On Wednesday 25 April I celebrated my birthday and cried very much as I remembered the happy time which I had last year in Alapaikha, but there were two friends with me, Belyavsky [2] and Dokhturov [3], who comforted me. Mamashichka, you saw Belyavsky when I joined the preparatory class; I told you that he was my friend.

Thank you, my dear sisters, for taking the trouble to embroider so nicely those small things, and I thank you too, dear Papasha and Mamasha, for the money which you sent us.

Kiss for me Sasha, Polya, Tolya, Modya, Malya, Mina and Katya [4]. I kiss the hands of Aunt Liza, Sestritsa [5] and Nastasya Petrovna [6]. Goodbye, dear Papasha and Mamasha.

I ask for your blessing. Your son,

P. Tchaikovsky

Dear Cousin [7]

Since you wish me to write to you, I am carrying this out. I have absolutely nothing to write about. Zheniya Shatelen [8] and her husband Aleksandr Pavlovich Normandsky came to Ivan Ivanovich's house today as newly-weds (we are at Ivan Ivanovich Veyts's today[9]). Sasha Veyts kisses Sasha, Polya, Malya and Katya; but Mina she does not want to kiss: she says that she is very capricious.

Your brother
Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. The "first section" was the last year of the preparatory class affiliated to the Imperial School of Jurisprudence which prepared pupils for entry into the school proper.
  2. Fyodor Fyodorovich Belyavsky (1839-1870), classmate of Tchaikovsky's at the School of Jurisprudence. Fyodor Maslov, another graduate of the school, later recalled: "When we entered the seventh form [in 1852; this was the school's junior-most form], Pyotr Ilyich was particularly friendly with Belyavsky, but I soon replaced the latter" — quoted from Tchaikovsky. The quest for the inner man (1993), p. 39.
  3. Dmitry Petrovich Dokhturov (1838-1905), classmate of Tchaikovsky's at the School of Jurisprudence.
  4. Vilgelmina ('Mina') and Yekaterina ('Katya') were younger sisters of Tchaikovsky's cousin Amaliya Schobert (later Litke).
  5. 'Sestritsa', or 'little sister', was the affectionate name for Tchaikovsky's cousin, Anastasiya Vasilyevna Popova (1807–1894), the daughter of Ilya Tchaikovsky's older sister Yevdokiya Popova.
  6. Anastasiya Petrovna Petrova (1824–1893) had joined the Tchaikovsky family in Alapayevsk on 24 November/6 December 1849 as a governess, specifically with the task of preparing Pyotr for the School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg. After spending some three years with the Tchaikovskys she worked as a governess in various other families, but returned to her first employer in 1859, when she took charge of the twins, Anatoly and Modest.
  7. The composer's cousin Lidiya Vladimirovna Tchaikovskaya (married name Olkhovskaya; 1836-1892) was the daughter of Ilya Tchaikovsky's elder brother, Vladimir. She lost her mother when she was quite little, in 1842, and was effectively adopted by Ilya and his wife Aleksandra.
  8. Yevgeniya Shatelen was probably the sister of Aleksandr Shatelen, a cousin of Ilya Tchaikovsky's first wife, Mariya Karlovna (née Keizer; d. 1831). Note based on information provided in Из семейных воспоминаний (1995), p. 61.
  9. After their first guardian, Modest Alekseyevich Vakar (a friend of their father's), left Saint Petersburg in April 1851 to settle elsewhere, young Pyotr and his brother Nikolay, two years his senior, were briefly under the tutelage of Ivan Ivanovich Veyts, another close friend of Ilya Tchaikovsky's. Pyotr and Nikolay were both boarders at their respective institutions — the School of Jurisprudence and the Mining College — but on Sundays and other holidays they were allowed to stay at their guardian's house.