Letter 2619

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 9/21 December 1884
Addressed to Sergey Taneyev
Where written Saint Petersburg
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. 127
П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 122
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XII (1970), p. 510.

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
[18]84, 9 дек[абря]

Милейший Сергей Иванович!

Убедительно прошу не стесняться нисколько моим желанием услышать Фантазию. Я вполне разделяю Ваши чувства по поводу дрязг, о коих Вы пишете, и мне чрезвычайно нравится Ваш план действий. В конце недели буду в Москве и поговорим. Будьте здоровы, до свиданья, голубчик.

Ваш П. Чайковский

[18]84, 9 December

I earnestly ask you not to feel in the least constrained by my desire to hear the Fantasia [2]. I fully share your feelings with regard to the nuisances you wrote about, and I'm extremely pleased with your plan of action [3]. At the end of this week I shall be in Moscow and then we can talk this over. Keep well, until we meet, golubchik.

Yours, P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. When commencing this letter, Tchaikovsky wrote "Paris" before correcting himself to "Petersburg".
  2. In a letter from Moscow on 5/17 December 1884 Taneyev informed Tchaikovsky that the Russian Musical Society concert scheduled there for 15/27 December, at which he was due to premiere the Concert Fantasia, had been cancelled due to the indisposition of the conductor, Max Erdmannsdörfer. Tchaikovsky had been planning to attend this concert, which was now postponed until the following year, although Taneyev could not yet give the precise date. However, Taneyev also added that if Erdmannsdörfer, in his capacity as principal director of the RMS concerts in Moscow, failed to include his recently completed Third Symphony in one of the forthcoming concerts, he would refuse to take part in any of those, but because this meant he would not be the pianist who premiered the Concert Fantasia, he felt that he had to ask Tchaikovsky's permission first. (Ultimately, Taneyev's misgivings about Erdmannsdörfer seem to have been slightly exaggerated, since his Symphony No. 3 in D minor was premiered at an RMS concert in Moscow on 26 January/7 February 1885, with the composer himself conducting.) Taneyev's letter (the ending of which has not survived) has been published in П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 120–122.
  3. In his letter to Tchaikovsky of 5/17 December 1884 Taneyev explained why he felt that Erdmannsdörfer was trying to put a spoke in his wheel: despite having soon recovered from his indisposition, the German conductor had changed the programme of the concert scheduled for 5/17 December, which Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, the president of the Russian Musical Society, was expected to attend. An acquaintance of Taneyev's had said to him: "I already knew two weeks ago that you wouldn't be playing on the 15th. I was told that since Erdmannsdörfer doesn't like you, he wouldn't let you play in that concert". Taneyev noted further how in the previous year Erdmannsdörfer had failed to keep his promise to include his Third String Quartet in one of that season's RMS chamber music matinées, and he added that if Erdmannsdörfer showed the same disdain for his new symphony he would not take part in any more RMS concerts.