Letter 2630

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 29 December 1884/10 January 1885
Addressed to Emiliya Pavlovskaya
Where written Moscow
Language Russian
Autograph Location Moscow (Russia): Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum (Pavlovskaya collection)
Publication Чайковский на Московской сцене (1940), p. 318–319
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XII (1970), p. 517–518

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
29 дек[абря]

Я живу на Мясницкой, д[ом] Мекк.

Я до сих пор поглощён одной убийственно трудной и страшно спешной работой, что даже Вам, дорогая благодетельница, могу только написать несколько строчек в ответ на Ваше милейшее извещение об Онегине и Мазепе. В тот день, когда пришло Ваше письмо, я был измучен работой и очень огорчён известием о смерти близкого друга; Вы точно угадали всё это и придали мне известием об Вашем и моём успехе бодрости и твёрдости. Скоро увижу Вас; около 10-го янв[аря] буду в Петербурге. Целую крепко Вашу ручку. Сергея Евграфовича за милые, дружеские строки благодарю от души.

Глубоко благодарный,

П. Чайковский

29 December

I am living at Miasnitskaya [Street], Meck house [1].

I am still engrossed in an atrociously difficult and terribly urgent job [2], and so even to you, my dear benefactress, I can only write a few lines in reply to your ever so nice report on Onegin and Mazepa [3]. On the day that your letter arrived I was tormented by work and very upset by the news of the death of a close friend [4]. It is precisely as though you had guessed all this and, by notifying me of your success, as well as mine, you infused courage and fortitude into me. I will be seeing you soon, because around the 10th of January I shall be in Petersburg. I kiss your hand warmly. I thank Sergey Yevgrafovich [5] from my heart for his nice and friendly words.

A profoundly grateful,

P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. During his stay in Moscow from 17/29 December 1884 to early/mid January 1885 Tchaikovsky was staying at the house of his niece Anna and her husband Nikolay von Meck.
  2. Tchaikovsky was feverishly trying to complete the proof-reading of his Suite No. 3, which was due to be premiered in Saint Petersburg on 12/14 January 1885, under the direction of Hans von Bülow.
  3. In a letter dated 21 December 1884/2 January 1885 Emiliya Pavlovskaya had informed Tchaikovsky that Mazepa that evening had been performed to an almost full house at the Saint Petersburg Bolshoi (Kamenny) Theatre, and that the same theatre had been packed to the rafters at the performance of Yevgeny Onegin on the previous evening. Pavlovskaya had sung the leading roles of Mariya and Tatyana respectively, and the success of both these performances had been sensational, especially bearing in mind that they had taken place just before the Christmas holidays, when the theatres were normally empty. Pavlovskaya's letter (including a few lines at the end written by her husband) has been published in Чайковский на московской сцене (1940), p. 318.
  4. The violinist Iosif Kotek died of tuberculosis at Davos on 23 December 1884/4 January 1885. On the following day Tchaikovsky was informed by telegram of his friend's death.
  5. Emiliya Pavlovskaya's husband, Sergey Yevgrafovich Pavlovsky (1846–1915), was also a singer and a member of the Saint Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre's troupe.