Letter 27

Date 11/23 June 1851
Addressed to Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya and Ilya Tchaikovsky
Where written Nadino
Language French
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 37–38)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 29
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 32–33.

Text and Translation

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

French text
(original)
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Chers Papa et Maman!

Voila deja que je suis à la campagne. Vous ne pouvez pas vous imaginer comme je passe le temps gaiement. Mais cette campagne est si belle, les environs sont admirables.

Je vais vous les décrire. La campagne est sur une colline, au contraire passe une allée qui mêne à un lac (долгое озеро) dans lequel il y a beaucoup de poisson; à gauche de l'allée près du lac une basse-cour. D'un autre coté de la maison un jardin, après ce jardin il y a une grande allée qui mêne dans un bosquet. D'un autre coté de la maison il y a un petit village (Надино) de l'oin on voit une église dans la quelle est entérré, le fondateur dela campagne le papa de M-dame Markoff, qui est mor au mois de Mars cette année.

Je vous remercie cher Papa d'étre si bon de vouloir venir ici. Mais Maman je vous prie venez aussi car rappellez vous comme vous nous avez promit de venir ici. Vous avez dit: aux mois du Juin, avec tout le monde, et pour toujours; sans doute que c'est trop, mais je voudrais vous baiser enssemble, j'ai taché d'étre sage toute l'année pour embrasser mes deux anges enssemble.

Quoique pendant ce temps j'ai une seconde maman et un second Papa M[onsieur] Markoff qui sont bons et doux comme des anges, et M[ademois]elle Nadine leure fille qui a dit qu'elle veux remplacer ma soeur, toi ma chére Zina, elle est aussi bonne que toi, sa bonté est infinie.

M[onsieur] Platon et M[a]dame sa femme ne sont pas à la campagne je les aime aussi beaucoup.

Baisez la main de Сестрица, Tante Lyse que j'éspére voire ce moi, de Zina, de M-elle Anastassi Petroff, baisez ma chère Lydie, et embrassez, ma chere Sacha, Pola, Tola et Модя comme j'étais éffrayé quant je su que le dèrnier etait malade et surtout que Maman etait malade.

Adieu mes chéres Anges.

Je prie votre bénédiction. Votre fils,

Pierre

le 11 de Juin l'an 1851.

Dear Papa and Mama!

Here I am, already in the countryside. You cannot imagine how merrily I am spending my time. But this country[-estate] is so beautiful; the environs are delightful [1].

I shall describe them to you. The country[-estate] is situated on a hill; in front of it there is an avenue which leads to a lake (Dolgoe ozero) in which there are a lot of fish; to the left of the avenue, near the lake, there is a poultry-yard. On another side of the house is a garden; beyond this garden there is a long avenue which leads into a grove. On yet another side of the house is a small village (Nadino); from afar one can see a church in which lies buried the founder of this estate, the father of Madame Markova, who died in March this year.

I thank you, dear Papa, for being so kind as to agree to come here. However, Mama, I ask you to come as well, because do you remember how you promised us that you would be coming here? You said: in June, with everyone else, and for ever; no doubt, this is too much, but I would like to kiss you together; I have tried to be good all the year round so that I could embrace my two angels together.

Although during this time I do have a second mother and a second papa, Mr and Mrs Markov, who are kind and sweet like angels, and Mlle Nadine [Nadezhda], their daughter, who says that she wants to take the place of my sister — of you, my dear Zina — she is as kind as you are; her kindness is infinite.

Mr Platon and Madame his wife are not at the estate; I also love them very much.

Kiss the hands of Sestritsa [2], of Aunt Liza, whom I hope to see this month, of Zina, of Mlle Anastasiya Petrova [3]; kiss my dear Lidiya [4], and embrace my dear Sasha, Polya, Tolya and Modya — how frightened I was when I learnt that the latter was ill and, above all, that Mama was ill.

Goodbye, my dear Angels.

I ask for your blessing. Your son,

Pyotr

11th of June 1851.

Notes and References

  1. Young Pyotr was spending the summer holidays on a country estate at Nadino, not far from Saint Petersburg which belonged to the mother of Mariya Petrovna Vakar (née Markova), the wife of his guardian Platon Alekseyevich Vakar (1826-1899).
  2. '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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.