Letter 33

Date 26 August/7 September 1851
Addressed to Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya
Where written Saint Petersburg
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 49–50)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 33
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 37

Text and Translation

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

Russian text
(original)
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
26 Авг[уста] 1851 года

Верно вы одни теперь прекрасная мамаша и скучаете. Чем грустить моя драгоценная велите заложить себе коляску, укатите в Екатеринбург. А там Бог даст Ив[ан] Иванович уговорит поехать в Казан, оттуда в Нижний Новгород, там Глафира Тимофеевна попросит поехать в Москву, там дядинька Петр Петрович уговорит поехать в дорогой Питер, а тут мы вас расцелуем так что вы и не поедете больше в противную Алапаиху останитесь жить вот тут и все. Впрочем может быть Папаша опять раздумал, опять не захочет поехать к своим цыплятам.

В день коронации я был с Платоном Алексеевичем у Спасителя, где мы с вами некогда путешествовали. Я поставил две свечки за вас и за Папашу.

В коронацию был ровно год, как мы с вами были в театре и смотрели «Жизнь за Царя».

Ожидаю с нетерпением Папашу. Но мы все думаем с Колей что вы приедете к нам.

Целую ручки у Тете Лизе, Сестрицы Зине и Наст[асьи] Петр[овны], Сашу, Полю Лидю, Малю, Мину, Катю, Толю, Модю расцелуйте.

Ваш сын просит вашего благословления.

П. Чайковский

26 August 1851

You are probably alone now, wonderful mamasha, and moping [1]. Instead of being sad, my precious one, you should order a carriage to be harnessed for you and drive off to Yekaterinburg. And there, God willing, Ivan Ivanovich [2] will manage to persuade you to go to Kazan, and from there to Nizhny Novgorod. There, Glafira Timofeyevna [3] will ask you to travel on to Moscow, and there Uncle Pyotr Petrovich will persuade you to to go to dear Piter, and then we shall so smother you with kisses that you will never go back to revolting Alapaikha but will stay to live here, and that is all. However, perhaps Papasha has again changed his mind and again didn't want to come to see his chickens.

On Coronation Day I went with Platon Alekseyevich [4] to [the Cathedral of the] Saviour, which you and I once visited. I lit two candles for you and for Papasha.

On Coronation Day it was exactly a year since you and I were at the theatre and saw "A Life for the Tsar" [5].

I am impatiently awaiting Papasha. But Kolya and I keep thinking that you too will be coming to us.

I kiss the hands of Aunt Liza, Sestritsa [6], Zina, and Nastasya Petrovna [7]; would you smother with kisses Sasha, Polya, Lidya [8], Malya, Mina, Katya [9], Tolya and Modya.

Your son asks for your blessing.

P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Ilya Tchaikovsky was then on his way from Alapayevsk to Saint Petersburg in order to visit his sons Pyotr and Nikolay, who were attending boarding-schools in the imperial capital  [back]
  2. Ivan Ivanovich Veytz (d. 1858), a colleague and friend of the composer's father Ilya  [back]
  3. An unidentified distant relative of the Tchaikovskys  [back]
  4. Platon Alekseyevich Vakar (1826–1899) was the guardian of young Pyotr and his brother Nikolay from early/mid May 1851 until Ilya Tchaikovsky was able to move to Saint Petersburg with the rest of the family in May 1852. Platon Vakar was himself a graduate of the School of Jurisprudence, and it is possible that he played a part in Ilya Tchaikovsky's decision to enrol Pyotr in the school proper after he had completed the preparatory class. See Пётр Чайковский. Биография, том I (2009), p. 45  [back]
  5. In August 1850 Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya had travelled from Alapayevsk to Saint Petersburg with Pyotr in order to enrol her son at one of the imperial capitals boarding-schools. During her stay in Saint Petersburg (which lasted until mid/late October) she went with Pyotr to see a performance of Glinka's opera A Life for the Tsar at the Mariinsky Theatre on 22 August/3 September 1850. This opera, alongside Mozart's Don Giovanni, would always remain one of his life-long favourites  [back]
  6. 'Sestritsa', or 'little sister', was the affectionate name for Tchaikovsky's much older cousin, Anastasiya Vasilyevna Popova (1807–1894), the daughter of Ilya Tchaikovsky's older sister Yevdokiya Popova  [back]
  7. 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  [back]
  8. 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  [back]
  9. Vilgelmina ('Mina') and Yekaterina ('Katia') were younger sisters of Tchaikovsky's cousin Amaliya Shobert (later Litke)  [back]