Letter 3370

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 26 September/8 October 1887
Addressed to Emiliya Pavlovskaya
Where written Maydanovo
Language Russian
Autograph Location Moscow (Russia): Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum (Pavlovskaya collection)
Publication Чайковский на Московской сцене (1940), p. 412–413
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XIV (1974), p. 231

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
26 сент[ября]

Дорогая Эмилия Карловна!

Спасибо за Ваши милейшие, добрейшие письма! Спешу Вас известить, что никакого особенного горя у меня не было, а было вот что: я чуть было не исполнил моей давнишней мечты обзавестись своим клочком земли, своим домом и т. д. Казалось, дело было налажено от лично, и я уж считал себя счастливым обладателем 50 десятин леса и местом для постройки дома, — как вдруг явились препятствия и дело кончилось ничем. Я по-прежнему бездомный скиталец. Конечно, это было ужасно неприятно, — но, впрочем, я сам во всем виноват, ибо в 47 лет совершенно ребячески отношусь к действительности.

Мне кажется, что чем раньше я приеду, тем лучше, а потому всё-таки предполагаю выехать в понедельник 28-го числа. Крепко целую Ваши ручки.

Ваш П. Чайковский

Бедный друг мой Кондратьев умер, но я скорее рад, что несчастный страдалец кончил жить. Я уже давно оплакал его.

26 September

Thank you for your ever so sweet and kind letters! I hasten to inform you that what happened to me was not some particular misfortune [1], but rather the following: I was on the verge of realizing my old dream of settling down on my own plot of land, of setting up my own house etc. The transaction seemed to have been settled splendidly, and I was already considering myself the happy owner of 50 desyatina [2] of forest and a plot of land where I could build a house, when suddenly complications cropped up and the whole transaction came to nought. I am a homeless wanderer as before. Naturally, this was terribly unpleasant, but I must say, though, that it was entirely my fault, since even at the age of 47 I continue to take a completely childish view of reality.

I think that the earlier I come, the better, and so I do after all intend to leave here on Monday the 28th! [3] I kiss your hands warmly.

Yours, P. Tchaikovsky

My poor friend Kondratyev has died, but I'm rather glad the unfortunate fellow's suffering has ended. I've long been in mourning for him.

Notes and References

  1. After reading Tchaikovsky's letter of 21 September/3 October 1887 (letter 3361), in which he had said rather enigmatically: "A very important matter in my life is now being decided. I am very upset and have suffered a terrible disappointment", Emiliya Pavlovskaya understandably became alarmed, and she began her letter to Tchaikovsky of 24 September/6 October as follows: "I was terribly frightened, dear Pyotr Ilyich, when I received your letter — what, is some misfortune again looming over you?! Take care of yourself, for God's sake". Pavlovskaya's letter has been published in Чайковский на московской сцене (1940), p. 410–412.
  2. Around 137 acres.
  3. In her letter of 24 September/6 October 1887 Pavlovskaya had written that, in view of Tchaikovsky's "upset" state (see note 1 above), she had secretly discussed the matter with the chief director of the Imperial Theatres, Gennady Kondratyev, and they had agreed that Tchaikovsky need not come to Saint Petersburg until the final rehearsals of The Enchantress, even though Nápravník wanted him to come earlier. Tchaikovsky did in fact leave for Saint Petersburg on 28 September/10 October and two days later conducted the first orchestral rehearsal of his opera.