Letter 3444

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 28 December 1887/9 January 1888
Addressed to Adolph Brodsky
Where written Berlin
Language Russian
Autograph Location Manchester (England): Royal Northern College of Music, The Library
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XIV (1974), p. 302
Воспоминания о русском доме (2006), p. 122

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
9 янв[аря]

Дорогой друг!

Нечего делать, буду завтракать один. Играйте, пожалуйста, и ждите моего появления приблизительна через 1½ часа. Мне нужно просить у Вас, чтобы Вы или сами остались до сегодняшнего вечера, или мне позволили. Очень захотелось послушать "Walkühr". «Пожалуйста, позвольте!!!»

До свиданья,

П. Чайковский

9 January

Dear friend!

It cannot be helped; I shall have lunch on my own [1]. Please go ahead and play, and expect me in an hour and a half's time or so. I have to make a request to you, namely either that you yourself stay until tonight, or that you allow me to do so. I have been seized with a great desire to hear Die Walküre [2]. "Please, let me!!!"

Until we meet,

P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Adolph Brodsky was also in Berlin at the time, and a few days earlier (when Tchaikovsky was still in Leipzig) he had in fact given a successful performance of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. When the composer arrived in Berlin in the evening of 26 December 1887/7 January 1888 Brodsky had met him at the railway station and they had had supper together. The next day, they had attended a concert of the Berlin Philharmonic Society (both in the capacity of listeners). On the day of the above letter, and clearly just a few hours earlier, Brodsky had written to Tchaikovsky from his hotel with an apology that he would not be able to have lunch with him later that day because he had to practice intensively. He suggested, however, that they meet at the station that evening before Tchaikovsky's departure for Hamburg (where the composer was due to conduct a concert of his works on 8/20 January 1888). Brodsky's brief letter has been published in Воспоминания о русском доме (2006), p. 122.
  2. It is not clear why Tchaikovsky was so keen on hearing that night's performance of Die Walküre that he was even contemplating staying an extra day in Berlin, but the fact that he raises the option of Brodsky attending the performance in his stead suggests that it may have had to do with some private joke between the two musicians. At any rate, the entry in Tchaikovsky's diary for 28 December 1887/9 January 1888 (written when he was on the night-train from Berlin to Hamburg) sums up the events of that day as follows: "...Expected Brodsky to lunch. His letter declining. At Brodsky's. He escorted me home. The story about Die Walküre. A tail coat was requested!!! Letters. Solo dinner at Dressels. Home. Departure. Brodsky arrived before the signal. Compartment in the first class". Quoted here from The Diaries of Tchaikovsky (1973), p. 221. Tchaikovsky had first heard Wagner's opera in Vienna on 24 November/6 December 1877, and he reported on his ambivalent impressions in Letter 661 to Nadezhda von Meck two days later.