Letter 3526

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 15/27 March 1888
Addressed to Adolph Brodsky
Where written Vienna
Language Russian
Autograph Location Manchester (England): Royal Northern College of Music, The Library
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XIV (1974), p. 389
Воспоминания о русском доме (2006), p. 123

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Вена, 15/27 марта 1888

Милый друг Адольф!

Я писал тебе из Парижа, но, судя по тому, что ответа не было, письмо не дошло. Это ужасно жаль! Скажи Анне Львовне, Ольге Львовне и себе, что я часто, часто вспоминаю о Вас, что я очень люблю и благодарю Вас за чудесные часы, проведённые с Вами в Лейпциге. В Париже имел большой успех, в Лондоне тоже, устал до безумия, еду отдыхать на Кавказ и в Вене нахожусь проездом. Писать больше некогда! Обнимаю тебя! Поклон Анне и Ольге Львовнам. Забыл твой адрес, адресую в консерваторию.

П. Чайковский

Григу я тоже писал, и тоже не было ответа.

Vienna, 15/27 March 1888

Adolph, dear friend!

I wrote to you from Paris, but judging from the fact that I haven't had any reply, it seems that my letter didn't reach you [1]. This is a great shame! Tell Anna Lvovna, Olga Lvovna [2], and yourself, that I think about you all very, very often, that I love you very much and thank you for those wonderful hours which I spent with you in Leipzig [3]. In Paris I had a great success, and likewise in London [4]. I am terribly exhausted and I'm going to the Caucasus to get some rest (I'm just passing through Vienna). I don't have time to write any more! I embrace you! Give my regards to Anna Lvovna and Olga Lvovna. I've forgotten your address, so I'm addressing this to the Conservatory.

P. Tchaikovsky

I also wrote to Grieg, and also had no reply [5].

Notes and References

  1. This letter from the composer to Adolph Brodsky, written at some point during his stay in Paris from 12/24 February to 7/19 March 1888, has not come to light.
  2. Olga Lvovna Skadovskaya (married name: Picard; c. 1856–1940), younger sister of Adolph Brodsky's wife Anna. After completing her secondary education at a gymnasium in Kherson, she helped her sister Anna to teach peasant children at the school founded by the latter on their family's estate at Belozerka. She subsequently went with Anna to Paris, where they both enrolled at the Sorbonne, attended scientific lectures and worked at various laboratories. It was during the two sisters' stay in the French capital (1872–74) that Olga married her teacher, the chemist Gabriel Picard. They had a son who was christened Léon in honour of Olga's father, but in 1888 they divorced. Over the following years Olga was actively involved in revolutionary propaganda in Kherson province and often had to go into hiding. The tsarist secret police arrested her on several occasions and she was banished from her native district. Her brother Georgy Lvovich Skadovsky (1847–1919) managed to bail her out a number of times and get her released from prison. After the October Revolution in 1917 she lived in Odessa for a while, but in 1924 the Soviet authorities allowed her to emigrate to England so that she could join her sister Anna. She lived at the Brodskys' house in Bowdon, Cheshire, near Manchester (where her brother-in-law was principal of the Royal College of Music), until her death in 1940. Note based on information provided in Marina Stroganova's essay on the Skadovsky family in Воспоминания о русском доме (2006), p. 207.
  3. Tchaikovsky was very grateful for the warmth and hospitality which he had been shown by the Brodskys at their house in Leipzig when he arrived at the city on 19/31 December 1887 to open his first concert tour of Western Europe, and he spoke of Brodsky, his wife Anna, and her sister Olga in glowing terms in several of his letters and diary entries from that period, and also in the Autobiographical Account of a Tour Abroad (1888).
  4. Tchaikovsky's two principal conducting engagements in Paris were the 16th Châtelet concert on 21 February/4 March 1888, at which he conducted the Serenade for String Orchestra, Andante cantabile and Nocturne (soloist Anatoly Brandukov), the Concert Fantasia (soloist Louis Diémer) and the Theme and Variations from Suite No. 3; and the the 18th Châtelet concert on 28 February/11 March 1888, at which he conducted the Theme and Variations from Suite No. 3 again, as well as the Violin Concerto (soloist Martin Pierre Marsick), Francesca da Rimini, Nocturne (soloist Brandukov), and two movements from the Serenade for String Orchestra. In London he conducted a concert of his own works at the Saint James's Hall on 10/22 March 1888, featuring the Serenade for String Orchestra, and the Theme and Variations from Suite No. 3.
  5. See Letter 3499 to Edvard Grieg, written in Paris on 19 February/2 March 1888. Grieg did in fact receive this letter in Leipzig, although he did not answer it until 12/24 April 1888. A facsimile of Grieg's letter to Tchaikovsky (written in German) has been published online by Bergen Public Library.