Letter 3708

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 25 October/6 November 1888
Addressed to Emiliya Pavlovskaya
Where written Moscow
Language Russian
Autograph Location Moscow (Russia): Bakhrushin State Central Theatre Museum (Pavlovskaya collection)
Publication Чайковский на Московской сцене (1940), p. 417–418
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XIV (1974), p. 577–578

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
25 окт[ября]

Дорогая, добрая, милая Эмилия Карловна!

Простите меня, ради Бога, — мне невозможно сегодня у Вас обедать, ибо как раз в это время я неизбежно должен быть на репетиции моего трио, которое сегодня исполняется в концерте. Очень, очень сожалею и умоляю не сердиться. Не будете ли Вы сегодня в концерте? Очень интересный концерт, и я бы очень советовал. Если же я сегодня вечером Вас не увижу, то говорю Вам: до свиданья, крепко целую Вашу ручку и прошу в следующий мой приезд не отказываться принимать меня в наказание за сегодняшний обман. Лелю Карловну и Сергея Евграфовича сжимаю в своих объятиях.

Ваш, П. Чайковский

P. S. Вчера на меня произвела колоссальное впечатление Ермолова в новой пиэсе Шпажинского. Право у неё есть искра гениальности. Непременно побывайте в Малом театре, когда дадут опять эту пиэсу.

Ещё раз до свидания. Я страшно сожалею, что не могу побывать у Вас сегодня. Завтра утром уезжаю.

25 October

Dear, good, and kind Emiliya Karlovna!

Forgive me, for God's sake — it is impossible for me to dine at your place today, because, as it happens, at that very time I must without fail attend the rehearsal of my trio, which is going to be performed at this evening's concert [1]. I am very, very sorry about this, and I implore you not to be angry. Will you be at the concert this evening? It is a very interesting programme, and I would very much recommend it. But if I do not see you this evening, let me say to you now: goodbye, I kiss your hands warmly and beg you not to refuse to receive me when I next come to Moscow, as you might be inclined to do by way of punishing me for my deception today. Here's a hug from me for Lelia Karlovna [2] and Sergey Yevgrafovich [3].

Yours, P. Tchaikovsky

P. S. Yesterday Yermolova made a colossal impression on me in Shpazhinsky's new play [4]. She certainly does possess the spark of genius. You must definitely go to the Maly Theatre the next time that this play is performed.

Once again, until we meet! I'm terribly sorry that I cannot come to you today. I'm leaving tomorrow morning.

Notes and References

  1. On 25 October/6 November 1888 Tchaikovsky attended a concert at the Assembly of the Nobility in Moscow, at which, among other works by him and other composers, his Piano Trio was played by Aleksandr Ziloti, the violinist Karel Halíř (1859–1909), and Karl Davydov.
  2. Emiliya Pavlovskaya's younger sister, Yelena, who was training to become a singer.
  3. Pavlovskaya's husband, Sergey Yevgrafovich Pavlovsky (1846–1915), was also a singer (a baritone) and had performed the minor role of the sorcerer Kudma at the premiere of The Enchantress at the Saint Petersburg Mariinsky Theatre on 20 October/1 November 1887.
  4. On 24 October/5 November 1888 Ippolit Shpazhinsky's drama In Old Age (В старые годы) was premiered at the Moscow Maly Theatre, with Mariya Yermolova in the role of Klavdiya — note by Vasily Kiselev in Чайковский на московской сцене (1940), p. 418.