Letter 4613

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 3/15 February 1892
Addressed to Ivan Vsevolozhsky
Where written Maydanovo
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): Russian State Historical Archive (ф. 652, оп. 1, д. 608, л. 48)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XVI-Б (1979), p. 34–35

Text and Translation

Based on a typed copy, which may contain differences in formatting and content from Tchaikovsky's original letter.

Russian text
English translation
By Brett Langston
3 февраля 1892 г[ода]
г[ород] Клин, Моск[овской) губ[ернии]

Многоуважаемый, дорогой Иван Александрович!

Дочь арфиста Цабеля (фамилию её по мужу я позабыл) явится к Вам с просьбой принять её на императорскую сцену и просит предварительно замолвить о ней словечко. Я слышал её пение зимой в частной опере, в Москве, в роли королевы в «Гугенотах». Она обладает хорошей колоратурой, при весьма небольшом голосе и наружности..., но Вы её увидите. Вот и всё, что могу сказать. Простите, что беспокою, — но должен исполнить просьбу дочери артиста, которого высоко уважаю.

Усердно работаю над инструментовкой балета, отрывки коего Вы услышите в концерте, ....... если полюбопытствуете. Страшно буду рад, если Вам понравится.

До свиданья, будьте здоровы!

Преданный и глубоко уважающий Вас,

П. Чайковский

3 February 1892
Town of Klin, Moscow province

Most respected, dear Ivan Aleksandrovich!

A daughter of the harpist Zabel (I forget her married surname) will be appearing before you with a request to take her onto the Imperial stage, and has asked me to put in a good word for her beforehand. I heard her singing in the winter in a private opera in Moscow, in the role of the queen in "Les Hugenots". She has good coloratura, with a very small voice and appearance... [1], but you will see. That is all I can say. I am sorry to bother you, but I had to comply with the request from the daughter of an artist who is so highly respected [2].

I am working diligently on the instrumentation of the ballet, extracts from which you will hear in the concert, ....... [3] if you have the opportunity to enjoy it.

Until we meet, keep well!

Your devoted and deeply respectful,

P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. The ellipses are reproduced as given in the typed copy of this letter.
  2. Albert Zabel (1834-1910), a German-born harpist, composer and music professor, who was a soloist in the Maryinsky Theatre orchestra; On 29 October/10 November 1891 Tchaikovsky heard a certain "E. A. Zabel-Rashat" perform the role of the queen in a Moscow production of Meyerbeer's opera Les Hugenots, given by Mikhail Lentovsky's opera company.
  3. The ellipses are reproduced as given in the typed copy of this letter. Tchaikovsky was orchestrating eight numbers to create a Suite from the ballet The Nutcracker, which he was to conduct at the ninth symphony concert of the Saint Petersburg branch of the Russian Musical Society on 7/19 March 1892.