Letter 4841

Date 4/16 January 1893
Addressed to Karl von Ledebur
Where written Paris
Language French
Autograph Location unknown
Publication Aus meinem Tagebuche. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Schweriner Hoftheaters 1883-1897 (1897), p. 175–176
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XVII (1981), p. 14–15

Text and Translation

Based upon the first publication by Karl von Ledebur in Aus meinem Tagebuche. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des Schweriner Hoftheaters 1883-1897 (1897), p. 175–176, which may contain differences in formatting and content from Tchaikovsky's original letter.

French text
(original)
English translation
By Brett Langston
Paris
16 janvier 1893

Monsieur l'Intendant!

C'est maintenant seulement que Votre si aimable lettre écrite le 25 Déc[embre], après de longues pérégrinations est arrivée jusqu'a moi. Vous ne sauriez croire, Monsieur, combien il m'a été pénible de renoncer au grand plaisir et à l'honneur insigne de paraître sur les planches du Théâtre Grand-ducal devant le public de Schwerin. Mais j'ai dû obéir aux exigences de ma santé assez sérieusement compromise grâce à un concours de circonstances exceptionelles. J'ose espérer que peut-être dans un avenir plus ou moins rapproché j'aurai la chance de pouvoir réparer ma faute involontaire.

En attendant je Vous prie de croire aux sentiments de ma vive reconnaissance et du profond respect avec lesquels j'ai l'honneur d'être Votre bien dévoué serviteur.

P. Tschaikowsky

J'irai bientôt pour quelque temps dans le midi de la Russie et espère dans un mois rentrer chez moi et vivre quelque temps dans une retraite absolue.

Mon adresse est Moscou.

Paris
16 January 1893

Mister Director!

It is only now that your kind letter written on 25 December [1] has reached me, after a long journey. You cannot imagine, sir, of the heavy heart with which I had to decline the great pleasure and exceptional honour of appearing on the stage of the Grand-Ducal Theatre before the public of Schwerin [2]. But I am obliged to take the demands on my health quite seriously, owing to a combination of exceptional circumstances. I hope that perhaps in the more or less distant future I shall have the opportunity to make amends.

In the meantime I beg you to be assured of my feelings of gratitude and profound respect, with which I have the honour to be your most devoted servant.

P. Tchaikovsky

I shall soon be in the south of Russia for some time, and hope in a month to return home and live for a while in absolute seclusion.

My address is Moscow.

Notes and References

  1. Letter from Karl von Ledebur to Tchaikovsky, 13/25 December 1892.
  2. Following an initiative by the Hamburg-based impresario Bernhard Pollini, Karl von Ledebur staged Tchaikovsky's opera Iolanta at the Schwerin Hoftheater on 25 December 1892/6 January 1893, three days after the opera's first performance in Germany (in Hamburg), and just nineteen days after its world premiere in Saint Petersburg. Although Tchaikovsky had promised to attend the performance of his opera in Schwerin, he subsequently changed his mind and withdrew, citing concerns about his health.