Letter 6

Tchaikovsky Research
Date December 1849
Addressed to Fanny Dürbach
Where written Alapayevsk
Language French
Autograph Location unknown
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 9 (French text with Russian translation)
П. И. Чайковский. Забытое и новое (1995), p. 45 (Russian translation; dated by Modest Tchaikovsky to mid/late June 1849)
Notes Manuscript copy in: Klin (Russia): Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve

Text and Translation

Based on a manuscript copy in the Klin House-Museum Archive made by Modest Tchaikovsky, which may contain differences in formatting and content from Tchaikovsky's original letter. Spelling and punctuation errors in the French text have not been indicated.

French text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Ma très chère et bonne m[ademois]elle Fanny

Il y a longtemps que je n'ai eu le plaisir de lire votre ecriture. C'est avec une vive inquietude que nous attendions votre lettre, mais toute attente etait vaine; et voila que nous vous ecrivons encore une fois pour savoir ce que vous êtes devenu. Mon frère Nicolas apprend tres bien; quand je serai dans la pension je tacherai de suivre son exemple. Vous savez comme je vous aime ma chère et bien aimée gouvernante et vous pouvez vous imaginer comme je serai heureux de vous revoir. Je pense avec regret que le temp que j'ai passé a Votka est passé si vite. Rappelez vous combien j'etais heureux de recevoir le ruban-rouge? Adieu ma bonne Fanny je vous aime bien tendremment.

Sacha et Pola vous embrassent ainsi que vôtre obeissant éléve.


My very dear and good Mademoiselle Fanny

For a long time now I have not had the pleasure of reading your handwriting. It is with a keen restlessness that we have been waiting for your letter, but all our waiting was in vain; and so we are writing to you once again to find out what has happened to you. My brother Nikolay is learning very well; when I am at the boarding-school I shall try to follow his example [1]. You know how I love you, my dear and much-loved governess, and you can imagine how happy I will be to see you again [2]. I think regretfully of how the time I spent at Votka passed so quickly. Do you remember how happy I was when I received the red ribbon? Farewell, my good Fanny, I love you very affectionately.

Sasha and Polya embrace you, as does your obedient pupil.


Notes and References

  1. Earlier that year, Pyotr's elder brother Nikolay had been placed in a boarding-school in Saint Petersburg where he was to be prepared for the entrance exams to the Mining College. Pyotr himself would be taken to Saint Petersburg in August of the following year: he was not enrolled in a private boarding-school, though, as Nikolay had been, but rather in the preparatory class of the School of Jurisprudence.
  2. In fact, this reunion between Fanny Dürbach and her beloved pupil would not take place until more than forty years later, when Tchaikovsky, now a world-famous composer, visited her in her native town of Montbéliard on New Year's Day 1893.