Natalya Alekseyeva

Niece of the composer (b. 1876; d. 1970), born Natalya Ippolitovna Chaykovskaya (Наталья Ипполитовна Чайковская); known after her marriage as Natalya Ippolitovna Alekseyeva (Наталья Ипполитовна Алексеева). Known affectionately to the composer as Tata or Tasya.

Natalya was the only child of the composer's brother Ippolit Tchaikovsky and his wife Sofya. She married Nikolay Ivanovich Alekseyev (1868–1919), a guards officer, and they had three daughters — Mariana, Irina, and Kseniya (who was also known as Oksana).

After serving in the First World War, during which he was promoted to major-general in 1916, Natalya's husband Nikolay was demobilised in 1918 and returned to live with his family in Moscow. He joined an underground anti-Soviet organization, but was arrested by the Cheka (the Soviet secret police) in Petrograd and executed on 23 September 1919. He is reputedly buried in a common grave at the Kalitnikovskoye Cemetery in Moscow.

During the 1950s Natalya Alekseyeva translated Fanny Dürbach's letters to Tchaikovsky and his brothers from French into Russian, and her translations have been used in a number of publications to this day [1]. She also wrote down her reminiscences of her famous uncle which have not yet been published in full; the manuscript is held in the archives of the Tchaikovsky House-Museum at Klin [2].

Notes and References

  1. For example, in the Soviet compilation of letters written to Tchaikovsky by various foreign correspondents Чайковский и зарубежные музыканты (1970), p. 127–134, which includes slightly abridged translations of seven letters from Fanny Dürbach to the composer, dating from 1892 to 1893; and, more recently, in Дорогая Фанничка. Из переписки Чайковских с Ф. Дюрбах (2009), which includes complete Russian translations of all twelve of Fanny Dürbach's letters to the composer; one letter to Nikolay Tchaikovsky; and twelve letters to Modest Tchaikovsky, dating from 1894 to 1900.
  2. See Воспоминания о П. И. Чайковском (1980), p. 417, where a brief extract is cited.