Letter 18

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 19/31 March 1851
Addressed to Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya and Ilya Tchaikovsky
Where written Saint Petersburg
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 19–20)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 21
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 24 (dated 18 March)
Notes Postscript to a letter from Nikolay Tchaikovsky dated 19 March 1851

Text and Translation

Spelling and punctuation errors in the original text have not been indicated.

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Прекрасные мои Папаша и Мамаша!

Я очень был рад что сегодня получил письмо в котором мы нашли много приятного и весёлого. Вы были в Ирбите как вы пишете? Ах я очень помню, как прошлой раз я был в Ирбите с папашей и очень веселился! Мы были в кабинете восковых фигур и в выставке стеклянных вещей. Я все очень хорошо это помню.

На прошедшей недели мы говели и третьего дня исповедывались а вчера причащались.

Очень, очень прошу вас приехать в Июне потому что вы обещали приехать в этом месяце.

Прекрасные и милые мои ангелы я очень скучаю без вас! Занятия мои идут очень хорошо.

Поцелуйте за меня и поблагодарите Сашу и Полю за их милое письмо. Толю и Модю также поцелуйте и всех кузин. Тётю Лизу и Сестрицу также Настасью Петровну и Лидиньку поцелуйте. Мине и Каролине кланяйтесь. Последней скажите, что у меня была Антонида и сказала, что у неё родилась дочка. Прошу вашего благословления. Ваш сын,

Пётр Чайковский

My wonderful Papasha and Mamasha!

I was very glad that today I received a letter in which we found so many pleasant and cheerful things. So you were at Irbit [1], as you wrote? Ah, I remember very well how I was at Irbit last time with papasha and how I had so much fun! We went to the waxworks and to an exhibition of glass products. I remember all that very well.

Last week we fasted, the day before yesterday we made confession, and yesterday we received communion.

I urge you very, very much to come in June, because you promised to come in that month.

My wonderful and dear angels, I am very sad without you! My studies are going very well.

Kiss for me and thank Sasha and Polya for their sweet letter. Kiss also Tolya and Modya and all my cousins. Aunt Liza and Sestritsa [2] likewise, and kiss also Nastasya Petrovna [3] and Lidinka [4]. Give my regards to Mina [5] and Karolina [6]. Tell the latter that Antonida [7] visited me and told me she had had a daughter. I ask for your blessing. Your son,

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Irbit is a small town to the east of the Urals, some 200 km from Yekaterinburg. Throughout the nineteenth century the Irbit fair (held annually in winter) was one of the most important in Russia, attracting tea and fur merchants from Siberia. In March 1850, when he was still in Alapayevsk, young Pyotr had visited the Irbit fair — see Letter 7 to Fanny Dürbach.
  2. 'Sestritsa', or 'little sister', was the affectionate name for Tchaikovsky's cousin, Anastasiya Vasilyevna Popova (1807–1894), the daughter of Ilya Tchaikovsky's older sister Yevdokiya Popova.
  3. Anastasiya Petrovna Petrova (1824–1893) had joined the Tchaikovsky family in Alapayevsk on 24 November/6 December 1849 as a governess, specifically with the task of preparing Pyotr for the School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg. After spending some three years with the Tchaikovskys she worked as a governess in various other families, but returned to her first employer in 1859, when she took charge of the twins, Anatoly and Modest.
  4. The composer's cousin Lidiya Vladimirovna Tchaikovskaya (married name Olkhovskaya; 1836-1892) was the daughter of Ilya Tchaikovsky's elder brother, Vladimir. She lost her mother when she was quite little, in 1842, and was effectively adopted by Ilya and his wife Aleksandra.
  5. Vilgelmina ('Mina') was a younger sister of Tchaikovsky's cousin Amaliya Schobert (later Litke).
  6. Karolina was the nanny in charge of the composer's younger siblings Aleksandra and Ippolit.
  7. An unidentified person, possibly a relative of Karolina's who had also been employed in the Tchaikovsky household.