Letter 19

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 7/19 April 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. 21–22)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 21–22
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 25
Notes Postscript to a letter from Nikolay Tchaikovsky

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!

С большим сожалением я должен уведомить вас что добрейшие Модест Алексеевич и Надежда Платоновна уезжают в Камен-Подольск, где и останутся жить совсем. Скоро будут каникулы именно в мае и нам не к кому будет идти. Прошу вас приехать нам будет очень скучно но если вы мои прекрасные Ангелы не приедите, то мы будем очень скучать. Я думаю, что ваши добрые сердечки сжалятся над нами и приедите. Но во всяком случае ваш приезд необходим по многим причинам. И так ждём вас в Июне месяце непремено!

Поцелуйте за меня тётю Лизу, Сестрицу, Настасью Петровну, Лидиньку и милых сестёр и братьев расцеловать миллионы раз.

Прощайте милые мои родители прошу вашего Благословления. Ваш сын,

Пётр Чайковский

My wonderful Papasha and Mamasha!

To my great regret I must inform you that most kind Modest Alekseyevich and Nadezhda Platonovna are leaving for Kamen-Podolsk, where they are going to stay for good [1]. Soon there will be holidays — namely in May — and we won't have anyone we can go and stay with. I urge you to come — [otherwise] it will be very sad for us — but if you, my wonderful Angels, do not come, then we shall be very sad. I think that your kind little hearts will take pity on us and that you will come. But in any case, it is essential for many reasons that you should come here. And so we are expecting you in June without fail!

Kiss for me Aunt Liza, Sestritsa [2], Nastasya Petrovna [3], Lidinka [4], and smother with a million kisses my dear sisters and brothers.

Goodbye, my dear parents; I ask for your blessing.

Your son
Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Modest Alekseyevich Vakar was a friend of Ilya Tchaikovsky's who had agreed to act as the guardian of young Pyotr after his enrolment in the Imperial School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg in September 1850, as well as to keep an eye on his brother Nikolay, two years his senior, who was attending the city's Mining College. Although both these institutions were boarding-schools, Pyotr and Nikolay were allowed to stay at the Vakars' house on Sundays and during holidays. Nadezhda Platonovna was their guardian's wife. After Modest Vakar's departure from Saint Petersburg another close friend of Ilya Tchaikovsky's, Ivan Ivanovich Veits, was asked to look after the two brothers .
  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.