Letter 191

Date between 10/22 and 14/26 May 1870 [1]
Addressed to Mily Balakirev
Where written Moscow
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 11, л. 39–40)
Publication Переписка М. А. Балакирева и П. И. Чайковского (1868-1891) [1912], p. 58
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 216–217 ("between 10 and 15 May 1870")
Милий Алексеевич Балакирев. Воспоминания и письма (1962), p. 153

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Милый друг!

Не пишу Вам много, ибо 17 или 18 числа буду проездом в Питере; я еду на часть лета за границу. Поручение Ваше будет исполнено в точности; очень, очень благодарю Вас за то, что вспомнили обо мне; а уж что я желаю Вам полного успеха, в этом Вы не сомневайтесь. Будьте здоровы и покойны; концерт, я уверен, удастся.

Итак, до свидания, голубчик.

П. Чайковский

Dear friend!

I am writing just briefly, because on the 17th or 18th I will be stopping over in Piter (I am going abroad for part of the summer) [2]. Your request will be carried out exactly as you stated. I am very, very grateful to you for having thought about me. You can be in no doubt of course that I wish you a complete success [3]. Bless you and don't worry: I am sure that the concert will be successful [4].

And so, until we meet, golubchik.

P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. This undated letter was written no earlier than 10/22 May 1870 (the earliest date on which Tchaikovsky could have received Balakirev's letter written the previous day, to which he refers), and before Tchaikovsky's telegram of 15/27 May 1870 (Letter 192).
  2. During his short stay in Saint Petersburg from 18/30 May to 21 May/2 June 1870 Tchaikovsky had frequent cordial meetings with Balakirev's circle.
  3. In his letter to Tchaikovsky of 9/21 May 1870, Balakirev had spoken of his intention to organize a popular concert of the Free Music School in Saint Petersburg on 24 May/5 June, in which he wanted to include the Dances of the Chambermaids from Tchaikovsky's opera The Voyevoda. Balakirev asked Tchaikovsky if he could arrange for additional copies to be made of the orchestral parts for the Dances and have them sent to Saint Petersburg as soon as possible. In his letter Balakirev also mentioned that he and his circle (that is, the "Mighty Handful") had been playing through the score of the overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet at all of their meetings, and that they were delighted by many things in this work. See Balakirev's letter in Милий Алексеевич Балакирев. Воспоминания и письма (1962), p. 152–153.
  4. Unfortunately, Balakirev's plans for a popular concert of the Free Music School did not work out in the end due to organizational difficulties. See also Tchaikovsky's Letter 193 to Nikolay Rubinstein, 18/30 May 1870.