Letter 2553

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 20 September/2 October 1884
Addressed to Sergey Taneyev
Where written Pleshcheyevo
Language Russian
Autograph Location Moscow: Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (ф. 880)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 114
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XII (1970), p. 443

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
20 сент[ября]

Милый Сергей Иванович!

Пьеса к субботе готова не будет; я не приеду. Когда справлюсь и соберусь в Москву, дам Вам знать.

П. Чайковский

Ничего, что Ваша партитура ещё несколько дней останется?

20 September

The piece won't be ready by Saturday: I shan't be coming [1]}. When I have wound it up and am ready to go to Moscow, I shall let you know.

P. Tchaikovsky

Do you mind if your score [2] remains here for a few more days?

Notes and References

  1. Tchaikovsky was then working on the orchestration of his Concert Fantasia (a task which he would complete at Pleshcheyevo on 24 September/6 October), but during an earlier meeting with Taneyev in Moscow on 2/14 or 3/15 September he seems to have given his former student a copy of the piano part so that he could start studying it, since Tchaikovsky very much hoped that his new work could be premiered by Taneyev at a Russian Musical Society concert before the end of the year. This did not work out, though, and the Concert Fantasia was not premiered until 22 February/6 March 1885 at a concert in Moscow conducted by Max Erdmannsdörfer and with Taneyev as the soloist.
  2. The score of the first movement of Taneyev's Third Symphony in D minor. Taneyev had completed his new symphony in outline in late March/early April 1884, and had played it to his former teacher in Moscow on 26 August/7 September (see Tchaikovsky's Letter 2538 to his brother Modest on 1/13 September 1884; and Taneyev's letter of 28 August/9 September 1884 to Varvara Maslova in П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 395). At one of his subsequent meetings with Tchaikovsky in Moscow (on 2/14-3/15 September and mid/late September) Taneyev had evidently given him the full score of the first movement which he wanted him to look over. Tchaikovsky would provide a detailed appraisal of the opening movement and its orchestration in letter 2560 to Taneyev, 28 September/10 October 1884. Taneyev completed the orchestration of the remaining movements on 4/16 October. The symphony, which was dedicated to Anton Arensky but was never published, was first performed at a Russian Musical Society concert in Moscow on 26 January/7 February 1885, conducted by Taneyev himself. For more information on Taneyev's Third Symphony, see Sergey Popov, «Неизданные сочинения и работы С. И. Танеева — Археографический очерк» (Unpublished compositions and works by S. I. Taneyev. An archaeographical outline) in Сергей Иванович Танеев. Личность, творчество и документы его жизни (Moscow / Leningrad, 1925), p. 145–149.