Letter 28

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 17/29 June 1851
Addressed to Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya and Ilya Tchaikovsky
Where written Nadino
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 41–42)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 30
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 34
Notes Spelling and punctuation errors in the original text have not been indicated.

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
17 июня

Ещё ещё просьба Ангел золотой Мамашичка приеждайте с Папашей. Без вас не будет полный рай.

Тетя Лиза, Сестрица, Зина, Саша, Поля, Толя, Модя, Маля, Мина, Катя, Лидичка, Настасья Петровна, встаньте на колени и просите то что вы наверно знаете.

Ваш, Попка

17th June

One more request, golden Angel, Mamashichka: come with Papasha. Without you it won't be a complete paradise [1].

Aunt Liza, Sestritsa [2], Zina, Sasha, Polya, Tolya, Modya, Malya, Mina, Katya [3], Lidichka [4], Nastasya Petrovna [5], get on your knees and beg for you know what.

Yours, Popka [6]

Notes and References

  1. In letters to his parents throughout his first year in the School of Jurisprudence's preparatory class (September 1850-May 1851), young Pyotr had been imploring them to come and visit him in Saint Petersburg. For a while he had even hoped that his whole family would come to the Imperial capital that summer to stay there for good. Ultimately, in 1851, it was only Ilya Tchaikovsky who was able to make the long journey from Alapayevsk to visit his two sons, Pyotr and Nikolay (for three weeks in September). However, in May 1852 the Tchaikovskys would finally make the move to Saint Petersburg, and the family was reunited again.
  2. 'Sestritsa', or 'little sister', was the affectionate name for Tchaikovsky's much older cousin, Anastasiya Vasilyevna Popova (1807–1894), the daughter of Ilya Tchaikovsky's older sister Yevdokiya Popova.
  3. Vilgelmina ('Mina') and Yekaterina ('Katia') were younger sisters of Tchaikovsky's cousin Amaliya Schobert (later Litke).
  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. 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.
  6. Literally "parrot; Polly". As we find out from Letter 30, it was Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya who called her son by this affectionate name.