Letter 29

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 25 June/7 July 1851
Addressed to Aleksandra Tchaikovskaya and Ilya Tchaikovsky
Where written Nadino
Language French
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 33, л. 39–40)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Письма к родным (1940), p. 30–31
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 34

Text and Translation

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

French text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Mes trés chers Papa et Maman!

Avant hier M[onsieur] Platon était venu ici à la campagne. Et aujourd'hui il part. Vous vous fachez pourquoi je vous écris si rarement, mais je ne suis pas en ville mes deux anges et je ne puis pas vous écrire si souvent. Mais si vous saviez ma position? Voila déja la quatrième semaine que je suis à la campagne et je n'ai pas reçu de vos nouvelles; mais dans la dernière lettre vous m'avez écrit que Maman et Modya sont malades c'est ce qui me dérange beaucoup. Et c'est pourquoi je prie Dieu pour qu'il vous donne de la santé.

Vendredi le 29 serra mon jour de nom. Ce sera la 1-ère fois que je passerai se jour sans vous. Mais je me réjouirez en me rappellant comme j'ai passé gaiement ce jour l'année passée, et en attendant le moix de Septembre dans le quel je verrais et j'embrasserai mes deux anges.

Baisez pour mois la main de ma chère tante Lyse, Зина, Сестрица, et Lydie, et tous mes petits anges dont je n'éspére pas revoir bien tôt.

Adieu mes anges consolateurs. Je prie votre bénédiction. Votre fils,


le 25 Juin l'an 1851. Lundi

My very dear Papa and Mama!

The day before yesterday, Mr Platon arrived here in the countryside [1]. And today he is leaving. You are angry with me for writing to you so infrequently, but I am not in town, my two angels, and I cannot write to you so often. If you knew about my situation, though. For this is already the fourth week that I am in the country and I haven't had any news from you; in your last letter, though, you wrote that Mama and Modya are ill, and this is upsetting me very much. That is why I am praying to God that He may give you health.

Friday the 29th is my name-day. It will be the first time that I shall spend this day without you. However, I shall rejoice in recollecting how merrily I spent that day last year, and in awaiting September, when I shall get to see and embrace my two angels [2].

Kiss for me the hands of my dear Aunt Liza, Zina, Sestritsa [3] and Lidiya [4], and all my little angels whom I do not expect to see again so soon.

Goodbye, my comforting angels. I ask for your blessing. Your son,


25th of June 1851. Monday.

Notes and References

  1. Young Pyotr was spending the summer holidays on a country estate at Nadino, not far from Saint Petersburg which belonged to the mother of Mariya Petrovna Vakar (née Markova), the wife of his guardian Platon Alekseyevich Vakar (1826-1899).
  2. In letters to his parents throughout his first year in the School of Jurisprudence's preparatory class (September 1850-May 1851), 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.
  3. '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.
  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.