Letter 3473a

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 13/25 January 1888
Addressed to Karel Halíř [1]
Where written Magdeburg
Language German
Autograph Location unknown [2]
Publication Tschaikowsky-Gesellschaft Mitteilungen, Heft 22 (2015), p. 112 (excerpt only)

Text and Translation

This incomplete text is based on the extract published in Sotheby's 1985 auction catalogue [3], which may contain differences in formatting and content from Tchaikovsky's original letter.

German text
English translation
By Brett Langston
[...] Aber ich bin so schrecklich müde, meine Nerven brauchen so sehr Erholung, besonders da ich jetzt in Berlin und Prag zwei so grosse Concerte zu dirigiren habe, dass ich muss irgendwo ganz still bleiben. Verzeihen Sie es mir [...]
P. Tschaikovsky

[...] But I am so terribly tired, my nerves in need of so much recuperation, especially since I now have to conduct two large concerts in Berlin and Prague, that I need to rest quietly somewhere. Please excuse me [...]
P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. In Čajkovskijana aus alten Auktionskatalogen (2015), p. 111-112, Luis Sundkvist suggests that the addressee could have been the German conductor and composer Jean Louis Nicodé (1853-1919). However, this is now believed to have been a reply to Karel Halíř's invitation of 10 January 1888 [N.S.], asking Tchaikovsky to conduct at an additional concert during his German tour. Halíř's original invitation, as well as his reply to Tchaikovsky of 16/28 January 1888 are both preserved in the Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve at Klin (a4, Nos. 504 and 505).
  2. The autograph was auctioned in May 1985 by Sotheby's, London, where it was described as "Autograph letter signed ("P. Tschaikovsky"), in German, to a conductor, expressing his regret that he will not be present at a concert of his music on the following day, giving reasons for this ... and requesting an account of the performance. 2 pages, 8vo, skilfully reassembled and repaired after being torn into several pieces, integral complete.
  3. Sotheby's, Music, Continental Manuscripts and Printed Books. Thursday 9th May 1985 and Friday 10th May 1985 (London, 1985), Lot 213.