Letter 4855

Tchaikovsky Research
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Date 3/15 February–4/16 February 1893
Addressed to Charles Villiers Stanford
Where written Klin
Language French
Autograph Location London (England): Royal College of Music (MS 4253, No. 158)
Publication Советская музыка (1965), No. 9, p. 49–50
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XVII (1981), p. 29–30

Text and Translation

French text
(original)
English translation
By Brett Langston
Kline, près Moscou

Cher collègue!

Je viens de rentrer chez moi, après un assez long voyage, — et, part un concours de circonstances défavorables, ce n'est qu'aujourd'hui que je reçois Vos trois lettres, qui au lieu de m'être envoyées, m'ont attendu.

Je m'empresse de Vous annoncer, cher collègue, — que je m'en remets à Vous pour le choix du morceau à executer au concert de Cambridge. Puisque Vous avez déjà annoncé mon concerto pour piano, — je ne demande pas mieux que de l'exécuter. Je serai très content de faire la connaissance de Mr Borwic, mais en cas que cet artiste manquerait à Votre invitation, je Vous recommende Sapelnikoff, que justement sera en Angleterre quand j'y viendrai pour la répetition de Londres. En attendant que j'aie le plaisir et l'honneur de renouveller personnellement Votre agreable connaissance je suis, cher collègue.

Votre devoue serviteur,

P. Tschaikovsky

Pardon! Je viens de relire Votre lettre de Milan et vois que le concerto ne peut être joue. Arrêtons nous donc à une de mes Symphonische Dichtungen. Je Vous propose "Francesca da Rimini", qui cependant est difficile et exige un orchestre de premier ordre. Quant à la Sérénade pour cordes, — je crois qu'elle dure plus de 20 minutes. Laissez moi jouer "Francesca", c'est un oeuvre que je préfère à toutes celles que j'ai faites dans ce genre.

Klin, near Moscow

Dear colleague!

I have just returned home after a rather long journey, and, due to a combination of adverse circumstances, it was only today that I received your three letters, which awaited me here instead of being sent on to me.

I hasten to inform you, dear colleague, that I defer to your judgement in selecting the piece to be performed at the concert in Cambridge. In view of the fact that you have already announced my piano concerto, I could ask for nothing better if it were to be performed. I should be very happy to make the acquaintance of Mr Borwic, but in the event that this artist declines your invitation, I would recommend Sapelnikov to you, who it so happens will be in England while I am attending the rehearsal in London. In the meantime I shall have the pleasure and honour of renewing our personal acquaintance, dear colleague.

Your devoted servant,

P. Tchaikovsky

Forgive me! I have just re-read your letter from Milan and see that it is not possible to play the concerto. Therefore let us settle on one of my symphonic poems. I propose "Francesca da Rimini" to you, which is, however, difficult, and requires an orchestra of the first order. As for the Serenade for Strings, I think it lasts for more than 20 minutes. Allow me then to play "Francesca", which is the work I prefer above all of mine in this genre.