Letter 152

Date early/mid October 1869 [1]
Addressed to Mily Balakirev
Where written Moscow
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 11, л. 19–20)
Publication Переписка М. А. Балакирева и П. И. Чайковского (1868-1891) [1912], p. 40 (dated "October")
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 175–176
Милий Алексеевич Балакирев. Воспоминания и письма (1962), p. 139 ("early October 1869, but not before 7th")

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Посылаю Вам, голубчик, всё, что есть. Интродукция «Руслана» здесь исполнялась с пропусками, а голоса брали из театра. Виолонч[ельного] конц[ерта] тоже нет; но, кажется, он имеется у Коссмана, к которому я сейчас за ним посылаю, и если Вы вместе с сим его получите, то значит Коссман согласился его Вам дать.

Пишу Вам эти строки наскоро, — иду в класс, а потому обнимаю Вас и остаюсь Ваш.

П. Чайковский

Ваше милое письмо я получил, и благотворное влияние его уже действует.

I am sending you, golubchik, everything I could find [2]. The Introduction to Ruslan has always been performed here [in Moscow] with abridgements, and we used to borrow the parts from the theatre. We don't have the Cello Concerto either, but I think Cossmann [3] may have it, so I shall now send someone over to him to ask. If you receive the concerto together with this letter, it means Cossmann has consented to give it to you.

I am writing these lines in a rush as I have to head for the Conservatory to take my class, and so I embrace you and remain yours

P. Tchaikovsky

I received your nice letter, and its beneficial influence is already having an effect [4].

Notes and References

  1. This undated letter could not have been written before 5/17 October (the earliest Tchaikovsky could have received Mily Balakirev's letter from the previous day, to which he referred).
  2. In the letter to which Tchaikovsky is replying here, Balakirev had asked him to send the orchestral parts for a number of works which were to be included in forthcoming concerts of the Free Music School in Saint Petersburg. Among the scores requested were the Introduction to Glinka's opera Ruslan and Lyudmila (without abridgements, Balakirev specified) and Schumann's Cello Concerto. The musical societies of Saint Petersburg and Moscow often had to share orchestral scores in this way.
  3. Bernhard Cossmann (1822–1910), German cellist; he was a professor at the Moscow Conservatory at the time.
  4. Tchaikovsky is referring to Balakirev's earlier letter of 4/16 October 1869, in which the older composer had urged him not to lose heart on account of the dearth of ideas which had prevented him from making a start on the Romeo and Juliet overture (the subject for which had been suggested by Balakirev that summer). In this letter Balakirev explained how he had worked on his King Lear overture; he also provided the sketch of a "fierce Allegro [depicting] sabre blows" with which he would start the overture on Romeo and Juliet if he were writing it himself. All this was intended to spur Tchaikovsky's imagination. See Balakirev's letter in: Милий Алексеевич Балакирев. Воспоминания и письма (1962), p. 136–139.