Letter 194

Date 1/13 June 1870
Addressed to Mily Balakirev
Where written Soden
Language Russian
Autograph Location Saint Petersburg (Russia): National Library of Russia (ф. 834, ед. хр. 11, л. 41–42)
Publication Переписка М. А. Балакирева и П. И. Чайковского (1868-1891) [1912], p. 59
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том V (1959), p. 218–219
Милий Алексеевич Балакирев. Воспоминания и письма (1962), p. 153–154.

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Соден, 13/1 июня 1870 г[ода]

Милый друг! Я напутал в исполнении Вашего поручения. Оказалось, что, так как вещи мои были адресованы прямо в Париж, то я не мог остаться ни единого дня в Берлине

Думал в антракте между приездом и отъездом найти возможность забежать к Таузигу, — но и этого не мог сделать, так как антракт был весьма краток, и я едва имел время переехать с одного вокзала на другой.

Пишу отсюда к Таузигу с объяснением, почему я не мог передать лично Ваше письмо.

Я только что приехал в местечко Соден. Здесь очень грустно: много больных, и местность мрачная. Впрочем, буду много заниматься и отдыхать от зимних утомлений и нравственных потрясений.

Через несколько времени напишу Вам обстоятельнее, а покамест крепко Вас обнимаю.

П. Чайковский

Адрес: Soden (Nassau) neben Frankfurt-am-Main.

Не берите у Альбрехта партитуры моего хора; я хочу среднюю часть совершенно переделать.

Soden, 1/13 June 1870

Dear friend! I made a mess of the execution of your request. It turned out that, since my things had been addressed directly to Paris, I couldn't stay a single day in Berlin.

I had thought that during the interval between my arrival and departure I would have a chance to drop in on Tausig, but even that I was unable to do, because the interval was extremely short, and I hardly had enough time to make the transfer from one station to the other [1].

I shall write to Tausig from here, explaining why I couldn't hand your letter over to him personally [2].

I have just arrived in the small town of Soden. It is very sad here: there are lots of sick people and the place is gloomy. Anyway, I shall be working a lot, as well as resting from my winter fatigue and moral commotions [3].

A bit later I shall write to you again in more detail, but for the time being I embrace you tightly.

P. Tchaikovsky

Address: Soden (Nassau), near Frankfurt-am-Main.

Don't ask Albrecht for the scores of my chorus [4]: I want to revise the middle section completely.

Notes and References

  1. It is not clear what the request which Tchaikovsky was supposed to convey to the Polish pianist, arranger, and composer Carl Tausig (1841–1871), who was then based in Berlin, consisted in, because it was discussed orally during Tchaikovsky's meeting with Balakirev in Saint Petersburg before his departure from Russia. During one of Tausig's concerts in Saint Petersburg, on 4/16 March 1870, Balakirev had conducted Mendelssohn's overture Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt — note based on information provided by Aleksandra Orlova in Милий Алексеевич Балакирев. Воспоминания и письма (1962), p. 195.
  2. This letter from Tchaikovsky to Carl Tausig has not survived.
  3. By "winter fatigue" Tchaikovsky is referring to his teaching work at the Moscow Conservatory. By "moral commotions" it seems that he above all had in mind the Imperial Theatres Directorate's refusal to produce his opera Undina, which upset him greatly — note by Aleksandra Orlova in: Милий Алексеевич Балакирев. Воспоминания и письма (1962), p. 195.
  4. The Chorus of Flowers and Insects from the projected opera Mandragora.