Letter 3462a

Date 7/19 January 1888
Addressed to Marie von Bülow
Where written Hamburg
Language French
Autograph Location unknown [1]
Publication Tschaikowsky-Gesellschaft Mitteilungen (2016), p. 74-75

Text and Translation

French text
(original)
English translation
By Brett Langston
Hambourg
19 Janvier [18]88

Madame!

J'ai eu ce matin une répétition à 9 heures; j'en aurai une autre à 2 et à 6 heures je suis invité à diner chez M[onsieu]r Rahter. C'est un diner qu'il m'est impossible de manquer, car c'est pour me fêter qu'il a la complaisance de le donner. Il demeure bien loin! Dieu sait quand je pourrai parvenir jusqu'au théatre! Quelle malchance!! Mon opera de prédilection, conduit par Hans von Bulow, — et cependant je n'y pourrai assister!!! Je ferai tout au monde pour venir, ne fût-ce que pour le 2me ou même le 3me acte, mais je n'ose retenir le billet que Vous m'avez gracieusement accedé. Quelqu'un en profitera peut-ètre et je crois de mon devoir de Vous le renvoyer. Merci, merci, Madame, et veuillez croire à mon profond regret de ne pouvoir jouir de cette belle soirée, comme je l'aurais desiré.

Madame, veuillez croire aux expressions de mon très profond respect.

P. Tschaïkovsky

P. S. Veuillez transmettre mes chaleureuses salutations à M[onsieu]r Votre mari.

Hamburg
19 January 1888

Madame!

I had a rehearsal this morning at 9 o'clock; I will be having another at 2, and at 6 o'clock I have been invited to dinner with Monsieur Rahter. This is a dinner which it is impossible for me to miss, because he has arranged for it to be given in my honour. He lives a long way away! God knows when I could manage to come to the theatre! What bad luck! My favourite opera, conducted by Hans von Bülow, and yet I am unable to attend!!! I shall do everything in the world to come, if only for the 2nd or even the 3rd act, but I dare not retain the ticket which you have graciously obtained. Perhaps someone else may benefit, and I believe it is my duty to return it to you. Thank you, thank you, Madame, and please accept my profound apologies that I am unable to spend this beautiful evening as I would have wished [2].

Madame, please be assured of my feelings of the most profound respect.

P. Tchaikovsky

P. S. Please convey my warmest regards to your husband.

Notes and References

  1. The autograph waas sold in 2015 by J. A. Stargardt, Berlin — see J. A. Stargardt. Autographen aus allen Gebieten. Katalog 702. Auktion am 24. und 25. März 2015 (2015), p. 324, Lot 630 [1]. In December 2015 the autograph was offered for sale again by the Xiling Yinshe Auction Company in Beijing [2].
  2. Tchaikovsky was evidently replying to a letter from Marie von Bülow which has not survived, inviting him to a performance of Bizet's opera Carmen at the Hamburg Opera Theatre.