Letter 3500

Date 19 February/2 March 1888
Addressed to Nikolay Konradi
Where written Paris
Language Russian
Autograph Location unknown
Publication П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 276
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XIV (1974), p. 370.
Notes Manuscript copy in Klin (Russia): Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve

Text and Translation

Based on a handwritten copy in the Klin House-Museum Archive, which may contain differences in formatting and content from Tchaikovsky's original letter.

Russian text
English translation
By Brett Langston
  19 ф[евраля]
2 марта [18]88 (нов[ого] стиля)

Голубчик Количка!

Я до сих пор не могу понять, едет Модя в Париж или нет. Пишу на всякий случай не ему, а тебе. Вот уже неделя что я в Париже. Принимают меня здесь очень радушно, но так измучили обедами, вечерами и визитами, что я подчас жизнь проклинаю. Концерт состоится послезавтра; репетиции уже были, и все идёт отлично. Во вторник был большой музыкальный вечер у русского богача Бенардаки. Было 300 человек избранного общества, и я дирижировал концертом. В газетах много писали об этом вечере и обо мне. Даже про мою наружность иные распространялись подробно. Следующий концерт будет 11 марта/28 февр[аля]. 20[-го] еду в Лондон; оттуда опять в Париж, где предполагается несколько концертов с моим участием. Об России даже и мечтать ещё не смею. Количка, целую тебя крепко. Если Модя не уехал, передам ему мои поцелуи и вообще всем родным и друзьям усердно кланяйся. Напиши пару словечек.

Посылаю Моде интересный автограф композитора Griegа, а также программу вечера у Бенардаки.

Твой П. Чайковский

  19 February
2 March 1888 (new style)

Golubchik Kolichka!

I'm still none the wiser as to whether Modya is going to Paris or not, so I'm writing to you rather than him just in case. I've been in Paris now for a week [1]. I've been received here very cordially, but I'm so worn out from dinners, soirees and visits, that at times I curse my life. The concert takes place the day after tomorrow; the rehearsals have already happened, and everything went splendidly. On Tuesday there was a grand musical evening at the wealthy Russian Benardaky's [2]. There was an invited audience of 300 people, and I conducted the concert. The newspapers wrote a lot about the evening and about me — even elaborating in detail regarding my appearance. The next concert will be on 11 March/28 February. On 20th I'm going to London from there to Paris again, where several concerts are planned with my participation [3]. I don't even dare to dream about Russia. Kolichka, I kiss you hard. If Modya hasn't left, kiss him for me and bow punctiliously to all the family in general. Write me a few words.

I'm sending Modya an interesting autograph from the composer Grieg [4], and also the programme for the evening at Benardaky's.

Yours P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Tchaikovsky remained in Paris from 12/24 February until 7/19 March 1888.
  2. This concert at the home of Nicolas and Marie de Benardaky took place on 16/28 February 1888, with members of Édouard Colonne's orchestra. The programme consisted of the 2nd and 3rd movements of the Serenade for String Orchestra, Op. 48; the Nocturne, Op. 19, No. 4 (arranged for cello with orchestra) and Pezzo capriccioso, Op. 62 (cellist: Anatoly Brandukov); the piano pieces Humoresque (No. 2 of the Two Pieces, Op. 10), Chant sans paroles (No. 2 from Souvenir de Hapsal, Op. 2), and Franz Liszt's transcription of the Polonaise from Yevgeny Onegin (pianist: Louis Diémer); the songs It Was in the Early Spring (No. 2 of the Six Romances, Op. 38) and Bitterly and Sweetly (No. 3 of the Six Romances, Op. 6), sung by Marie de Benardaky; The Terrible Moment (No. 6 of the Six Romances, Op. 28), None But the Lonely Heart (No. 6 of the Six Romances, Op. 6), sung by Jean Louis Lassale; Cradle Song (No. 1 of the Six Romances, Op. 16), Why? (No. 3 of the Six Romances, Op. 28), sung by Olga Leibrock; Don Juan's Serenade (No. 1 of the Six Romances, Op. 38) and Why? (No. 5 of the Six Romances, Op. 6, sung by Edouard de Reszke; Does the Day Reign? (No. 6 of the Seven Romances, Op. 47), specially arranged for soprano and orchestra by Tchaikovsky , sung by Marie de Benardaky); and the Andante cantabile from String Quartet No. 1, in an arrangement for cello and string orchestra (soloist Anatoly Brandukov).
  3. After his concert in London, Tchaikovsky returned to Russia without returning to Paris.
  4. This autograph consisted of Grieg's note (in German) on a visiting card belonging to Adolph Brodsky: «Eduard u[nd] Nina Grieg 9 2/4 Uhr. Gute Nacht!», and is still preserved in the Klin archive.