Letter 3860

Date 19/31 May 1889
Addressed to Sergey Taneyev
Where written Frolovskoye
Language Russian
Autograph Location Moscow: Russian State Archive of Literature and Art (ф. 880)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 160
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XV-А (1976), p. 115

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
19 мая

Только что вернулся из Петербурга. Ант[он] Григ[орьевич] решительно отказывается дирижировать первым концертом и иначе как 6-го января не может. Очень обрадовался, что ты будешь у него играть, но условие—sine qua non не его концерт, а классический по твоему выбору. Вообще, он не хочет играть ничего своего. Твой выход и всё остальное производит сенсацию. Как поживаешь? Когда увидимся?

П. Чайковский

Ввиду отказа Рубинштейна, я пригласил на первый концерт Римского-Корсакова.

I've only just returned from Petersburg. Anton Grigoryevich categorically refuses to conduct at the first concert, and apart from 6th January he can make no other date [1]. I was very glad that you are going to play under his baton, but the sine qua non condition is that it is not a concerto by him, but a classical one of your choice. In general, he doesn't want to perform any of his own works. Your resignation, and everything else, is causing a sensation [2].

How are you getting on? When shall we meet? [3]

P. Tchaikovsky

In view of Rubinstein's refusal, I have invited Rimsky-Korsakov for the first concert [4].

Notes and References

  1. The board of directors of the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society had decided to engage new conductors for each of its symphonic concerts that season in order to attract larger audiences. Tchaikovsky, as a member of the board, was helping with these negotiations, and during his recent visit to Saint Petersburg he had spoken about this to Anton Rubinstein (who had once again assumed the directorship of the imperial capital's Conservatory) — note by Vladimir Zhdanov in П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 160.
  2. Taneyev, weary of his administrative duties and wishing to have more time for composition (as he had explained in a letter to Tchaikovsky on 11/23 April 1889), had resigned from the post of director of the Moscow Conservatory. Vasily Safonov was appointed as his successor, but this appointment was not without its complications, because Safonov insisted that Karl Albrecht be dismissed from the post of inspector: Tchaikovsky interceded on behalf of his old friend, and in the end Albrecht was given the opportunity to tender his resignation instead. Aleksandra Hubert was appointed in his place (see Letter 3859 to Nadezhda von Meck, 19/31 May 1889) — note by Vladimir Zhdanov in П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 160.
  3. Taneyev paid a brief visit to Frolovskoye on 21 May/2 June. See the diary entry for that day in The Diaries of Tchaikovsky (1973), p. 280.
  4. In the 1889–90 season the first RMS symphonic concert in Moscow was conducted by Rimsky-Korsakov, and the sixth (on 6/18 January 1890) by Anton Rubinstein — note by Vladimir Zhdanov in П. И. Чайковский. С. И. Танеев. Письма (1951), p. 160.