Letter 3935

Date 13/25 September 1889
Addressed to Willy Burmester
Where written Moscow
Language German
Autograph Location unknown
Publication Fünfzig Jahre Künstlerleben (1926), p. 66 (dated to "1888")
Музыкальное наследство, том 1 (1962), p. 369 ("1888"; with Russian translation)
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XV-А (1976), p. 180
Čajkovskijs Homosexualität und sein Tod. Legenden und Wirklichkeit (1998), p. 286

Text and Translation

Based on its 1926 publication in Fünfzig Jahre Künstlerleben, which may contain differences in formatting and content from Tchaikovsky's original letter.

German text
(original)
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
13/25 September

Lieber Freund!

Es ist leider ganz unmöglich, dass Sie in dieser Saison in Moskau spielen. Erdmannsdoerfer ist fort, und da wir keinen anderen hatten, so hat die Direktion für jedes Konzert einen besonderen Dirigent engagiert! Die Programme und Einladungen hängen nicht von uns ab, sondern von sämtlichen Herren Dirigenten, und es war mir unmöglich, für Ihnen Platz zu finden. Wollen wir hoffen, dass Sie im nächsten Jahre nach Moskau kommen werden! Bitte sich nicht gegen mich zu ärgern! Auf Wiedersehen.

P. Tschaikowsky

Grüßen Sie Ihre Eltern und Fräulein Burmester.

13/25 September

Dear friend!

It is unfortunately quite impossible for you to play in Moscow during this season [1]. Erdmannsdörfer has gone [2], and since we had no one else, the board of directors has engaged a separate conductor for each concert! The programmes and invitations do not depend on us but in each case on the respective conductors, and it was impossible for me to find a slot for you. Let us hope that you can come to Moscow next year! Please do not be angry with me! Farewell.

P. Tchaikovsky

Please give my regards to your parents and Miss Burmester [3].

Notes and References

  1. Tchaikovsky is replying here to a letter from Willy Burmester, dated Hamburg, 17 September 1889 [N.S.]. In this letter, which has been published in Paris vant bien une messe! Bisher unbekannte Briefe, Notenautographie und andere Čajkovskij-Funde (1998), p. 284–285, the young violinist had again asked Tchaikovsky if he could use his influence to secure an invitation for him to perform in Moscow during the coming winter.
  2. Max Erdmannsdörfer had laid down his baton as principal conductor of the symphonic concerts of the Moscow branch of the Russian Musical Society earlier that year and gone to Bremen, where from 1889 to 1895 he directed the concerts of the city's Philharmonic Society and Singakademie. He did return to Russia in later years, conducting RMS concerts in Saint Petersburg in the winters of 1895/96 and 1896/97.
  3. Burmester's sister, Johanna.