Letter 3969

Date 4/16 November 1889
Addressed to Herman Laroche and Yekaterina Laroche
Where written Saint Petersburg
Language Russian/French
Autograph Location unknown
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XV-А (1976), p. 208
Notes Photocopy in Klin (Russia): Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve

Text and Translation

Russian and French text
English translation
By Brett Langston
4 Nov[embre] [18]89

Pour qui ai-je acheté une livre de caviar? Pour faire plaisir à quel cochon la vielle Appollinaire а t'elle couru chez le charcutier? Pour quelle Polonaise de mauvais goût (car il faut en avoir beaucoup pour avoir choisi M[onsieu]r Laroche) me suis — je approvisionne de bombons et de dragées? Et la grosse Antonine est ce qu'elle ne sue pas depuis ce matin pour confectionner un Kournik digne de Vos éloges? Мерзавец!

А впрочем, Бог с Вами, сидите и пишите. В концерт бы пришли сегодня вечером хоть к концу! Будет ужин с Антоном.

Не знаю, когда Вас увижу, — дела пропасть, устал как собака.

Ваш, П. Чайковский

4 November 1889

For whom did I buy a pound of caviar? For the pleasure of which swine did old Appollinaire [1] scurry out to the butcher's? For what Polish woman of poor taste (because you must have a great deal of it to have chosen Monsieur Laroche) have I stocked up with sweets and sugared almonds? And why has big Antonina [2] been slaving since this morning to concoct a Kournik [3] worthy of your praise? Scoundrels!

Still, God be with you, as you sit and write. You could at least have come for the end of the concert tonight [4]. There's going to be a supper with Anton.

I don't know when I'll see you — I have a pile of things to do, and I'm as tired as a dog.

Yours. P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Apollinariya Skvortsova, grandmother of the composer's friend Nikolay Konradi.
  2. Nikolay Konradi's cook.
  3. A dome-shaped pie baked for special occasions, interlaced with thin pancakes and typically stuffed with chicken, mushrooms or rice.
  4. The second RMS symphony concert in Saint Petersburg, conducted by Leopold Auer, and featuring works by Borodin, Chopin, Svendsen, Schumann, Dreyshock and Wagner.