Letter 4190a

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 2/14 August 1890
Addressed to Hermann Fernow
Where written Frolovskoye
Language French
Autograph Location unknown [1]
Publication Čajkovskijs Homosexualität und sein Tod. Legenden und Wirklichkeit (1998), p. 184 (abridged)

Text and Translation

This incomplete text is based on the extracts published in Sotheby's 1996 catalogue [2], which may contain differences in formatting and content from Tchaikovsky's original letter.

French text
English translation
By Brett Langston
14 August 1890

[...] J'attendrai avec une bien vive impatience une réponse décisive à la grande question de l'Amérique. Je compte bien sur votre discrétion, cher M[onsieu]r Fernow. Vous aurez la bonté d'adresser votre prochaine lettre à Moscou, aux soins de P. I. Jurgenson ; il sera toujours au courant de mes pérégrinations [...] un grand voyage à l'intérieur, que je terminerai par un séjour de 2 mois à Tiflis (Caucase).

Je Vous serre bien cordialement la main et tout en Vous priant de transmettres mes salutations à M[ada]me Votre femme et à M[ademois]elle Votre sœur, aussi qu'a M[ada]me Schiller, je signe Votre bien dévoué,

P. Tschaïkovsky

14 August 1890 [3]

[...] I shall await with most fervent anticipation a definitive response to the great question of America. I am certainly relying on your discretion, dear Monsieur Fernow. You will be so good as to address your next letter to Moscow, to the care of P. I. Jurgenson; he will always be informed of my peregrinations [...] a great interior voyage, which I shall conclude with a 2-month stay in Tiflis (Caucuses).

I shake your hand most cordially, while asking you to convey my greetings to Madame your wife and Mademoiselle your sister [4], and also to Madame Schiller [5], I sign your most devoted,

P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Auctioned on 6 December 1996 by Sotheby's, London.
  2. Sotheby's. Fine Printed and Manuscript Music. London, 6 December 1996, No. 269, including facsimile of last page (transcribed here by Professor Thomas Kohlhase).
  3. Previously numbered 4197a based on presumed old-style date (14/26 August), but its contents suggest that new style (i.e. 2/14 August) is more likely.
  4. Probably Anna Fernow, whom Tchaikovsky had known since 1879.
  5. Possibly the pianist Madeleine Schiller (1843-1911), who on 31 October 1881 [O.S.] had given the world premiere of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 2 in New York.