Letter 4643

Tchaikovsky Research
Date 14/26 March 1892
Addressed to Pyotr Jurgenson
Where written Maydanovo
Language Russian
Autograph Location Klin (Russia): Tchaikovsky State Memorial Musical Museum-Reserve (a3, No. 2795)
Publication П. И. Чайковский. Переписка с П. И. Юргенсоном, том 2 (1952), p. 236
П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XVI-Б (1979), p. 58–59

Text and Translation

Russian text
English translation
By Brett Langston
14 марта

Душа моя! Я получил из Вержболова уведомление, что водка моя идёт, и чуть не прямо в «Плин». Алексей узнает, в чем дело. Сюиту копировать я отдал вот как. Очень меня просила Дирекция подарить им рукопись, и я согласился, а вместо неё мне пришлют на днях копию, которую я помещу в общую партитуру балета. Но ты имеешь полное право воспретить остальные копии, да я и отвечал решительным отказом на все просьбы Главача, Галкина и др[угих], сказав им, что к лету будет готова партитура печатная.

Относительно Грасгофа скажу, когда проиграю аранжемент. Рукопись 8-ручного «Манфреда» находится у Влад[имира] Александровича Брюллова. О. И. Ю[ргенсон] знает его адрес. Заглавие сюиты должно быть такое:

pour grand orchestre
de la partition du
(Der Nussknacker)
I. Ouverture miniature
II. Danses caractéristiques: a) Marche; b) Danse de la Fée-Dragée; c) Trépac, danse russe; d) Danse arabe; e) Danse chinoise; f) Danse des mirlitons.
III. Valse des fleurs.

Конечно, о Дюма не упоминать.

Корректуру «Иоланты» (третью) послать мне.

Танееву я назначил за переложение балета 500 р[ублей]. Эти 500 + 300 за «Иоланту» вычти из пяти тысяч. Танеев может их взять когда угодно.

До свиданья! Я в Москве раньше пасхи не буду.

Умер бедный Христофоров; я в Петербурге энергически хлопотал, чтобы это место дали Карлуше, и знаешь ли, в ком встретил глухое, но сильное противодействие? В Евгении Карловиче. Курьёзная штука.

Твой, П. Чайковский

14 March

My dear chap! I've received notification from Verzhbolov that my vodka is on the move, on the least direct route to "Plin" [1]. Aleksey knows about the matter. I am giving to you the copy of the suite [2] that I had made. The Directorate were urging me to give them the manuscript, and I agreed, but I'll send you the copy shortly, which I'll include in the full score of the ballet [3]. But you have every right to proscribe the remaining copies, and I firmly refused all requests from Hlaváč, Galkin and others [4], telling them that the score will be ready to print by the summer [5].

With regard to Grashof, I'll tell him that I've lost the arrangement. The manuscript of Manfred for 8 hands can be found with Vladimir Aleksandrovich Bryullov [6]. O. I. Jurgenson knows his address. The title of the suite should be thus:

for large orchestra
from the full score of
the ballet
The Nutcracker
I. Miniature overture
II. Characteristic Dances: a) March; b) Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy; c) Trepak, Russian dance; d) Arabian Dance; e) Chinese Dance; Dance of the Reed-Pipes.
III. Waltz of the Flowers.

Certainly, don't mention Dumas [7].

Send me the proofs of "Iolanta" (third set).

I've appointed Taneyev to arrange the ballet for 500 rubles. This 500 + 300 for "Iolanta" is to be deducted from the five thousand. Taneyev can take them whenever is convenient.

Until we meet! I won't be in Moscow before Easter.

Poor Khristoforov has died [8]; in Saint Petersburg I vigorously petitioned for his place to be taken by Karlusha. And do you know from whom I encountered the most stubborn opposition? Yevgeny Karlovich [9]. It's a queer thing.

Yours, P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. Two dozen bottles of "the most excellent vodka", sent to Tchaikovsky by Bernhard Pollini, had been held up by the Russian customs office until all duty had been paid (see Letter 4641 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 9/21 March 1892). Tchaikovsky's exasperation was compounded by notification that they were slowly being shipped to "Plin", rather than his home outside "Klin".
  2. Tchaikovsky's Suite from the ballet The Nutcracker.
  3. In the full score of The Nutcracker, the numbers from the suite are written out by a copyist. The autograph score of the Suite (now in the Klin House-Museum) carries the inscription: "To the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in memory of the concert of 7 March 1892. P. Tchaikovsky".
  4. The conductors Vojtěch Hlaváč (1849–1911) and Nikolay Galkin (1850-1906).
  5. Pyotr Jurgenson published the full score of the Suite in June 1892.
  6. Vladimir Bryullov and Nikolay Lents had arranged Tchaikovsky's Manfred symphony for 2 pianos, 8 hands.
  7. In Letter 4634 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 6/18 March 1892, Tchaikovsky had suggested the wording "Story from the fairy-tale by Hoffmann and Dumas senior" for the title page of The Nutcracker ballet. However, Pyotr Jurgenson replied on 13/25 March 1892 that this could create copyright difficulties with the heirs of the estate of Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870).
  8. Nikolay Khristoforov (1836-1892), former director of the central music library of the Imperial Theatres.
  9. Karl Albrecht ("Karlusha") was the brother of Eugen Albrecht ("Yevgeny Karlovich").