Letter 4845a

Date 7/19 January 1893
Addressed to Eugénie Vergin Colonne
Where written Paris
Language French
Autograph Location unknown
Publication The Musical Courier (29 August 1906) [facsimile]
Tchaikovsky Research Bulletin No. 1 (February 2011), p. 33 (with English translation)
Чайковский. Новые материалы к творческой биографии (2013), p. 392 (with Russian translation, p. 393)

Text and Translation

French text
(original)
English translation
By Luis Sundkvist
19 Janvier [18]93
Paris

Chère Madame!

Bien des fois je me suis adressé à mon ami Colonne pour lui recommander des compatriotes, qui voudraient se faire entendre au concerts du Chatelet. Je sais combien il est difficile pour lui de trouver une place pour chaque artiste qui lui est bien recommandé; aussi jamais n'ai j'été désappointé quand mes lettres de recommandations n'aboutissent à aucun résultat. Mais aujourd'hui je m'adresse à lui par Votre intermédiaire non comme à Colonne, chef d'orchestre célèbre, mais comme à l'ami. De grâce qu'il sacrifice un quart d'heure de son temps pour mon jeune protégé Petchnikoff, lequel de reste Vous conaissez pour l'avoir entendu au Conservatoire à Moscou. Mais ceci ne suffirait pas: je Vous demande en grâce, je Vous supplie, je Vous implore comme la plus grande manifestation de Votre amitié (que j'apprecie ènormèment — de lui trouver une petite place dans un des Concerts du Chatelet. Je considèrerai cela comme un vrai bonheur pour moi. D'ailleurs le jeune homme est vraiment un talent hors ligne et je suis sûr que Vous serez content de lui!

De grâce, chère bonne Madame, soyez mon interprete auprès de Votre cher mari et priez le bien de faire ce que je désir ardemment. Pour le jeune homme c'est une grosse affaire: il y va de toute sa carrière. Je me mets à Vos pieds.

P. Tschaïkovsky

19 January 1893
Paris

Dear Madame!

On many an occasion I have written to my friend Colonne to recommend to him compatriots of mine who would like to be heard at the Châtelet concerts [1]. I know how difficult it is for him to find a place for every artist who has been recommended to him in such terms; and, moreover, I have never felt disappointed when my letters of recommendation came to nothing. Today, though, I am addressing myself to him, through your mediation, not in his capacity as Colonne, the famous conductor, but as to a friend. I beg him to sacrifice a quarter of an hour of his time for my young protégé Pechnikov, whom, by the way, you know, since you heard him at the Moscow Conservatory [2]. However, that would not be enough: I ask you kindly—nay, I beseech, I implore you, by way of the greatest manifestation of your friendship (which I cherish enormously), to find him a little slot in one of the Châtelet concerts. I would consider this as a true blessing for me. Besides, this young man is truly exceptionally talented, and I am certain that you will be satisfied with him! 

I beg you, dear, kind Madame: would you be my spokeswoman with regard to your dear husband and ask him emphatically to do what I so ardently wish? For the young man it is a matter of great consequence: his whole career depends on it. I throw myself before your feet.

P. Tchaikovsky

Notes and References

  1. See, for example, Letter 4602 to Édouard Colonne, 16/28 [?] January 1892, in which Tchaikovsky recommends the mezzo-soprano Yelena Iosifovna Teryan-Korganova (b. 1864), or Letter 4782b to Colonne, 9/21 October 1892, written on behalf of a young Russian pianist.
  2. Aleksandr Abramovich Pechnikov (1873–1949) studied violin at the Moscow Conservatory under Jan Hřímalý, graduating in 1891. Thanks to Tchaikovsky's mediation Colonne had been engaged to conduct a Russian Musical Society concert in Moscow on 23 March/4 April 1890, and subsequently he was invited a number of times to Russia to conduct concerts in both Moscow and Saint Petersburg. It seems that during one of these visits Colonne and his wife Eugénie, who accompanied him to Russia, attended a student performance at the Moscow Conservatory and heard the young Pechnikov play. Pechnikov had performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in public as early as 19/31 August 1892, at a concert in Moscow conducted by Vojtěch Hlaváč (Voytekh Glavach; 1849–1911). See Дни и годы П. И. Чайковского. Летопись жизни и творчества (1940), p. 556. In 1899, during a tour of America, Pechnikov would give the first performance in Chicago of the Violin Concerto.