|Date||11/23 January 1877|
|Addressed to||Édouard Colonne|
|Autograph Location||Saint Paul (Minnesota, USA): The Schubert Club Museum, Gilman Ordway Manuscript Collection|
|Publication||Tchaikovsky Research Bulletin No. 1 (February 2011), p. 29 (with English translation, p. 29-30)|
Чайковский. Новые материалы к творческой биографии (2013), p. 389 (with Russian translation, p. 390)
Reproduced by kind permission of the Schubert Club Museum, Gilman Ordway Manuscript Collection, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Text and Translation
By Luis Sundkvist
Moscou. Le 11 Janvier 1877
Permettez moi de V[ou]s remercier sincèrement pour la bonne lettre que V[ou]s m'avez fait l'honneur de m'envoyer. Je suis on ne peut plus heureux et fier de l'extrème condescendence avec laquelle V[ou]s avez bien voulu me promettre Votre prècieux concours pour le concert projeté. Je me suis adressé, ainsi que V[ou]s me l'avez recommandé, à M. Giacomelli pour l'organization de ce concert et dès que j'aurai sa réponse je V[ou]s ecrirai d'une manière dètaillé sur la date du concert, la quantité de musiciens qu'il me faut, le programme etc.
Il y a encore un dètail que je voudrais eclaircir. Cela va s'en dire que mes compositions gagneront ènormement à etre dirigées par V[ou]s. Et je dis cela non pour dèbiter un fade compliment, mais dans la profonde et inèbranble conviction que je n'ai pas le talent ni le savoir-faire necessaire pour conduire un orchestre aussi exercé et aussi inconnu [pour moi] que le Votre, d'une manière qui soit digne de lui.
Mais V[ou]s mème, Monsieur? Veuillez me dire franchement si cela ne V[ou]s fatiguera pas trop d'avoir a rèpeter et faire marcher le concert. Qant à moi, je m'estimerai fort heureux si V[ou]s prenez cette tâche sur V[ou]s, — mais dans tous les cas je ne me conformerai absolument qu'avec ce V[ou]s me conseillerez de faire.
Permettez moi de V[ou]s remercier cordialement pour toutes Vos bontés et de V[ou]s prier d'agrèer l'expressions de la plus haute estime de Votre dèvoué
Moscow. 11 January 1877
Allow me to thank you sincerely for the kind letter which you have done me the honour of sending to me . I am immensely happy and proud of the extreme forbearance with which you have deigned to promise me your invaluable participation in the planned concert. I have written, as you advised me, to Mr Giacomelli  regarding the organization of this concert, and as soon as I have his reply I shall write to you in detail about the date of the concert, the number of musicians I need, the programme etc.
There is one other detail I should like to clarify. It goes without saying that my compositions will profit enormously from being conducted by you. And I say this not for the sake of paying an insipid compliment, but in the profound and unshakeable conviction that I have neither the talent nor the know-how required to conduct an orchestra which is as seasoned and as unfamiliar to me as yours, in such a fashion as to be worthy of it .
But what about you, though, Monsieur? Do tell me frankly if you think it may be too exhausting for you to have to rehearse and set the concert going. As for me, I would consider myself most happy if you were to take this task upon yourself. However, I shall in any case submit entirely to what you advise me to do.
Allow me to thank you cordially for all your kindness, and to beg you to accept this expression of the highest esteem felt for you devotedly by
Notes and References
- ↑ Édouard Colonne's reply to Tchaikovsky's first letter to him of 25 December 1876/6 January 1877 (Letter 528a) has not come down to us, but it is clear from the above letter, as well as from Letter 535 to Sergey Taneyev the following day, that the French conductor wholeheartedly approved of Tchaikovsky's idea of organizing a concert of his own works in Paris and offered the services of his orchestra.
- ↑ Adolphe Giacomelli (c. 1825–1893), French music critic and theatre and concert agent of Italian origins. He was chief editor of La Presse musicale from 1854 to 1892. Richard Wagner entrusted Giacomelli with the organization of his concerts in France and Belgium in 1860. His musical agency in Paris was located on No. 45, Rue Richer. See the information provided in: Malou Haine, 400 lettres de musiciens: au Musée royal de Mariemont (Liège, 1995), p. 316, n. 2. Tchaikovsky's letter to Giacomelli has not come to light.
- ↑ Tchaikovsky, though by no means an experienced conductor at this stage (his only two appearances on the conductor's podium up to then dating back to 1865 and 1866), was prepared to accept the challenge of conducting the planned concert of his works in Paris himself (see Letter 518 to Taneyev of 5/17 December 1876), but he soon realised that it would be better if Colonne's orchestra remained under the command of their resident conductor.