Three weeks before the premiere of "The Queen of Spades"

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich, Russian composer (1840-1893). Autograph letter signed, in Cyrillic ("P. Tchaikovsky").

[St. Petersburg], 17 Nov. 1890 [29 Nov. 1890, Gregorian style].

8vo. 2½ pp. on bifolium. With autograph envelope.


Unpublished letter in Russian to Aleksandr Glazunov (1865-1936) in which Tchaikovsky expresses his fatigue and anxieties three weeks before the premiere of "The Queen of Spades" and asks a favour: "I am deadly tired from the opera's rehearsals; tomorrow awaits another one, demanding again great attention and all kinds of anxieties of an author. I am afraid for my disease not to repeat, not going to the concert today. Laziness is unfortunate, but it is necessary [...]. I have a request for you: ask to visit me on Tuesday evening Lyadov [Anatoly Lyadov], both Blumenfelds [Felix and his brother Stanislav Blumenfeld] and Lavrov [Nikolay Stepanovich Lavrov], whom you will not see today, but perhaps you’ll write him a note. I do not know his address. Remind as well Nikolay Andreevich [Rimsky-Korsakov], I am most convincingly asking him to be at my place on Tuesday evening. And please, do not forget! [...]" (transl.).

This important letter adds to only twelve known letters from Tchaikovsky to his friend and protegé Glazunov, dating from 1887 to 1892. It provides insights into Tchaikovsky's St. Petersburg circle, members of which included the composers Glazunov, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov and Anatoly Lyadov, who were part of the so called Belyayev circle, the composer and conductor Felix Blumenfeld (1863-1931), his brother the piano teacher Stanislav Blumenfeld (1850-97), and the pianist Nikolay Stepanovich Lavrov (1861-1927). The letter was written during the rehearsals for "The Queen of Spades" which premiered successfully at Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg on 19 Dec. 1890 (Gregorian calendar).

Folded and slightly smudged; envelope somewhat foxed.

Stock Code: BN#50219 Tag: