Autograph Letter - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

TCHAIKOVSKY, Pyotr Ilyich (1840-1893). Autograph letter signed ('P. Tschaïkowsky') to [Friedrich Sieger: 'Cher Monsieur et ami'), Moscow, 30 September/19 October [18]89.

In French. Four pages, bifolium (175 x 113mm), (pencil annotations, traces of tape at top of pp. 2-3). 

Expressing regret that The Sleeping Beauty will keep him from Frankfurt for the winter season. Tchaikovsky is only just responding to Sieger's correspondence; since it was sent he repaired first to St Petersburg and now to his Moscow home, from where he writes it will be 'physically impossible' for him to be in Frankfurt for the 20 December as 'my ballet [probably The Sleeping Beauty] will be staged at the Imperial Theatre in Petersburg [the Mariinsky] and it's imperative that I attend the first performance', which will be 20 December or thereabouts. Apologising for missing this season, Tchaikovsky reassures his correspondent that it is for the best 'and I console myself with the idea that it would be better for me to reappear before the Frankfurt public next season'. 

Following the success of Tchaikovsky's concerts in Frankfurt in January and February 1889, Friedrich Sieger – the director of one of the venues, the Museum-Gesellschaft, and an ardent admirer of the composer – looked to secure a return visit for the next season. Tchaikovsky, however, seems to have been less enthusiastic, perhaps due to a perceived conservatism of the Frankfurt audience, and was to disappoint Sieger on more than one occasion: here he excuses himself on account of the impending premiere of The Sleeping Beauty, which would have its first performance at the Mariinsky on 15 January 1890.


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