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Tchaikovsky in America

We all know the joyous journey of the musician in the USA.

Inside the documented and "glorious" book:

Tibaldi-Chiesa, Mary, Ciaikovsky, Garzanti, Milano, 1943

(glorious because it is the first Italian contribution specific around Tchaikovsky), on page 390-391 I read:

"It came an offer to return to America, but, instead of the two thousand dollars, which he had been given for the first six concerts in the spring [1891], the impresario offered him only four thousand U.S. dollars for twenty concerts. Peter was offended, humiliated , irritated, and replied by cable laconically: 'No. Tchaikovsky.' "

I believe that this news has been taken from the biography of Modest. Mr. Langston can confirm and add to them, if there are any?

Tchaikovsky generous and dissipator, but also avid?

Antonio Garganese
27/06/2013 15:39

I can think of one invitation to America that Tchaikovsky turned down, but not in the manner described. Does the book give a date for this invitation or its reply, or the name of the impresario?

Brett Langston
29/06/2013 22:49

Dear Mr. Langston!

the book by Mary Tibaldi Chiesa was written in an era in where it was given less importance to some details and sources, well away from the meticulous and fundamental works written by you and Mr. Poznansky.

Mary Tibaldi Chiesa, has also made a book on Schubert and another-very beautiful-about Mussorgsky: this last-to tell the truth-with punctual references, including music.

For the Italian bibliography, especially in years "pioneering" (even more about Russian music) it comes to audacious works.

I have transcribed exactly everything. There is no mention of impresario name or specific dates. There is talk, however-as I wrote-of the number of concerts and money.

The second call is placed at the end of summer 1891, at which time the musician has made a will.

I wrote to you-exactly-Mr.Langston for a current comparison.

I am very grateful!

Note: Mary Tibaldi Chiesa, writer and librettist (Milan 1896-1968). Daughter of Eugenio Chiesa [political] was active as a publicist and devoted himself to writings for disclosure of music. He also played political activity in the Republican Party and was a member of the Chamber of Deputies (1948-53). He published several biographies of musicians, among which include: Schubert (1932), E. Bloch (1933), Mussorgsky (1935); romantic life of Liszt (1937); Cimarosa and his time (1939), Paganini (1940), Tchaikovsky (1943), as well as translations, manuals and booklets.


Antonio Garganese
30/06/2013 13:39

I refer to Elkhonon Yoffe's book on "Tchaikovsky In America", the composer's visit in America in 1891..published 1986....this book pretty much covers how it came to be that the composer visited America, his stay and success in America and the aftermath of future requests for more visits from the make the matter brief after Tchaikovsky's short tour of the states in May, in September 6, 1891, the composer received a letter from Jurgenson his publisher which included a telegram from Morris Reno of New York, willing to pay Tchaikovsky $4,000 for a series of concerts for two months..I believe the amount was twelve..since the composer had received $2,500 for four concerts for the opening of Carnegie Hall in May of 1891 the composer via Jurgenson flatly refused the offer...thinking it too little for the travel and expenses to be incurred...Tchaikovsky's answer to Reno the agent in America was that he could not accept less than $12,000 for the upcoming slated was explained to the composer that the reason he had received so much for his first American tour was the special event of the opening of Carnegie Hall..and that the rich Andrew Carnegie had footed the bill...but the composer remained adamant...the original impresario in America who had made the offer of $4,000 was one Mr. D. Blakely....negotiations were still going into effect going into 1893 where it seemed likely the composer would make a second tour in the near future but death intervened...he would not get the sum he originally wanted but there would be a compromise acceptable to both parties..I cannot speak for the Modest bio which I havent read in many years but here is an authoritative source...and so I hope this answers Mr. Garganese question on this matter...Tchaikovsky did enjoy his stay in America and was looking forward to a return visit...he himself said he was more famous and appreciated in America than even in Russia...he liked Americans and American customs...and as he said had he been younger would have liked to spend more time here....

Albert Gasparo
01/07/2013 18:35

Mr.Gasparo infinite thanks once more, for your exact search!

Now we know this aspect of the life of Tchaikovsky's that little is known.

All know the real triumph of the Russian musician in the U.S., a triumph that has amazed the same Piotr Ilic.

I know that Tchaikovsky is well loved in America. Of course in Russia is revered by now as Pushkin, to make a name in the literature. Obviously Tchaikovsky is also one of the most popular musicians in the world. I think that he is loved and considered to the same degree as Beethoven, Mozart and Verdi!

Antonio Garganese
02/07/2013 16:42

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