César Cui – Lettre d’amour

Posted on August 8th, 2014 by

I can’t play this piece without thinking of Pushkin, so I thought that I would share it, ,with a section from  Eugen Onegin.  Twenty years, and I still think this is one of the most intimate pieces I know. Miraculous.

Cesar Cui-the Czar's fortification expert. by Ily Repin

Cesar Cui-the Czar’s fortification expert. by Repin

César  Cui – ‘Lettre d’amour’ (No 21 From Kaleidoscope)

Peter Shepppard Skaerved-Stradivari 1714 ‘Maurin’

Aaron Shorr-Piano


‘Tatyana’s letter treasured ever

as sacred, lies before me still.

I read with secret pain, and never

can read enough to get my fill.

Who taught her an address so tender,

such careless language of surrender?

Who taught her all this mad, slapdash

heartfelt, imploring, touching trash

fraught with enticement and disaster?

It baffles me. But I’ll respect

here a weaker version, incomplete

pale transcript of a vivid master,

or Freischütz as it might be played

by nervous hands of a school maid’

(Aleksandr Pushkin-Eugen Onegin XXXI)

Pushkin's  lover, Anna Petrovna Kern

Pushkin’s lover, Anna Petrovna Kern