It is thirty years since I wrote this book. That my views should have remained unchanged was scarcely to be expected. At first it was almost as a stranger that I approached the task of revision, and there were moments when the enthusiasm of my younger self seemed exaggerated, until I recalled that in those days the need of proselytism still existed, as only a handful of Tchaikovsky's works could be described as familiar. Apart from that I found the ardour of my young predecessor, if occasionally indiscreet, not unprepossessing, and after reflection decided not to moderate it, especially as to have done so would have involved almost writing the book anew. For the latter reason I have also been more indulgent to his literary style than I would be to that of the man he is to-day, who, I hope, has become more proficient. I trust that the reader will be equally indulgent.
When writing the book my chief guide was Paul Juon's complete German translation of Modeste Tchaikovsky Life and Letters of his brother. (Mrs. Newmarch's excellent English translation, in abridged form, appeared the same year as my original volume, but was not available while I was engaged upon it.) In that version the dates appeared as 'Old Style,' and I retained them, chiefly because a profusion of double dates made the page look cumbersome. In this edition a few of the more important dates are given their 'New Style' equivalents in footnotes. For the others the reader is asked to bear in mind that the Russian calendar was then twelve days in arrear of ours.