Tchaikovsky was deeply affected.
When I read this terrible judgment, I hardly knew what I was doing and everything went black before my eyes.
My head began to spin and I ran out of the café like a mad man.
I was not aware of what I was doing or where I was going.
The whole day long I wandered the streets repeating to myself, I am sterile and shall never amount to anything.
But alone among the critics, his friend Herman Laroche had seen his potential.
I tell you frankly that I consider yours is the greatest musical talent to which Russia can look forward.
I see in you the greatest, or rather the only hope for our musical future.
Your own original creations will probably not make their appearance for another five years.
But they will surpass everything that we have heard since Glinka.
To sum up, I do not honor you so much for what you have done as for what the force of vitality of your genius will accomplish one day.
Tchaikovsky responded to both the encouragement and the criticism by plunging himself so fiercely into the composition of his first symphony that he came close to collapse from exhaustion.