65 Russian Folksongs (Prokunin)

Vasily Prokunin's collection of 65 Russian Folksongs (65 русских народных песен), was revised and edited by Tchaikovsky at the compiler's request in 1872 and 1873 (TH 183 ; ČW 401).


Scored for solo voice with piano accompaniment (2 hands). However, 'Rise Up, Rise Up, O Sun' (No. 32) and 'My Mountains' (No. 65) have parts for two voices, while 'The Little Grey Dove' (No. 37) has parts for chorus and soloist.

Movements and Duration

For the titles (and incipits) of all 65 songs, see The Tchaikovsky Handbook, volume 1 (2002), p. 371-377.


No information survives concerning the date or origins of this work. Vasily Prokunin was a student of Tchaikovsky's at the Moscow Conservatory, and it might be supposed that he asked his professor for help in editing and reworking the songs. Nos. 1 to 33 were completed by 27 May/8 June 1872, and Nos. 34 to 65 were completed by 15/27 May 1873 [1].


The songs were published in two parts by Pyotr Jurgenson: Part 1 (songs 1–33) in 1872, and part 2 (songs 34–65) in 1873.

All 65 songs were published in volume 61 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works (1949), edited by Sofya Ziv.


A manuscript score of the songs in Prokunin's collection, evidently made by Karl Albrecht, containing Tchaikovsky's notes and corrections, is now preserved in the Russian National Museum of Music in Moscow (ф. 88, No. 150) [view].

Related Works

  • No. 2. 'I Was Strolling Along the Riverbank' was used in the second version of Lel's Third Song (Act III, No. 14a) from The Snow Maiden (1873)
  • No. 5. 'Do Not Fly, Falcon' was used in the Russian Dance (Act III, No. 16) from the opera Vakula the Smith (1874), and in the Russian Dance (Act III, No. 22a) from Cherevichki.
  • No. 6. 'At the Prince's' was used in the Carnival Procession (Prologue, No. 4) from The Snow Maiden.
  • No. 19. 'Long Time Said, Long Time Spoken' was used in the Carnival Procession (Prologue, No. 4) and the Melodrama (Prologue, No. 5a) from The Snow Maiden.
  • No. 23. 'By the Gates' was used in Lel's Second Song (Act I, No. 7) from The Snow Maiden.
  • No. 25. 'Where Have You Been?' was used in Brusila's Song (Act III, No. 15) from The Snow Maiden.
  • No. 31. 'The Grey Eagle Flew up to the Mountains' was used in the Dances of Birds (Act I, No. 2) from The Snow Maiden.
  • No. 39. A variant of 'A Young Maiden Sowing Flowers' was used in the finale of the Symphony No. 1 (1866).
  • No. 44. 'Rise Up, Rise Up, O Sun' was also used as No. 15 in Tchaikovsky's own collection of Fifty Russian Folksongs (1868).


External Links

Notes and References

  1. The dates on which each set was approved for publication by the censor.