Dmitry Bortnyansky

Tchaikovsky Research
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Dmitry Bortnyansky (1751-1825)

Russian composer and conductor of Ukrainian extraction (b. 16/28 October 1751 in Glukhov [now Hlukhiv]; d. 28 September/10 October 1825 in Saint Petersburg), born Dmitry Stepanovich Bortnyansky (Дмитрий Степанович Бортнянский), also known as Dmitro Bortnyansky.

In 1881, Tchaikovsky was asked by his publisher Jurgenson to edit and make solo piano arrangements of Bortnyansky's Complete Church Music, which was published in ten volumes between December 1881 and February 1883. Tchaikovsky found the task uninspiring. "I am editing Bortnyansky's Complete Works for an edition undertaken by Jurgenson", he wrote to Adolph Brodsky in April 1882. "Since the generous Pyotr Ivanovich is paying me magnificently for my editorial work, I shouldn't be complaining, but Bortnyansky's works are so poor in content, there are so many of them and so monotonous are they, that from time to time I sink into profound despair!" [1]

When Jurgenson asked him to arrange more of Bortnyansky's choral works in March 1883, Tchaikovsky quickly declined, pleading that he was too busy with more important tasks [2].


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Notes and References

  1. Letter 2008 to Adolph Brodsky, 15/27 April 1882.
  2. See Letter 2242 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 20 March/1 April 1883.