Brailov

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Braïliv (Браїлів) is a town in the Zhmerinka district (Жмеринський район) and Vinnytsia oblast (Вінницька область) of Ukraine. During Tchaikovsky's lifetime it was known as Brailov (Браилов), and formed part of the Vinnitsa district (Винницкий уезд) in the Podolsk province (Подольская губерния) of the Russian Empire.

Tchaikovsky in Brailov

In 1868 the railway engineer Karl von Meck purchased an estate at Brailov. After his death in 1876 this was occupied by his widow, Nadezhda von Meck, who invited Tchaikovsky to reside at Brailov while she was absent. The composer stayed there on several occasions between 1878 and 1880:

From Until Notes
17/29 May 1878 30 May/11 June 1878 On this first productive visit he composed the Souvenir d'un lieu cher (three pieces for violin with piano, dedicated to Brailov), and worked on the Six Romances, Op. 38 and the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom. "I am living in a palace in the literal sense of the word...", he wrote during his first visit to Brailov; "the furnishings are luxurious, apart from polite and affectionately obliging servants I see no human figures and no-one comes to make my acquaintance, the strolls are charming, and at my disposal I have carriages, horses, a library, several pianos, a harmonium, a mass of sheet music—in a word, what could be better?" [1].
11/23 August 1878 around 17/29 August 1878 Working on the Scherzo from the Suite No. 1.
3/15 May 1879 13/25 May 1879 He studied the full score of Wagner's Lohengrin, while working on the orchestration of his own opera The Maid of Orleans.
2/14 July 1880 8/20 July 1880 His last visit to Brailov was a relaxing one, without the need to compose. "I'm simply wallowing in an ocean of happy sensations" [2].

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Notes and References

  1. Letter 831 to Aleksandra Davydova, 18/30 May 1878.
  2. Letter 1531 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 8/20–9/21 July 1880.