Chorus for Students of the Patriotic Institute

Tchaikovsky Research

In the autumn of 1880, Tchaikovsky wrote a Chorus for Students of the Patriotic Institute (Хор для студентиков Патриотического института) (TH 76 ; ČW 429) [1], at the request of his niece, Anna Davydova.

In a letter of 20 August/1 September 1880, Anna Davydova wrote: "For All Saints' Day we have to compose music for a set of verses for female chorus in three parts, although not very difficult, with accompaniment... Is there is the slightest possibility that you might carry out this unprecedented and impertinent request?" [2].

Many years later Anna von Meck wrote in her memoirs: "I was educated at an institute, and because I was Tchaikovsky's niece, my principal decided that I ought to be a great musician. Once my friends were writing a cantata, and I was instructed to compose the music. This proved to be very easy: I had only to write to Uncle Petya, and he sent the music to me right away! It was performed, but I did confess that it was written by my uncle. Unfortunately, the cantata has now vanished completely" [3].

There are no other references to this work, and the manuscript has not been traced.

Notes and References

  1. Entitled 'Cantata for female chorus' in ČW.
  2. Letter from Anna Davydova to Tchaikovsky, 20 August/1 September 1880 — Klin House-Museum Archive.
  3. Manuscript in the Russian National Museum of Music in Moscow, quoted in Музыкальное наследие Чайковского. Из историй его произведений (1958), p. 347.