Dresden

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Dresden is the capital city of the German federal state of Saxony (Sachsen), situated on the River Elbe. During Tchaikovsky's lifetime it was part of the Kingdom of Saxony, and was incorporated into the German Empire in 1871.

Tchaikovsky's great-grandfather, Michel Victor Acier (1736-1799), worked as a sculptor in Dresden during the latter half of the eighteenth century.

Tchaikovsky in Dresden

Tchaikovsky visited Dresden on two occasions:

From Until Notes
1/13 July 1873 5/17 July 1873 Travelling with Pyotr Jurgenson and his wife Sofiya. Here he saw performances of Halévy's La Juive and Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, visited the city's picture gallery, and took a "totally delightful excursion to Saxon Switzerland" [1]. He also noted down themes for an unrealized Symphony in B-flat major, which he later adapted in the Capriccioso for piano—No. 5 from the Six Pieces, Op. 19.
5/17 February 1889 9/21 February 1889 To conduct the Philharmonic Society orchestra in a concert of own works (8/20 February), featuring the Symphony No. 4, and Piano Concerto No. 1 (soloist Emil von Sauer), followed by a reception in his honour. Despite lengthy rehearsals, he considered the concert to have been "much less successful than in Cologne or Frankfurt" [2].

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Notes and References

  1. See Diary entries for 1/13, 4/16 and 5/17 July 1873.
  2. Letter 3790 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 8/20–9/21 February 1889.