Funeral March on Motifs from the Opera 'The Oprichnik'

Tchaikovsky Research

Tchaikovsky's Funeral March (Похоронный марш), on motifs from his opera The Oprichnik (TH 137 ; ČW 432), was written for piano duet in 1877, at the request of Nadezhda von Meck.

On 7/19 March 1877, Nadezhda von Meck wrote to Tchaikovsky: "Now I put it to you that from your opera, in which I rejoice, I would like to have a March, and if you find it possible to do this, I humbly request that it should be for four hands" [1].

Nine days later, on 16/28 March, Tchaikovsky sent her the manuscript score, with an accompanying letter: "I do not know if you will be satisfied with the March, and if I managed to come up with the themes you imagined. If not, do not be afraid to tell me so honestly. Sometime, perhaps, I will write you something more suitable" [2].

The piece was never published, and its present whereabouts remain unknown.

Notes and References

  1. Letter from Nadezhda von Meck to Tchaikovsky, 7/19 March 1877 — Klin House-Museum Archive.
  2. Letter 545 to Nadezhda von Meck, 16/28 March 1877.