Nikolay Gogol

Tchaikovsky Research
Nikolay Gogol (1809-1852), in an 1841 portrait by Otto Friederich Theodor von Möller

Russian dramatist and writer (b. 20 March/1 April 1809 at Sorochyntsi; d. 21 February/4 March 1852 in Moscow), born Nikolay Vasilyevich Yanovsky (Николай Васильевич Яновский).

According to Vladimir Nápravník, Gogol was Tchaikovsky's favourite Russian writer [1].

Tchaikovsky's Settings of Works by Gogol

Gogol's Christmas Eve (Ночь перед Рождеством), which had been published as the second story in the collection Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka (Вечера на хуторе близ Диканьки) (1831–32), provided the subject for Tchaikovsky's 1874 opera Vakula the Smith, which he revised in 1885 as Cherevichki.

In October 1878, Ieronim Alferyev sent Tchaikovsky a libretto of the first act of a projected opera on the subject of Gogol's historical epic Taras Bulba (Тарас Бульба). The accompanying letter suggests that it was Tchaikovsky himself who had proposed the subject of the opera, and had asked Alferyev to be his librettist. The composer's reply has not survived, but ultimately the idea came to nothing.

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