Tchaikovsky Research

Rome is the capital city of Italy, and of the Lazio region and province of Rome.

During Tchaikovsky's lifetime the city formed part of the Papal States until 1870, when it became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.

Tchaikovsky in Rome

Tchaikovsky visited Rome on the following occasions:

From Until Notes
18/30 April 1874 20 April/2 May 1874 During a holiday in Italy the composer visited Rome for the first time. "Strolling around the city I actually saw the sights of the capital, i.e. the coliseum, the thermae of Caracella, the Capitoline, the Vatican, the Pantheon, and, finally, the acme of celebration of human genius, the Cathedral of Peter and Paul" [1].
7/19 November 1877 10/22 November 1877 Awaiting the arrival of his sketches for the Symphony No. 4, which had accidentally been left behind in Moscow.
8/20 December 1879 26 February/9 March 1880 During this extended visit at the Hôtel Constanzi, he composed the Italian Capriccio, using some themes he heard during his visit. He also revised his Symphony No. 2, made an arrangement for two pianos of his Piano Concerto No. 2, and wrote the orchestral piece Montenegro, which was required urgently for Tsar Alexander II's silver jubilee celebrations in Moscow. He also had plenty of time for sight-seeing, taking in the Church of Santa Scala (12/24 December), the Forum (15/27 December), the Appian Way (16/28 December), the churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and San Pietro in Vincoli (21 December/2 January), and the Vatican (26 February/9 March). Of the latter, he wrote: "I sat for a long time in the Sistine Chapel—an absolute miracle. For almost the first time in my life I was enraptured by the art of painting" [2].
20 February/4 March 1881 28 February/12 March 1881 Spending time with his old friend Nikolay Kondratyev, and the Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich.
20 November/2 December 1881 9/21 February 1882 Working on the opera Mazepa, and the Piano Trio in memory of Nikolay Rubinstein.
27 March/8 April 1890 15/28 April 1890 Working on the orchestration and vocal-piano reduction of The Queen of Spades.


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Notes and References

  1. Letter 349 to Anatoly Tchaikovsky, 19 April/1 May 1874.
  2. Letter 1433 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 26 February/9 March 1877.