Tchaikovsky Research

Bad Soden (officially Bad Soden am Taunas), and known as Soden until 1922, is a spa town in the state of Hesse (Hessen), Germany, near the city of Frankfurt am Main.

In Tchaikovsky's lifetime it was part of the Grand Duchy of Hesse until 1868, the Hesse-Nassau Province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1868, and part of the German Empire from 1871.

Tchaikovsky in Soden

Tchaikovsky stayed at the Kurhaus Hotel in Soden from 1/13 June to 4/16 or 5/17 July 1870 (except for two days at Mannheim in early July), travelling with his friend Vladimir Shilovsky, who was seeking the curative properties of the town's spa waters.

The composer reported that "it is very sad here: there are lots of sick people and the place is gloomy" [1], but he regularly attended concerts in the town [2]. "Every morning I set out on foot for the place called Drei Linden, and there I read or compose beside one of the steepest mountains in nature, having before my eyes a magical panorama, which spans 200 versts..." [3].


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Notes and References

  1. Letter 194 to Mily Balakirev, 1/13 June 1870, and Letter 197 to Ilya Tchaikovsky, 2/14 June 1870.
  2. Letter 198 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 7/19 June 1870.
  3. Letter 198 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 7/19 June 1870. A verst was a Russian unit of length, approximately 1067 metres or 3500 feet.