To Forget So Soon

To Forget So Soon (Забыть так скоро) (TH 94 ; ČW 217) is a song written by Tchaikovsky probably in October or November 1870, although the earliest sketches date from two or three years previously.

Instrumentation

Scored for high voice with piano accompaniment.

Movements and Duration

There is one movement: Moderato (F major-F minor, 94 bars), lasting around three minutes in performance.

Text

From an unpublished poem by Aleksey Apukhtin (1841-1893). According to the memoirs of Aleksandra Panayeva-Kartsova, the text of Aleksey Apukhtin's poem was considerably altered by Tchaikovsky, which was the cause of a dispute between the two friends [1]:

Забыть так скоро, Боже мой,
Всё счастье жизни прожитой!
Все наши встречи, разговоры,
Забыть так скоро, забыть так скоро!

Забыть волненья первых дней,
Свиданья час в тени ветвей!
Очей немые разговоры,
Забыть так скоро, забыть так скоро!

Забыть, как полная луна
На нас глядела из окна,
Как колыхалась тихо штора,
Забыть так скоро, забыть так скоро, так скоро!

Забыть любовь, забыть мечты,
Забыть те клятвы помнишь ты, помнишь ты, помнишь ты?
В ночную пасмурную пору, в ночную пасмурную пору,
Забыть так скоро, забыть так скоро! Боже мой!

The autograph of the poem has been lost, except for the third stanza [2].

Composition

In a letter of 26 October/7 November 1870, the composer told Ivan Klimenko: "I have written three new pieces, a romance, something for an opera, and have completely revised the overture to Romeo" [3]. The romance referred to was, evidently, To Forget so Soon.

It is possible that the original draft of the romances was made earlier, in 1867 or 1868, since it is to be found among sketches for the opera The Voyevoda. These preserved sketches have clearly been later reworked. The most important revision came at the romance's climax—"Forget love, forget dreams...". In the definitive version of the romance, Tchaikovsky also made additional changes in the vocal part, added and removed repeats.

Performances

To Forget So Soon appears to have been performed for the first time by Aleksandra Aleksandrova-Kochetova in Moscow, at an all-Tchaikovsky concert in the Little Hall of the Nobles' Society, on 16/28 March 1871.

Publication

The song was published for the first time in 1870 in edition No. 12 of the Moscow journal Musical Herald (Музыкальный вестник). It was reprinted independently by Pyotr Jurgenson in November 1873 [4], and was included in volume 44 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works (1940), edited by Ivan Shishov and Nikolay Shemanin.

Autographs

The whereabouts of Tchaikovsky's manuscript score are unknown.

Recordings

See: To Forget So Soon: Recordings

Dedication

The song is dedicated to the singer Aleksandra Panayeva-Kartsova, who was also a distant relative of the composer.

External Links

Notes and References

  1. From Fyodor Malinin's unpublished article on Apukhtin's To Forget So Soon, which contains extracts from Aleksandra Panayeva-Kartsova's memoirs — Klin House-Museum Archive; quoted in Музыкальное наследие Чайковского. Из историй его произведений (1958), p. 435.
  2. See А. Н. Апухтин. Полное собрание стихотворений (Leningrad, 1991), p. 424.
  3. Letter 213 to Ivan Klimenko; the other works referred to were the Three Pieces, Op. 9, for piano, the opera The Oprichnik, and the overture-fantasia Romeo and Juliet.
  4. Passed by the censor on 25 September/7 October 1873.