The Golden Cloud Did Sleep (Dargomyzhsky)

Tchaikovsky Research
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The Golden Cloud Did Sleep (Ночевала тучка золотая) is a trio for voices with piano by Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky, which Tchaikovsky arranged for orchestra (TH 189 ; ČW 418) [1], probably in 1876.

It should not be confused with Tchaikovsky's own choral setting of the same poem, The Golden Cloud Did Sleep, which dates from 1887.


Arranged for solo soprano, tenor and baritone voices, with an orchestra consisting of 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (in B-flat), 2 bassoons + 2 horns (in F) + violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, and double basses.

Movements and Duration

There is one movement: Adagio (G minor, 69 bars), lasting around 4 minutes in performance.


The Russian words are by Mikhail Lermontov (1814–1841), from his poem The Rock(Утес) (1841).


On the manuscript of his orchestration Tchaikovsky wrote: "Trio. Music by Dargomyzhsky. Orchestrated by P. Tchaikovsky". No other information has survived concerning the origins of this work.


The first performance took place in Saint Petersburg at an afternoon concert of the Russian Musical Society on 26 December 1876/7 January 1877, conducted by Eduard Nápravník. The performers were Ye. V. Klebek, Fyodor Komissarzhevsky and Fyodor Stravinsky.


Tchaikovsky's arrangement was published for the first time in 1970 in volume 59 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works, edited by Irina Iordan,


Tchaikovsky's manuscript arrangement is now preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive (a1, No. 142).

Related Works

The trio The Golden Cloud Did Sleep was written by Aleksandr Dargomyzhsky (1813–1869) in the mid 1850s, for soprano, tenor, baritone and piano accompaniment, and was first published in 1856 in Saint Petersburg.

Notes and References

  1. Entitled The Golden Cloud Was Sleeping in ČW.