Chorus for the Jubilee of Osip Petrov

The Chorus for the Jubilee of Osip Petrov (Хор к юбилею О. А. Петрова) (TH 68 ; ČW 67) [1], also referred to as a Hymn or Cantata, was written by Tchaikovsky in December 1875 to celebrate the actor's fiftieth year as a stage performer.


There is one movement: Allegro non troppo e maestoso (A major, 75 bars).


The chorus is scored for solo tenor (or soprano) [2] voice, mixed chorus (SATB), and an orchestra consisting of piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets (in A), 2 bassoons + 4 horns (in F), 2 trumpets (in D), 3 trombones + 2 timpani + violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, and double basses.


The Russian text — entitled 'To Touch the Heart of Man' (Умиляя сердце человека) — was specially written for the chorus by Nikolay Nekrasov (1821–1877).


Little is known about the composition of the chorus, which according to the date on the manuscript was completed on 17/29 December 1875. It was commissioned by the Directorate of the Saint Petersburg section of the Russian Musical Society, to celebrate Osip Petrov's golden jubilee on the stage.


The first performance took place on 24 April/6 May 1876 at a festival concert at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, on the occasion of Petrov's jubilee. The cantata was performed by students of the conservatory, conducted by Karl Davydov.


The cantata was published for the first time in 1960, in volume 27 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works.


Tchaikovsky's manuscript score is now in the scientific music library of the Saint Petersburg State Conservatory(No. 1857) [view].


See: Discography


To Osip Afanasyevich Petrov (1807–1878), actor and operatic singer (bass).

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Notes and References

  1. Entitled "Cantata for the Jubilee of O. A. Petrov" in TH, and "Chorus for the Jubilee of O. A. Petrov" in ČW.
  2. In the autograph score Tchaikovsky indicated that the tenor solo part could also be performed by a soprano.