It's Not the Wind that Bends the Branch

The Russian folksong It's Not the Wind that Bends the Branch (То не ветер ветку клонит) was harmonized by Tchaikovsky in July 1893 (TH 194 ; ČW 403) , at the request of the conductor Konstantin Koninsky.

"It would be very good of you to agree harmonize this melody... I attempted it, but was truly lacking in 'divine inspiration'. I would have liked to have made such that the theme is repeated in the bass while the soprano line stands out on its own, but failed because I lack the talent and know-how, so is it possible for me to make this single request of you to help with my chorus?", Koninsky wrote to Tchaikovsky on 1/13 July 1893 [1].

In his letter of reply from Grankino of 19/31 July 1893, Tchaikovsky advised Konstantin Koninsky to consult collections of Russian folksongs by Vasily Prokunin and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, but on the second page of the letter he wrote out the required harmonization [2].


A facsimile of the autograph sketch (F minor, 16 bars) was published in the Russian Musical Gazette (Русская музыкальая газета) in 1899 [3].


See: Discography

Notes and References

  1. Letter from Konstantin Koninsky to Tchaikovsky, 1/13 July 1893. In this letter Koninsky added a note: "I would really like you to correct my mistakes" — Klin House-Museum Archive.
  2. Letter 4957 to Konstantin Koninsky, 19 June/1 July 1893.
  3. Неизданный музыкальный отрывок Чайковского (1899). Tchaikovsky's sketch was also reprinted in facsimile in П. И. Чайковский. Полное собрание сочинений, том XVII (1981), p. 117.