My Genius, My Angel, My Friend
My Genius, My Angel, My Friend (Мой гений, мой ангел, мой друг), is Tchaikovsky's earliest surviving song, written in the late 1850s while he was still a teenager.
Scored for low or medium voice with piano accompaniment.
Movements and Duration
There is one movement: Larghetto (C minor, 47 bars), lasting around two minutes in performance.
The words are by Afanasy Fet (1820–1892), from the first untitled poem in his cycle To Ophelia (К Офелии) (1842, revised 1856):
Не здесь ли ты лёгкою тенью,
The song seems to have been forgotten until the manuscript was discovered among Tchaikovsky's papers after his death. Its exact date of composition is unknown, but it must have been after 1856, when the revised version of Fet's poem was published. Modest Tchaikovsky dated the song to 1857 or 1858 (and wrote this on the manuscript score).
A facsimile of the first page of the autograph score was published in volume 1 of Modest Tchaikovsky's biography of his brother . The complete score was published for the first time in 1940, in volume 44 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works, edited by Ivan Shishov and Nikolay Shemanin .
Tchaikovsky's manuscript score is now preserved in the Klin House-Museum Archive (a1, No. 103).
The autograph of My Genius, My Angel, My Friend carries a dedication "To . . . . . . . . . . . . ." (i.e. thirteen dots) .
Notes and References
- (1900), between pages 128 and 129.
- Also printed in (1940).
- Alexander Poznansky has suggested that this may have been a coded inscription to Tchaikovsky's schoolfriend Sergey Kireyev (1845-1888). "The date of composition coincides with the peak of their relationship, and the thirteen dots indicating the letters of the unspelled dedication match the number of letters in the Russian dative case of Kireyev's first and last names. See (1993), p. 48.