Serenade for Nikolay Rubinstein's Name-Day

Tchaikovsky Research

Tchaikovsky's Serenade in A major (TH 43 ; ČW 40) [1] was composed and orchestrated in December 1872 for the name-day celebrations of his friend Nikolay Rubinstein.


The Serenade is scored for a small orchestra consisting of flute, 2 clarinets (in A) + horn (in F), trumpet (in D) + violins I, violins II, violas, cellos, and double basses.


There is one movement: Andantino quasi Allegretto (A minor, 50 bars), lasting around 3 minutes in performance.


Students and colleagues at the Moscow Conservatory traditionally celebrated the name-day [2] of the founder of the institution, Nikolay Rubinstein. Tchaikovsky's manuscript score is dated 1/13 December 1872, and includes a note by Karl Albrecht: "Serenade, comp[osed] by P. I. Tchaikovsky and performed on 6 Dec. 1872 [O.S.] by students of the Conservatory at 6 pm for the name-day of Nikolay Grigoryevich Rubinstein".


Following the aforementioned private performance in Nikolay Rubinstein's apartment in Moscow on 6/18 December 1872, the Serenade was not heard again until its public premiere in Moscow on 5 November 1953, by members of the USSR State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Konstantin Ivanov.


The Serenade was published for the first time in 1961 in volume 24 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works, edited by Irina Iordan.


Tchaikovsky's handwritten score is preserved in the Russian National Museum of Music in Moscow (ф. 88, No. 84) [view].


See: Discography


To Nikolay Rubinstein (1835-1881), virtuoso pianist, and founder of the Moscow Conservatory.

External Links

Notes and References

  1. Entitled 'Serenade for N. G. Rubinstein's Name-Day' in TH, and 'Serenade to Nikolaj Rubinštejn's Name Day' in ČW.
  2. Following the old Russian custom of celebrating the feast day of the saint after whom they were named — in this case Saint Nicholas's day on 6 December [O.S.].