The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton

The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton (Печальная судьба преподобного Амоса Бартона) was an opera subject which Tchaikovsky considered towards the end of 1893 (TH 244) [1]. It forms the first story in the collection Scenes of Clerical Life (1857) by Mary Ann Evans (1819-1880), writing as "George Eliot".

In his biography of the composer, Modest Tchaikovsky recalled that "In his last year, Pyotr Ilyich's favourite writer was George Eliot. He became acquainted with her works on one of his tours abroad and he began with this amazing woman's masterpiece The Mill on the Floss. Only L. Tolstoy could rival her in Pyotr Ilyich's esteem. Adam Bede, Silas Marner and Middlemarch all filled him with delight, and he read them not only once, but re-read them... Romola pleased him least of all, but after Mill on the Floss he liked the Scenes of Clerical Life the most" [2].

According to Modest, the composer intended to compose an opera on the subject of The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton, but later changed his mind in favour of Mr Gilfil's Love Story. There are no references to Amos Barton in other sources.

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