The Storm (Kashperov)

Tchaikovsky Research

The overture from Vladimir Kashperov's opera The Storm was arranged for solo piano by Tchaikovsky between August and October 1867 (TH 254 ; ČW 433). Until very recently, the date and title of the piece was unknown [1].

The surviving last four pages of Tchaikovsky's autograph score were discovered in the archive of Pyotr Jurgenson's publishing house, and are now preserved in the Russian National Museum of Music in Moscow (ф. 88, No. 120) [view]. At the end of the manuscript is the publisher's note "Printed and engraved in metallograph by P. I. Jurgenson in Moscow" [2].

In 2012, Aleksandr Komarov finally identified the work as a solo piano arrangement of bars 79 to 177 from the introduction to Vladimir Kashperov's opera The Storm [3]. This opera had its premiere at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow on 30 October/11 November 1867, and was based on the same story by Aleksandr Ostrovsky as Tchaikovsky's overture, The Storm, which he had composed as a student in 1864.

In October 1867, Pyotr Jurgenson published the overture to Kashkperov's opera in an arrangement for solo piano by Aleksandr Dubuque [4]. Komarov found that pages 7 to 9 of the printed arrangement corresponded exactly to the manuscript fragment in Tchaikovsky's hand. Presumably Tchaikovsky had arranged the whole of the introduction at Dubuque's request, either as a commission or, more probably, in settlement of a debt. Komarov suggests that Tchaikovsky probably worked on this arrangement between August and October 1867, after his return from a summer holiday at Hapsal in Estonia.

It is not known whether Tchaikovsky arranged any other parts of Kashperov's opera, besides the introduction.

Notes and References

  1. Entitled "An Unidentified Work" in ČW, and as "Piano Piece in A minor" in TH.
  2. "Печать и гравировка в металлографии П. И. Юргенсона в Москве".
  3. See Aleksandr Komarov, Новая атрибуция в фонде П. И. Чайковского (2014).
  4. This edition was advertised in the newspaper Современная летопись (5 November 1867), p. 16.