Two Songs (1875)

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In April or May 1875 Tchaikovsky wrote Two Songs (TH 100 ; ČW 244-245) for the Saint Petersburg journal Nuvellist (Нувеллиси), at the request of its editor Nikolay Bernard.

Contents

Instrumentation

Scored for high voice (No. 1) or medium voice (No. 2), with piano accompaniment.

Movements and Duration

  1. I Should Like in a Single Word (Хотел бы в единое слово)
    Allegro moderato (D minor, 49 bars).
  2. We Have Not Far to Walk (Не долго нам гулять)
    Moderato (E major, 51 bars).

Texts

  1. Lev Mey (1822–1862), from an untitled poem (1859) — a translation from the German poem Ich wollt', meine Schmerzen ergössen from the cycle Die Heimkehr (1824) by Heinrich Heine (1797–1856)
  2. Nikolay Grekov (1807–1866), from an untitled poem (by 1860).

Composition

Little is known about the process of composition, except that on 3/15 May 1875 Tchaikovsky asked Pyotr Jurgenson "to send to the two romances to M. Bernard's business address at the earliest opportunity" [1]. Two years previously Tchaikovsky had fulfilled a similar request for Nikolay Bernard in the form of the Two Songs (1873).

Publication

Nos. 1 and 2 were first published in the Nuvellist issues for September 1875 and November 1875 respectively [2], and they were reprinted separately by Nikolay Bernard in January 1876. After Jurgenson took over Bernard's firm in 1885 he issued both songs in his own edition in September of that year [3].

In 1940 both songs were included in volume 44 of Tchaikovsky's Complete Collected Works, edited by Ivan Shishov and Nikolay Shemanin.

Autographs

Tchaikovsky's manuscript scores of both songs are now preserved in the Glinka National Museum Consortium of Musical Culture in Moscow (ф. 88, Nos. 134 and 135)

Recordings

See: Two Songs (1875): Recordings

Related Works

See Two Songs (1873)

Notes and References

  1. Letter 399 to Pyotr Jurgenson, 3/15 May 1875 [back]
  2. Both songs were passed by the censor on 28 June/10 July 1875 [back]
  3. Passed by the censor on 3/15 September 1885 [back]