String Sextet "Souvenir de Florence"

The music of the Mediterranean peoples was a favourite subject for Russian composers: after Glinka’s overtures on Spanish themes (1845) Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a Spanish Capriccio (1887), Borodin and Glazunov also composed overtures alla Spagnola and on a Greek themes, and PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY was the author of an Italian Capriccio and a String Sextet Souvenir de Florence. It continues the chamber music tradition of his colleagues and predecessors as well as his own work. After the quartets of  Borodin and Glazunov, after his three string quartets and piano trio, he created another opus, now very much in the repertoire.

In 1886 the St. Petersburg Chamber Music Association elected Tchaikovsky an honorary member, in response to which he promised to dedicate a work to the occasion and its initiators. Four years later, he fulfilled his promise with the string sextet Souvenir de Florence.

Italy has always given Tchaikovsky stimuli for life and creativity. After the composer’s personal crisis in the late 1870s and his failed marriage to Antonina Miliukova, it was a trip to Italy that balanced his emotional state. In 1890 he visited Italy again for a few months, staying in Florence, where he basically completed his opera The Queen of Spades and carried out his intention to “sing” Florence. Although the idea of the sextet was born in Italy and he sought to emulate its national genres, Tchaikovsky created typically Russian music, entirely in the vein of his composer’s Slavic sensibility and expressiveness. In November 1890 the work was performed at a private gathering, and after some revisions it was premiered in December 1892 in St. Petersburg by a cast including Leopold Auer.

Souvenir de Florence was performed in various string formations – quartet, sextet, orchestra.

Какво търсиш днес?

Search in our website...