Souvenir d'un lieu cher
(Воспоминание о дорогом месте)
Three pieces for violin with piano, Op. 42 (1878).
No. 1. Méditation (Размышление)
No. 2. Scherzo (Скерцо)
No. 3. Mélodie (Мелодия) 
Conceived while Tchaikovsky was working on his Violin Concerto (possibly in response to a request by Iosif Kotek). The first of the Op. 42 pieces (Méditation) was written in March 1878 and intended as the second movement (Andante) of the Violin Concerto, but was subsequently replaced with the Canzonetta . Therefore, the first piece of Op. 42, later called Méditation was written between 11/23 and 13/25 March at Clarens.
On 13/25 May, Tchaikovsky left for Nadezhda von Meck’s estate at Brailov, and on 19/31 May he began to make fair copies of the violin pieces . On leaving Brailov, he handed over the completed pieces to the estate manager, Marcel, to be conveyed to Nadezhda von Meck: "I have left my pieces (dedicated to Brailov) with Marcel to give to you... In my opinion, the first of these is the best, but it gave me the most trouble; it is called Méditation and is to be played a tempo Andante. The second is a very brisk scherzo, and the third – Chant sans paroles. On giving these pieces to Marcel, I experienced an indescribable melancholy, which stayed with me even as I sat down to write this; until I saw the lilacs still in full bloom, the grass still long, and the roses only just starting to blossom!" . In the same letter, Tchaikovsky asked Nadezhda von Meck if a copy of the pieces could be made and sent for publication, leaving the autograph with her. Władysław Pachulski made a copy of the pieces, but Tchaikovsky did not receive them until September 1878, when he told Nadezhda von Meck: "I have received the violin pieces. My thanks to you and Pachulski" .
In November 1878, Tchaikovsky enquired of Pyotr Jurgenson: "Please tell me, have you got the three violin pieces or not? Could I ask you to send the proofs to Kotek, and I should like the dedication to read as follows: 'Dedicated to B******* ', i.e. B and 7 asterisks" .
After the pieces were published in May 1879, the composer wrote to Pyotr Jurgenson: "I received the 3 Morceaux for violin some time ago now, and I’m highly delighted with the edition. I will attempt to obtain the manuscript for you, although you will understand that this is not without its difficulties" . However, this promise was not fulfilled.
No information survives on the first performance of Souvenir d’un lieu cher.
The pieces were published by Pyotr Jurgenson in May 1879. In October 1880, Méditation was published separately, as were Scherzo and Mélodie in April 1884. In 1896 Jurgenson published all three pieces in an arrangement by Aleksandr Glazunov for violin with orchestra, and in 1908 a new edition of the pieces for violin and piano was issued, edited by Leopold Auer.
Музыкальное наследие Чайковского (1958), pp. 423–424
This page was last updated on 14 February 2013