F major (1865, revised 1866).
(a) 1st version:
(b) 2nd version:
Composed during the autumn of 1865 in Saint Petersburg, during the last months at the Conservatory, and scored at that time for small orchestra.
The Overture was, it seems, composed as a student assignment. In 1866, at Nikolay Rubinstein’s suggestion, Tchaikovsky rescored the overture for large symphony orchestra. Presumably this was the work referred to in February 1866 in a letter to Modest Tchaikovsky: "Rubinstein has tasked me with some very important work, which I want to finish by the 3rd week of Lent" . This statement presumably refers to the reworking of the overture in its first version for its performance in the second version.
The overture in its first version (for small orchestra) was performed for the first time by a conservatory orchestra conducted by the author, in a concert on 27 November/9 December 1865 in the hall of the Mikhaylovsky Palace in Saint Petersburg . This was Tchaikovsky's first public appearance as conductor.
The second version of the overture (for large symphony orchestra) had its first performance on 4/16 March 1866, conducted by Nikolay Rubinstein, at a special concert of the Russian Musical Society in Moscow. In Saint Petersburg, this version was performed for the first time on 1/13 May 1866, conducted by Anton Rubinstein, at a charity concert in the hall of the Mikhaylovsky Palace .
Both versions were published for the first time in 1952 in the Complete Edition of Tchaikovsky's works .
Музыкальное наследие Чайковского (1958), pp. 275–276
This page was last updated on 12 February 2013