Souvenir de Hapsal
(Воспоминание о Гапсале)
Three pieces for piano solo, Op. 2 (1867).
No. 1. Ruines d'un château (Развалины замка)
No. 2. Scherzo (Скерцо)
No. 3. Chant sans paroles (Песня без слов)
This was Tchaikovsky's first cycle of piano pieces. They were written during work on the opera The Voyevoda, in June and July 1867, while the composer was staying at Hapsal, together with Modest Tchaikovsky and Anatoly Tchaikovsky, and some members of the Davydov family. "Hapsal itself isn’t a bad place to stay", the composer wrote to Aleksandra Davydova at Kamenka. "It leaves me some memories, thanks to the presence of the Davydovs, but frankly at this moment I don’t feel at ease" .
The cycle of piano pieces, brought together under the title Souvenir de Hapsal, is dedicated to Vera Davydova. The second piece in the cycle—Scherzo—was a reworking by Tchaikovsky of the central section of his Allegro in F minor for piano, which had been composed during his studies at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory.
The Scherzo was performed for the first time by Nikolay Rubinstein at a special symphony concert of the Russian Musical Society in Moscow, on 27 February/10 March 1868. It is not known when the remaining pieces were first performed.
The cycle was published for the first time by Pyotr Jurgenson in 1868.
From: Музыкальное наследие Чайковского (1958),
This page was last updated on 16 February 2013