Tchaikovsky was persuaded by the jubilee committee to contribute to the celebrations. He was engaged to conduct two concerts of works by Anton Rubinstein, and to compose two of his own – a chorus a cappella to words by Yakov Polonsky, and a piano piece for an album by former students of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, to be presented at the jubilee.
Tchaikovsky wrote the chorus A Greeting to A. G. Rubinstein for the album, and the Impromptu, dedicated to Anton Rubinstein. Tchaikovsky wrote about the Impromptu in a letter to Nadezhda von Meck of 2/14 October 1889: "'I am to attend some rehearsals of my ballet [The Sleeping Beauty], some meetings of the Committee arranging the jubilee celebrations in Rubinstein's honour, and, besides all this, to write two compositions for the jubilee celebrations" .
The album was presented to Anton Rubinstein at his jubilee celebrations on 18/30 November 1889. The Impromptu was performed by Felix Blumenfeld on 20 November/2 December 1893 at the 1st Russian Symphony Concert in Saint Petersburg. Published by Pyotr Jurgenson in 1897.
From: Музыкальное наследие Чайковского (1958), pp. 415–416
This page was last updated on 12 February 2013