Peter Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Search_tchaikovsky-peter

TCHAIKOVSKY, Peter (1840-1893) — Tchaikovsky's position among Russian choral composers was nothing short of seminal. Widely successful in the realm of secular music, Tchaikovsky influenced Russian Orthodox church music of his time in ways that cannot be underestimated. When he composed his Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in 1878, the Imperial Chapel's censorship of church music was severely hampering the willingness of the rising school of Russian nationalist composers to write for the church. Tchaikovsky's Liturgy was promptly banned by the Director of the Imperial Chapel, Nikolai Bakhmetev, an action that in turn led Tchaikovsky's publisher, Jurgenson, to sue. The Russian Senate's ruling in favor of Tchaikovsky and Jurgenson broke the grip of censorship and opened the possibility for successive generations of Russian composers to compose sacred choral works without subjecting them to bureaucratic review. Although stylistically Tchaikovsky's music for the Liturgy was not in any way radical or innovative, the very fact that he composed new, freely invented music for most of the liturgical components shaped the approach taken by nearly every composer who subsequently undertook to write musical settings of this service, most notably, Gretchaninoff, Ippolitov-Ivanov, Chesnokov, and Rachmaninoff.

A few years after the Liturgy, in 1882, Tchaikovsky again broke new ground with his All-Night Vigil, op. 52, becoming the first major Russian composer to draw upon the traditional unison chants of the Russian Orthodox Church as the basis for composing an entire liturgical cycle. Again, Tchaikovsky's polyphonic treatment of the pre-existing chant material was in no way extraordinary, but his recognition of this long-neglected wellspring of national Russian melos made a mark. It is hardly coincidental that more than 30 years later, Sergei Rachmaninoff used many of the very same chant melodies in his monumental All-Night Vigil. op. 37. 

After his two major liturgical cycles, Tchaikovsky, encouraged by Emperor Alexander III himself to write more sacred music, produced ten more liturgical choruses in which he pioneered some additional compositional and stylistic traits that would come to characterize the "new Russian choral school" of the early twentieth century: rich, and colorful choral textures with divisi, the invention of quasi-chant melodies, and the use of chant-like motives in melodic part-writing.

By virtue of his stature as a Russian musician, Tchaikovsky was contributed to the course of Russian church music in other ways. In the years between his Liturgy and Vigil, he edited the complete sacred choral works of Dmitry Bortniansky (1751-1825) for Jurgenson's Publishing House. He compiled A Concise Textbook of Harmony Intended to Facilitate the Reading of Sacred Musical Works in Russia (1875). And, perhaps most significantly, as a member of the Supervisory Council of the Moscow Synodal School of Church Singing, he secured the appointments of his students, the choral conductor Vasily Orlov (1858-1907) and the composer Alexander Kastalsky (1856-1926), to faculty positions at that institution. Together with the musicologist Stepan Smolensky (1848-1909), Orlov and Kastalsky, following Tchaikovsky's precepts, would shape the Moscow Synodal School and its Choir into a crucible for the creation and nurturing of one of the largest and substantive bodies of sacred choral music in modern times. 

Tchaikovsky's contributions to secular choral repertoire cannot be overlooked, either. In addition to the extensive and vivid use of choruses in his numerous operas, he composed several occasional cantatas (the most prominent of which is Moscow, written in 1883 for the coronation of Alexander III), and several part songs for mixed, women's, and men's choir.

A108_search Peter Tchaikovsky Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op.41

Peter Tchaikovsky

National Choir of the Ukraine "Dumka"

Yevhen Savchuk

Regis

A108

CD Price: $16.98
A084_search Peter Tchaikovsky Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, opus 41

Peter Tchaikovsky

Russian Chamber Chorus of New York

Nikolai Kachanov

RMASA

A084

CD Price: $19.98
A041b-web_search Peter Tchaikovsky Tchaikovsky: Vespers op. 52 and selected choral works

Peter Tchaikovsky

St. Petersburg State Capella Choir

Vladislav Chernushenko

IML

A041b

CD Price: $16.98
A065_search Peter Tchaikovsky Vespers [All-Night Vigil], op. 52, and Three Sacred Choruses

Peter Tchaikovsky

Russian Chamber Chorus of New York

Nikolai Kachanov

KOCH

A065

CD Price: $19.98
Ta-anv_search Peter Tchaikovsky All-Night Vigil ('Vespers')
Vsenoshchnoye Bdeniye

Peter Tchaikovsky

Mixed

Church Slavonic

16

244

Ta-ANV

This item is temporarily out of stock.
Ta-dl_search Peter Tchaikovsky Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
Liturgiya Sv. Ioanna Zlatousta

Peter Tchaikovsky

Mixed

Church Slavonic

15

84

Ta-DL

Price: $22.95
M-pt_search Peter Tchaikovsky The Complete Sacred Choral Works
Polnoye sobraniye duhovno-muzïkal'nïh proizvedeniy

Peter Tchaikovsky

Church Slavonic

40

596

M-PT

Price: $59.00
Ps011_search Peter Tchaikovsky Autumn
Osen

Peter Tchaikovsky

ttbb w pno

Russian

PS011

Price: $1.85
Ta040_search Peter Tchaikovsky Blessed Are They, Whom Thou Hast Chosen
Blazheni, yazhe izbral

Peter Tchaikovsky

satb(div)

Church Slavonic

Ta040

Price: $2.40
Ta024_search Peter Tchaikovsky Blessed Art Thou, O Lord
Blagosloven yesi Ghospodi

Peter Tchaikovsky

Little Znamenny Chant

satb

Church Slavonic

Ta024

Price: $2.90
Ta018mc_search Peter Tchaikovsky Blessed is the Man
Blazhen muzh

Peter Tchaikovsky

ttbb

Church Slavonic

Ta018mc

Price: $2.40
Ta018_search Peter Tchaikovsky Blessed Is the Man
Blazhen muzh

Peter Tchaikovsky

satb

Church Slavonic

Ta018

Price: $2.40
Ta016_search Peter Tchaikovsky Bless the Lord, O my soul
Blagoslovi, dushe

Peter Tchaikovsky

Russian “Greek” Chant

satb

Church Slavonic

Ta016

Price: $2.90
Hnp017_search Peter Tchaikovsky Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Peter Tchaikovsky

Russian “Greek” Chant

satb

English

HNP017

Price: $1.50
Ta006_search Peter Tchaikovsky Cherubic Hymn
Heruvimskaya Pesn'

Peter Tchaikovsky

satb

Church Slavonic

Ta006

Price: $2.40
Ta034_search Peter Tchaikovsky Cherubic Hymn No. 1
Heruvimskaya No. 1

Peter Tchaikovsky

satb

Church Slavonic

Ta034

Price: $2.40
Ta035_search Peter Tchaikovsky Cherubic Hymn No. 2
Heruvimskaya No. 2

Peter Tchaikovsky

satb

Church Slavonic

Ta035

Price: $2.90
Track
CD track: Blessed are they, whom Thou hast chosen

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Vespers [All-Night Vigil], op. 52, and Three Sacred Choruses
Get the Sheet Music for this track: Ta040 Ta040_thumb


Track
CD track: Blessing and Great Litany

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, opus 41


Track
CD track: Bless the Lord, O My Soul

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Tchaikovsky: Vespers op. 52 and selected choral works
Get the Sheet Music for this track: Ta016 Ta016_thumb


Track
CD track: Little Litany and Only Begotten Son

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Unto Ages of Ages
Get the Sheet Music for this track: Ta002 Ta002_thumb


Track
CD track: Blessed Is the Man

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Tchaikovsky: Vespers op. 52 and selected choral works
Get the Sheet Music for this track: Ta018 Ta018_thumb


Track
CD track: Cherubic Hymn

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Unto Ages of Ages
Get the Sheet Music for this track: Ta006 Ta006_thumb


Track
CD track: Gladsome Light

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Famous Church Choirs of Old Russia
Get the Sheet Music for this track: Ta020 Ta020_thumb


Track
CD track: Glory Be to the Father

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Op.41
Get the Sheet Music for this track: Ta002 Ta002_thumb


Track
CD track: Let my prayer arise

Peter Tchaikovsky

On CD: Vespers [All-Night Vigil], op. 52, and Three Sacred Choruses
Get the Sheet Music for this track: Ta041 Ta041_thumb