Back to winter.
November – Troika
Ноябрь – На тройке
“In your loneliness do not look at the road,
and do not rush out after the troika.
Suppress at once and forever the fear and longing in your heart.”
December – Christmas
Декабрь – Святки
“Once upon a Christmas night the girls were telling fortunes:
taking their slippers off their feet and throwing them out of the gate.”
The titles and epigraphs were chosen by Tchaikovsky’s publisher, Nikolai Bernard, after the music was written. The translations are more or less as on Wikipedia.
I mentioned an orchestral arrangement of The Seasons from 1942 by Aleksandr Gauk. I’ve recently learned of a treatment by Alexander Raskatov called Seasons Digest (2001). It’s on iTunes with Gidon Kremer, solo violin, and Kremerata Baltica. YouTube has Jaakko Kuusisto talking about a performance with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. I saw Raskatov’s new opera after Bulgakov, A Dog’s Heart, in London last month.
I’ve had a few doubts about this Igumnov cycle. Most people nowadays will go to Pletnev.
Aleksander Orłowski, lithograph, 1819, Hermitage, St Petersburg
Viazovaia, Siberia, southern Urals; genuine pre-First World War colour photograph by Sergey Prokudin-Gorskii