Дата публикации: 18 ноября 2021
Автор(ы): Natalya GORBUNOVA
Публикатор: Научная библиотека Порталус
Источник: (c) Science in Russia, №2, 2014, C.108-112
Номер публикации: №1637242416

Natalya GORBUNOVA, (c)

by Natalya GORBUNOVA, Academic Secretary of the State Museum of Pyotr Tchaikovsky (Klin, Moscow Region)


"Surprisingly I've got strongly attached to Klin, "-- this is what the composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) wrote about the town he lived the last eighteen months of his life. He moved to a house in the outlying district on May 5, 1892. It was an ideal place for his creative work: there he finished correcting scores of the opera lolanta and ballet The Nutcracker, wrote a vocal quartet The Night, pieces for piano, romances and the Third Piano Concert. Today, this house is a memorial museum.




In Klin, Tchaikovsky wrote Symphony No. 6, which he considered his "best and most sincere" composition. On October 7, 1893, he left Klin for his last concert trip to St. Petersburg to perform the symphony for the first time. But, unfortunately, he got sick and died. Tchaikovsky never returned to Klin, and today short scores of Symphony No. 6 are kept at his House.


A bright idea--"to preserve everything in the house as it is"--was proposed by a younger brother of the outstanding musician Modest (1850-1916), who was a well-known playwright, translator and librettist of those times. It was he who established the first musical memorial museum in Russia, in cooperation with his nephew Vladimir Davydov, holder of the copyright inherited from Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and Alexei Sofronov, composer's servant and the last owner of his property.


The museum was opened on December 9, 1894--the date when the first entry was made in the visitors'

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book. Since then, tens of such books were filled in by visitors. In the early period of the museum, they only signed their names there and later on left words of gratitude and comments.


Modest Tchaikovsky and Vladimir Davydov settled down in Klin in 1897. In order to preserve personal rooms of the composer untouched, they built an annex to the house and lived there. With no special funds available, they were forming a Tchaikovsky center as his museum for twenty years. They gathered Tchaikovsky's archives, collected his personal belongings, library, biographical materials, documents representing a history of performing of his compositions in Russia and abroad. Composer's closest friends and his students--Herman Laroche, Nikolai Kashkin and Sergei Taneev--were also of great help.


Modest Tchailovsky planned almost all basic lines of development of the museum, first of all, preservation, collection, scientific work and promotion activities. In 1915 he bequeathed the museum to the Moscow Branch of the Russian Musical Society provided that it will be managed as Mozart's house in Salzburg and Beethoven's house in Bonn, thus presenting one of the most original monuments of musical culture to Russia.




From 1916, the museum was managed by Nikolai Zhegin, its first director, a man of surprising life staunchness and commitment, appointed by the recommendation of Modest Tchaikovsky. His efforts to defend the house in the early stormy days of the October revolution were not in vain. In the autumn of 1917, he, upset by the unpredictable political situation, moved the composer's archives and most valuable artifacts to the library of the Moscow Conservatoire. All these rarities were returned to Klin only in 1924. A few years before, in 1918, Zhegin managed to obtain a pass for this unique museum at the Museum Department of the People's Commissariat of Education. It was he who did a lot to replenish the museum collection with personal belongings and archives of many famous coevals of the great musician. He also managed to expand the collection with personal belongings, letters, manuscripts, photos and documents of Tchaikovsky found by him.


In 1920 Zhegin organized the Society of Friends of the House-Museum of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. He used to hold cordial receptions on the first floor of Tchaikovsky's house and in the annex. Later on, a special guest house was constructed in close proximity to the

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museum. Among the guests were famous singers Leonid Sobinov and Antonina Nezhdanova, the composer Yuri Shaporin, conductor Nikolai Golovanov, prominent musicologist Vasily Yakovlev.


The museum was also visited by the physiologist Kliment Timiryazev (1843-1920), St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences Corresponding Member (1890), Member of the British Royal Society (1911); the prominent Moscow architect Fyodor Shekhtel, sculptor Mikhail Anikushin, in the Soviet times--cosmonauts German Titov, Valentina Tereshkova, Vitaly Sevastyanov and many others.


The Society of Friends of the House-Museum of Pyotr Tchaikovsky was rapidly becoming popular. In the first year of its existence, 275 men became its members, including many outstanding men of arts--Anatoly Brandukov, Konstantin Stanislavsky, pianists Alexander Goldenweiser and Konstantin Igumnov, the actress Olga Knipper-Chekhova, sculptor Vera Mukhina, etc. The society committed to preservation of this memorial place, expansion of museum funds with new materials and popularization of Tchaikovsky's heritage, was led by the composer Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov. Earlier, in May 1921, Zhegin was appointed as the museum curator (1921). The same year, by the Decree of the RSFSR Council of People's Commissars, the Tchaikovsky House-Museum was declared public property.


The museum was financed out of budget funds and royalty paid to perform compositions of Tchaikovsky and stage plays of his brother. The Society of Friends of the House-Museum of Pyotr Tchaikovsky also contributed a lot of money used to buy new materials for the museum archives, carry out scientific studies, restore the house, and hold concerts and exhibitions.


In the 1930s, on the eve of the hundredth birthday anniversary of Tchaikovsky that was celebrated in

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1940, systematic studies of his musical heritage were initiated. The chronicle of his private and creative life was published, including letters.




In the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, almost all valuables were moved to Tchaikovsky's native town of Votkinsk in Udmurtia. In August 1941 two railway cars filled with the valuable cargo left Klin: it consisted of a piano, personal belongings and unique manuscripts of the composer, his library and articles of the museum interior--the most valuable artifacts of the museum collection.


Thus, the museum was temporarily divided into 2 parts. In Votkinsk its employees organized an exposition and returned to every-day activities. Those who stayed in Klin tried to arrange dispatch of scientific and auxiliary materials--photocopies, designs, books and remaining furniture owned by Modest Tchaikovsky, but, unfortunately, nothing came of it: on November 22-23, the town was captured by German invaders. They occupied the composer's house and tailored it to their needs: the first floor was turned into a motorcycle garage and a shoemaker's workshop, the second floor was occupied by soldiers--more than 100 men. On December 15, 1941, the Red Army entered the town and Klin was the first town and the museum--the first monument of culture liberated from the fascist invaders. On December 19, a diplomatic mission headed by Anthony Eden, the then Foreign Minister of Great Britain, Ivan Maisky, USSR Ambassador to the UK, a member of the USSR Academy of Sciences, as well as more than 20 foreign correspondents visited Klin. On March 1, 1942, they participated in the opening ceremony of the museum and welcomed its first visitors. The museum organized exhibitions, excursions, scientific sessions and conferences, a study group of music. In those difficult times the museum was headed by Margarita Rittikh, an employee of the museum, musicologist and Cand. Sc. (History of Arts).


In the end of 1944, the evacuated valuables returned from Votkinsk to Klin, and on May 6, 1945, on the eve of the composer's birthday, a renewed House-Museum was again opened for public. It was its second birth.




It is worth saying that today the State House-Museum of Pyotr Tchaikovsky in Klin is one of the most valuable monuments of national culture of the world significance. It receives annually a lot of visitors who "come to visit Tchaikovsky" from different countries. In fact, judging by the scope and value of its collections (about 200,000 units), research activities and its status in the world, it is, in substance, the Tchaikovsky National Center.


The memorial house the composer lived and worked in has fully preserved its interior; the adjacent park and estate facilities; personal archives of Pyotr Tchaikovsky (first of all, his musical autographs) together with other collections of the museum represent a unique memorial complex that has been carefully preserved by its employees.


As the owner of such a rich documentary fund at present, museum is arranging and holding exhibitions both in Russia and abroad, promoting the art of the great Russian composer and our national culture as a whole.

Опубликовано на Порталусе 18 ноября 2021 года

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