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Two People

If you kindly let me know your comments about two people mentioed in your site

  1. Karl Albrecht / mentioned in the story of 1st Symphony of tchaikovsky, as a publisher or etc. At the same time he was a dedicatee of Tchaikovsky with one of his works. Was he the same person who is german painter lived in the same period?

  2. Anna Esipova / Russian pianist and Tchaikovsky first dedicated his ‘Concert Fantasy’ to her and afterwards changed his dedication for another person. Do you have any idea for the reason of this change?

Thank you very much for your kind attention.

Levent Özübek

Karl Konstantin Albrecht (1836–1893) was a cellist, teacher, and inspector at the Moscow Conservatory from 1866 to 1889. Tchaikovsky taught at the consevatory from 1866 until 1878, and formed a close friendship with Albrecht soon after his arrival. To quote from Alexander Poznansky's book Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man (p.87):

For Karl Albrecht, inspector at the conservatoire, Tchaikovsky became virtually a member of the family. He dined regularly with the Albrechts at their home, greatly enjoying their company. Also, Tchaikovsky appreciated very highly Albrecht's musical abilites and regretted that he chose not to compose.

Even after Tchaikovsky left his teaching post at the conservatory, they maintained a close correspondence, and in 1880 the composer dedicated his Serenade for String Orchestra to Karl Albrecht.

2. Your second question is more difficult to answer. When the piano arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Concert Fantasia was published in 1884—the same year it was composed—the edition was inscribed to Anna Nikolaevna Esipova (1851–1914), a pianist and professor at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory. But when the full score appeared in print in 1893, it carried a dedication to Sophie Menter (1846–1918), who was also pianist and professor at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, as well as a noted composer in her own right.

Neither name appears on the manuscript score, and Tchaikovsky's correspondence does not mention the change in dedication. But the reason may be that in the intervening years Sophie Menter had performed the fantasia on many occasions, to great acclaim, whereas it seems that Esipova was not such a strong advocate. Such changes in dedication had happened before—with the Piano Concerto No. 1 (changed from Nikolai Rubinstein to Hans von Bulow), and the Violin Concerto (from Léopold Auer to Adolf Brodsky).

I hope this answers your questions.

Brett Langston

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