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Original Versions

I greatly enjoyed reading the articles, "Tchaikovsky's Winter Daydreams" and "Unknown Tchaikovsky," and listening to the MP3s of the First Symphony in its original incarnation. Although my score for the First Symphony does include the original passages in the appendix, I would like to know whether the score and parts for this version have ever been published in their entirety. Also, has the original version of this symphony ever been performed or recorded since the work was revised?

I am also curious as to whether there are any modern performances or recordings of the original (small orchestra) version of the Overture in F, as well as the composer's first thoughts on Vakula the Smith (before he revised it as Cherevichki).

Thank you,

Nicolas Krusek
Vancouver, Canada

It's often fascinating to hear how a composer's conception of a work evolved from his first thoughts, as is the case with the works you mentioned.

The original version of the Overture in F major has been recorded twice—by the USSR Radio & TV Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Fedoseev, and by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra under Veronika Dudarova. The only complete recording of Vakula the Smith that I know of was made by the BBC from a live performance conducted by Edward Downes in 1988. This has never been issued commercially, but I understand it will be rebroadcast during BBC Radio 3's Tchaikovsky Festival next Feburary, which aims to play all Tchaikovsky's works, along with those of Stravinsky. Details of the final schedule have yet to be released, but this is likely to include a number of rareties—maybe even the original version of the Symphony No. 1. We will be providing full details so that listeners worldwide can enjoy this week-long event via the BBC's web-site (

Brett Langston

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013