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In Immortal Footsteps

While browsing the web I found some archive newsreel footage relating to the Tchaikovsky House and Museum at Klin. Taken by British Pathé, "In Immortal Footsteps" provides a glimpse inside the composer's home following its refurbishment in 1939 (three years before it was ransacked in the Nazi invasion).

The uncredited man shown examining the composer's manuscripts was actually Iurii Davydov, Tchaikovsky's nephew and the museum's curator [EDIT: see below]. He also appears in the following short film from 1958, giving a tour of the house to the pianist Van Cliburn and violinist Valery Klimov (winners of the first Tchaikovsky International Competition), who each give a short recital in the composer's living room.

The commentary on this second clip is entirely in Russian.

If you have trouble with the above embedded links (which should open in new windows) then you can also view the clips on the British Pathé Archive website at:

... where you'll also find archive performances of some of Tchaikovsky's works, and a great deal more besides!

Brett Langston

Correction — I have just been advised that the gentleman referred to in the 1939 film of the museum was actually the Soviet musicologist Nikolai Mikhailovich Shemanin (b. 1903), who was the director of the museum at this time. Iurii Davydov came to Klin in 1945, after the war, and is correctly identified in the second clip (1965).

Brett Langston

We have another suggestion for the identity of the man in the 1939 clip — possibly the musicologist Nikolai Konstantinovich Rukavishnikov, who was temporarily in charge of the museum after the death of the previous curator (Nikolai Zhegin) in 1937.

Brett Langston

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013