Itter is a municipality in the Kitzbühel district of the state of
Tyrol in Austria, overlooking the Brixtemtal valley in the eastern Alps. During
Tchaikovsky's lifetime it was part of the Austrian crownland of Tyrol, and part
of the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1867.
Itter Castle (Schloss Itter) was the home of the pianist Sophie Menter from 1887 to 1902,
and she invited Tchaikovsky to stay there on two occasions:
- 10/22 September–26 September/8 October 1892 — visiting with the pianist Vasily Sapel’nikov, it was during this visit that Tchaikovsky arranged Menter's Ungarische Zigeunerweisen
for piano with orchestra (completed on 20 September/2 October).
- 7/19 June–14/26 June 1893 — stopping on his return home to Russia after
receiving an honorary doctorate at Cambridge
University. Afterwards he wrote to his brother: "Strangely enough the beauties
of the Tyrol among which I lived at
Menter's did not afford me even half the pleasure I felt at the sight
of the endless steppe through which I rode here yesterday from the railway
station. No, decidedly the Russian countryside is infinitely dearer to my
heart than all the much-vaunted beauties of Europe" .
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- Letter 4959 to Anatoly Tchaikovsky, 19 June/1 July
This page was last updated on
15 February 2013