Rome is the capital city of Italy, and of the Lazio region and province
of Rome. During Tchaikovsky's lifetime the city formed part of the Papal States
until 1870, when it became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy.
Tchaikovsky visited Rome on the following occasions:
- 18/30 April–20 April/2 May 1874 — during a holiday in Italy the composer
visited Rome for the first time. "Strolling around the city I actually saw
the sights of the capital, i.e. the coliseum, the thermae of Caracella, the
Capitoline, the Vatican, the Pantheon, and, finally, the acme of celebration
of human genius, the Cathedral of Peter and Paul" .
- 7/19 November–10/22 November 1877 — awaiting the arrival of his sketches
for the Symphony No. 4,
which had accidentally been left behind in Moscow.
- 8/20 December 1879–26 February/9 March 1880 — during this extended visit
at the Hôtel Constanzi, he composed the Italian Capriccio, using
some themes he heard during is visit. He also he revised his Symphony No. 2, made an
arrangement for two pianos of his Piano Concerto No. 2, and
wrote the orchestral piece
Montenegro, which was required urgently for Alexander II's silver jubilee
celebrations in Moscow. He also had plenty of time for sight-seeing, taking
in the Church of Santa Scala (12/24 December), the Forum (15/27 December),
the Appian Way (16/28 December), the churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and
San Pietro in Vincoli (21 December/2 January), and the Vatican (26 February/9
March). Of the latter, he wrote: "I sat for a long time in the Sistine Chapel—an
absolute miracle. For almost the first time in my life I was enraptured by
the art of painting" .
- 20 February/4 March–28 February/12 March 1881 — spending time with his
old friend Nikolay Kondratyev,
and the Grand Duke Konstantin
- 20 November/2 December 1881–9/21 January 1882 — working on the opera Mazepa, and the Piano Trio in memory of Nikolay Rubinstein.
- 27 March/8 April–15/28 April 1890 — working on the orchestration and vocal
score of The Queen of Spades.
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- Letter 349 to Anatoly Tchaikovsky, 19 April/1 May
- Letter 1433 to Modest Tchaikovsky, 26 February/9
March 1877 [back]