Tchaikovsky used tune from Georgian lullaby Megruli Nana for his Nutcracker
07 December, 2017
Many distinguished persons such as Alexandre Dumas, Knut Hamsun traveled to Tbilisi and were captivated by its diversity and beauty. Famous composer Peter Tchaikovsky was no exception and frequently visited Georgia that he called "a sweet dream".

From 1886 to 1890 Peter Chaikovsky visited Georgia five times and some of his best works were staged at the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater during his lifetime. A concert of his many musical pieces was held in 1886 in Tbilisi (Conductor: M.M.
Ipolitov-Ivanov);

Besides, while staying in Georgia, namely in Tbilisi and Borjomi, Chaikovski wrote his Orchestral Suite No.4 Mozartiana, as well as the String Sextet in D minor (Souvenir de Florence), etc. He worked on his famous Sleeping Beauty here, listened and recorded Georgian folk songs, including the famous Georgian lullaby, which he later used in his famous ballet Nutcracker. Lullaby “Megruli Nana” from Georgia's Samegrelo Region impressed the Russian composer so much that he used the tune from the song in his popular Christmas ballet The Nutcracker. The video showcases celebrated Georgian singer Hamlet Gonashvili performing Megruli Nana with other singers.

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Georgian theaters have seen the performances of Eugene Onegin (1882), Mazepa (1885), The Maid of Orleans (1886), The Enchantress (1887), Cherevichki (1887), The Queen of Spades (1893), The Oprichnik (1898), Iolanta (1899).

The first ballet of Chaikovsky staged in Georgia was The Nutcracker (1900) and it was followed by The Swan Lake (1907) and The Sleeping Beauty (1912).

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Peter Chaikovsky with Georgian teachers of Georgia's musical school in 1886

In the Tbilisi’s Mushtaidi Garden, the chairs placed in front of the open stage should remember well the white-haired composer walking in the garden's alley every time he he arrived and stopped at his brother Anatoli's house. Anatoli served as a prosecutor. His house was standing on the former consul (today's Tchaikovsky) street. The composer used to walk along the former Mikhailov street (now David Aghmashenebeli avenue) and every time he went back to Russia, he used to send letters to his friends and call Tbilisi "a sweet dream". It is impossible to read his words indifferently: "... Tbilisi is clearly a European city, well-arranged, clean, with unusual climate, luxurious shops, magnificent opera... This is a city that fully responds to the needs of civilized Europe. At the same time, in Tbilisi, along the European part of the city, there is a rather auspicious Asian district and that's exactly the mix of Asia and Europe that makes the city all the more charming..." It is noteworthy that the house of Tchaikovsky's brother still stands today, at 16 Tchaikovsky street.
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Chaikovsky in Tbilisi



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