About this Recording
8.555371 - TCHAIKOVSKY: Songs (Complete), Vol. 3

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Songs, Volume 3

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky retains his position as the most popular of all Russian composers. His music offers obvious superficial charms in its winning melodies and vivid orchestral colours. At the same time his achievement is deeper than this, however tempting it may be to despise what so many people enjoy.

Born in Kamsko-Votkinsk in 1840, the second son of a mining engineer, Tchaikovsky had his early education, in music as in everything else, at home, under the care of his mother and of a beloved governess. From the age of ten he was a pupil at the School of Jurisprudence in St Petersburg, completing his studies there in 1859, to take employment in the Ministry of Justice. During these years he developed his abilities as a musician and it must have seemed probable that, like his near contemporaries Mussorgsky, Cui, Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin, he would keep music as a secondary occupation, while following his official career.

For Tchaikovsky matters turned out differently. The foundation of the new Conservatory of Music in St Petersburg under Anton Rubinstein enabled him to study there as a full-time student from 1863. In 1865 he moved to Moscow as a member of the staff of the new Conservatory established there by Anton Rubinstein's brother Nikolay. For over ten years he continued in Moscow, before financial assistance from a rich widow, Nadezhda von Meck, enabled him to leave the Conservatory and devote himself entirely to composition. The same period in his life brought an unfortunate marriage to a self-proclaimed admirer of his work, a woman who showed early signs of mental instability and could only add further to Tchaikovsky's own problems of character and inclination. His homosexuality was a torment to him, while his morbid sensitivity and diffidence, coupled with physical revulsion for the woman he had married, led to a severe nervous breakdown.

Separation from his wife, which was immediate, still left practical and personal problems to be solved. Tchaikovsky's relationship with Nadezhda von Meck, however, provided not only the money that at first was necessary for his career, but also the understanding and support of a woman who, so far from making physical demands of him, never even met him face to face. This curiously remote liaison and patronage only came to an end in 1890, when, on the false plea of bankruptcy, she discontinued an allowance that was no longer of importance and a correspondence on which he had come to depend.

Tchaikovsky's sudden death in St Petersburg in 1893 gave rise to contemporary speculation and has given rise to further posthumous rumours. It has been suggested that he committed suicide as the result of pressure from a court of honour of former students of the School of Jurisprudence, when an allegedly erotic liaison with a young nobleman seemed likely to cause an open scandal even in court circles. Officially his death was attributed to cholera, contracted after drinking undistilled water. Whether the victim of cholera, of his own carelessness or reckless despair or of death deliberately courted, Tchaikovsky was widely mourned.

Tchaikovsky wrote a hundred or so songs, the first before his entry to the Conservatory and the last in 1893, the year of his death. The earliest to be heard here is Moy geniy, moy angel (‘My genius, my angel’), a setting of a poem To Ophelia by the lyric poet Afanasy Fet, composed in 185? or 1858. The song is of interest as evidence of the composer's early abilities, before his formal study at the Conservatory.

The six songs that make up the Six Romances, Opus 6, were written between 27th November and 29th December 1869. The first of the set, Ne ver, moy drug (‘Do not believe, my friend’), with words by Alexey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, is dedicated to Alexandra Menshikova, who had created the part of Mariya in Tchaikovsky's opera The Voyevoda in February 1869.

The song is one of dramatic intensity .The second song, Ni slova, o drug may (Not a word, O my friend) sets a translation by Alexey Pleshcheyev of a poem by the radical Austrian writer Moritz Hartmann. It is dedicated to Tchaikovsky's first Moscow friend, Nikolay Kashkin, who also taught at the Conservatory there, and with its short phrases, conveys an even greater feeling of drama. I bol'no, i sladko (‘Both painfully and sweetly’), the third of the set, uses a text by Evdokiya Rostopchina in an operatic setting. The fourth song is not included here and the fifth, Otchevo? (‘Why?’) sets a translation by Lev Alexandrovich Mey of Heine's poem Warum denn sind die Rosen so blass ? (‘Why then are the roses so pale?’), its questioning short phrases leading to a final climax. It is dedicated to Tchaikovsky's close friend, the architect Ivan Klimenko. The group ends with a setting of Mey's version of Goethe's Mignon song, Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt (‘Only he who knows longing’) from Wilhelm Meister, in the Russian translation Net kolko tot, kto znal, familiar in English as None but the lonely heart and the best known abroad of all Tchaikovsky's songs.

From the Six Romances, Opus 28, of 1875 comes a setting of Lev Mey's Zachem? (‘Why did I dream of you?’), the third of a set written for the publisher Jorgenson. The sixth song, Strashnaya minuta (The fearful minute), with words by the composer himself, is a foretaste of operatic success to come.

Opus 38, No.6, written in 1878, a Florentine song, is an arrangement of a song Tchaikovsky had heard in Florence from a street-singer, Vittorio, by whom he was completely captivated, Various changes were made to the original song, as he had first transcribed it, a version preserved in a letter to Nadezhda von Meck. He dedicated it to his brother Anatoly, who had done much to shelter his brother from the effects of his marital separation and had earlier accompanied him abroad to avoid the immediate consequences. They had briefly visited Florence together and heard the eleven-year-old Vittorio, the apparent reason for Tchaikovsky's return to the city,

From the Seven Romances, Opus 47, of 1880 comes the fourth song, Usni, pechalnïy drug (Sleep, poor friend), with words by Alexey Tolstoy and dedicated, with the others of the set, to the singer Alexandra Panayeva, As a lullaby it is disturbing in its melancholy.

Four songs are included from the Six Romances, Opus 57 of 1884, put together during a visit to Paris. The second of these, Na nivï zhyoltïye (‘On the golden cornfields’), with words by Alexey Tolstoy and dedicated to the singer Bogomir Korsov, the original Mazepa in Tchaikovsky's opera of that name, The following song, Ne sprashivay (Do not ask), a Russian version by Alexander Strugovshchikov of Goethe's Mignon song Heiss mich nicht reden from Wilhelm Meister, is dedicated to Emiliya Pavlovskaya, the first Mariya in the same opera, and is a more dramatic treatment of the mysterious gypsy waif than other composers had imagined. Usni (‘Sleep’) and Smert (‘Death’), with words by the young symbolist poet Dmitry Merezhkovsky and dedicated to Vera Butakova, who had once shown partiality to the composer, and to the singer Dmitry Usatov, who had created the rôle of Andrey in Mazepa, The set ends with Pleshcheyev's Lish tï odin (‘Only you alone’), leading to a final climax of intensity.

The Six Romances, Opus 63, of 1887 are all settings of verses by the Grand Duke Konstantin Nikolayevich, to whom they are dedicated, Ya snachala tebya ne lyubila (‘I did not love you at first’) is relatively conventional in its strophic setting; Rastvoril ya okno (I opened the window) makes similar use of melodies relying heavily on the scale; Ya vam ne nravlyus (‘I do not please you’) has poignant short phrases, leading to the melancholy final warning and moving postlude; Pervoye svidaniye (‘The first meeting’) provides a lively and lilting contrast; Uzli gasli v komnatakh ogni (‘The fires in the rooms were already out’) has the lovers sitting alone in the darkening room, and the group ends with Serenade, a song with a gentle lilt to it,

Keith Anderson

Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

Songs, Volume 3


I bolno, i sladko, Op. 6, No.3 (1869)

Words by Evdokiya Rostopchina

Dedicated to Alexandra Kochetova


Both painfully and sweetly, Op. 6, No.3



I bolno, i sladko,

Kogda pri nachale lyubvi

To serdtse zabyotsya ukradkoy,

To v zhilakh techet likhoradka,

I bolno, i sladko;

To zhar zapylayet v krovi ...

I bolno, i sladko!

Both painfully and sweetly

At the start of love

The heart now beats stealthily,

Now fever flows in the veins,

Both painfully and sweetly

Now blood is on fire.

Both painfully and sweetly!



Probyot chas svidanya,

Potupya predatelny vzor,

V volnenye, v tomlenye neznanya, Boyishsya, zhelayesh priznanya,

I v muku svidanye!

Nachnyosh i prervyosh razgovor!

When the time of our meeting comes,

With downcast eyes,

Agitated and pining,

Afraid but ready to declare my love,

I start and stammer.

And the meeting becomes a torment!



I v muku svidanye!

Ne vymolvish slova.

Nemeyesh, robeyesh, drozhish;

Dusha, proklinaya okovy,

Vsya v rechi izlitsya gotova.

Net sily, net slova,

I tolko glyadish i molchish!

I start and stammer!

I cannot say a word.

I tremble, I become timid and dumb;

My soul, cursing its chains,

Would find expression.

I have no strength, no words,

And only look at you and keep silence!



I sladko, i bolno.

I trepet bezumny zatikh;

I serdcu legko i razdolno.

Slova polilis by tak volno,

No slushat uzh nekomu ikh.

I sladko, i bolno.

Both painfully and sweetly.

The mad fever is over;

My heart is light and free.

It would be so easy to find words

But there is now nobody to listen,

Both painfully and sweetly.




Moy geniy, moy angel, moy drug No.1 (c. 1850-1859)

Words by Afanasy Fet


My genius, my angel, my friend¡K.



Ne zdes li ty lyogkoyu tenyu,

Moy geniy, moy angel, moy drug,

Beseduyesh tikho so mnoyu

I tikho letayesh vokrug?

Is it you,

My genius, my angel, my friend,

Who as an elusive ghost talks with me so gently

And flies around softly?



I robkim darish vdokhnovenyem,

I sladkiy krachuyesh nedug,

I tikhim darish snovidenem,

Moy geniy, moy angel, moy drug.

Moy geniy! Moy angel! Moy drug!

You favour me with timid inspiration,

You heal a sweet sickness,

You give me soft dreams,

My genius, my angel, my friend.

My genius! My angel! My friend!




Lish ty odin, Op. 57, No.6 (1884)

Words by Alexey Pleshcheyev (after A. Kristen)

Dedicated to Alexandra Krutikova


Only you alone, Op. 57, No.6



Lish ty odin v moyi stradanya veril,

Odin vosstal na lzhivy sud lyudskoy

I podderzhal moy dukh iznemogavshiy V te dni, kak svet vo mne borolsya s tmoy.

Only you alone believed my suffering,

You alone struggled with the false gossip

And supported my exhausted soul

When the good fought in me with the evil.



Lish ty odin prostyor mne smelo ruku,

Kogda k tebe, otchayanya polna,

Prishla ya s serdtsem, krovyu istekavshim,

Bezzhalostnoy tolpoy oskorblena.

You alone offered me a helping hand

When the ruthless insulted me,

When I came to you in sadness

With bleeding heart.





Lish ty odin mne vzhizni ni mgnovenya

Ne otravlyal ...Odin menya shchadil, Odin bereg ot bur s uchastyem nezhnym,

I nikogda menya ty ne lyubil!

Net, nikogda, nikogda menya ty ne lyubil.

You alone never poisoned my life.

You alone showed mercy to me,

You alone protected me with tender sympathy,

But you never loved me!

You never, never loved me.






Ne sprashivay, Op. 57 No.3 (1884)

Words by Alexander Strugovshchikov (after Goethe)

Dedicated to Emiliya Pavlova


Do not ask, Op. 57, No.3



Ne sprashivay, ne vyzyvay priznanya! Molchaniya lezhit na mne pechat;

Vse vyskazat - odno moyo zhelanye,

No vtayne ya obrechana stradat!

Do not ask me, do not provoke the admission!

I am forced to be silent:

My only wish is to speak out

But I am doomed to suffer secretly.



Tam vechny lyod vershiny pokryvayet, Zdes na polya legla nochnaya ten:

S vesnoyu vnov istochnik zaigrayet,

O zareyu vnov proglyanet bozhiy den,

Mountain tops are covered with eternal ice,

Fields are in darkness every night:

Yet streams come to life every spring,

Day returns with every dawn.



I vsem, i vsem dano v chas skorbi uteshenye,

Ukazan drug, chtob serdtse oblegchit:

Mne s klyatvoy na ustakh dano odno terpenye,

I tolko bog, ikh mozhet razreshit!

Everyone is consoled in grief,

Everyone has a friend to relieve his mind:

I have sworn to suffer,

God only can release me!




Smert, Op. 57, No.5 (1884)

Words by Dmitry Merezhkovsky

Dedicated to Dmitry Usatov


Death, Op. 57, No.5



Yesli rozy tikho osypayutsya,

Yesli zvyozdy merknut v nebesakh,

Ob utesy volny razbivayutsya,

Gasnet luch zari na oblakakh,

If roses shed their petals,

If stars grow dark in the sky,

If waves break against rocks

If the rays of dawn are clouded over,




Eto smert, no bez borby muchitelnoy;

Eta smert, plenyaya krasotoy,

Obeshchayet otdykh upoyitelny,

Luchshiy dar prirody vseblagoy.

It is death but without agonising struggle,

This death captivates with its beauty,

It promises delightful rest

Which is the best gift of nature.




U neyo, nastavnicy Bozhestvennoy,

Nauchites, lyudi, umirat,

Chtob s ulybkoy krotkoy i  torzhestvennoy

Svoy konets bezropotno vstrechat

You people, let nature,

This divine mentor, teach you how to die

To meet your end with a gentle and solemn smile

And without complaint





Net, tolko tot, kto znal, Op. 6, No.6

Dedicated la Alina Khvostova

Words, by Lev Mey (after Goethe)


No, only he who has known, Op. 6, No.6



Net, tolko tot, kto znal

Svidanya, zhazhdu,

Poymyot, kak ya stradal

I kak ya strazhdu.

No, only he who has known the longing

For meeting

Can see how I suffered

And how I suffer.



Glyazhu ya vdal ...net sil,

Tuskneyet oko ...

Akh, kto menya lyubil

I znal - daleko!

I look into the distance; it is beyond my powers,

My eyes grow dim.

Ah, the one who loved me

Is so far away!



Akh, tolko tot, kto znal

Svidanya zhazhdu,

Poymyot, kak ya stradal

I kak ya strazhdu.

My breast is bumming.

Ah, only he who has known longing

Can see how I suffered

And how I suffer.



Vsya grud gorit - Kto znal

Svidanya zhazhdu,

Poymyot, kak ya stradal

I kak ya strazhdu

My Heart speaks -only he

Who has known longing

Can see how I suffered,

And how I suffer




Otchego? Op. 6, No.5

Dedicated to Ivan Klimenko

Words by Lev Mey (after Heine)


Why?, Op. 6, No. 5



Otchego poblednela vesnoy pyshnotsvetnaya roza sarna?

Otchego pod zelyonoy

travoy golubaya fialka nema?

Otchego tak pechalno

zvuchit pesnya ptichki, nesyas v nebesa? Otchego nad lugami visit

pogrebalnym pokrovom rosa?

Otchego v nebe solntse

s utra kholodno i ternno, kak zimoy? Otchego i zemlya vsya syra

i ugryumey mogily samoy?

Otchego ya i sam vse grustney

i boleznenney den oto dnya?

Otchego, o, skazhi mne skorey,

ty, pokinuv, zabyla menya?

Why has the fine rose

Turned pale in spring?

Why has the blue violet

Become silent in green grass?

Why does the song of a bird

Sound so sadly in the sky?

Why are the meadows wrapped in fog

As in a shroud?

Why is the morning sun

Cold and sombre as in winter?

Why is the ground damp

And more dismal than the grave?

Why am I myself become

Sadder and more sickly with every passing day?

Why, oh, tell me quickly,

Did you leave me and forget me?




Pervoye svidaniye, Op. 63, No.4 (1887)

Words by Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov


The first meeting, Op. 63, No.4



Vot minovala razluka unylaya,

Probil svidaniya chas,

Svetloye, polnoye schastiye, milaya, Vnov nastupilo dlya nas,

Cheerless parting is over,

The time of meeting has come.

Happiness, full of light,

Starts for us again, my dear.



Dolgo tomilosya. pol no stradaniya, Serdtse tvoyo, no pover:

Dni odinochestva, dni ispytaniya

My naverstayem teper.

Your heart suffered for a long time

But trust me:

We shall make up now

For the days of solitude, days of trial.



Nezhnye rechi, lyubvi vyrazheniya

Vnov potekut bez kontsa,

I vo yedinoye snova biyeniye

Nashi solyutsya serdtsa!

Tender conversations and expressions of love

Will now be endless,

Our hearts will blend again

Into one heart-beat!





Pust sochetayet sozvuchye yedinoye

Nashi dve dushi, i vnov,

Slovno vesennyaya pesn solovyinaya,


Let the same accord

Join our souls,

And our love will rise again

Like a nightingale's song in spring!






Ni slova, o drug moy, Op. 6 No.2

Words by Alexander Pleshcheyev (after Moritz Hartmann)

Dedicated to Nikolay Kashkin


Not a word, O my friend, Op. 6, No.2






Ni slova, o drug moy, ni vzdokha .

My budem s toboy molchalivy.

Ved molcha nad kamnem, nad kamnem mogilnym

Sklonyayutsya grustnye ivy.

Not a word, O my friend, no sigh.

We shall be silent.

As silent as sorrowful weeping willows Bowing to the grave.





I tolko sklonivshis, chitayut,

Kak ya, v tvoyom serdtse ustalom,

Chto byli dni yasnogo schastya,

Chto etogo schastya ne stalo!

They only read bowed down

As I read in your tortured heart

That there were days of clear happiness

And that happiness disappeared.





Ni slova, o drug moy, ni vzdokha.

My budem s toboy molchalivy.

Ved molcha nad kamnem, nad kamnem mogilnym Sklonyayutsya grustnye ivy.

Not a word, O my friend, no sigh.

We shall be silent.

As silent as sorrowful weeping willows

Bowing to the grave.




Pimpinella, Op. 38, No.6 (1878)

Song From Florence


Pimpinella, Op. 38, No.6



Non contrastar cogl'uomini,

Fallo per carità.

Non sono tutti gli uomini

della mia qualità!

10 ti voglio bene assai, Pimpinella, quanto per te penai solo il cuor lo sa!

Do not wrongly compare me

with other men, I beg you.

Not all men

are of my quality!

I love you very much, Pimpine!la,

My suffering for you the heart alone knows!



Ti pregai dì di festa, Pimpinella, non ti vestir confusa,

non ti mostrar chiassosa, Pimpinella,

se vuoi portarrni arnor!

Io ti voglio bene assai, Pimpinella, quanto per te penai solo il cuor lo sa!

I begged you on the holiday, Pimpinella, not to dress immodestly,

not to appear gaudy, Pimpinella,

if you want to bring me love!

I love you very much, Pimpinella,

My suffering for you the heart alone knows!



Dalla tua stessa bocca, Pimpinella, attendo la risposta,

non fa soffrir, o bella Pimpinella,

e non mi dir di no!

Io ti voglio bene assai, Pimpinella, quanto per te penai solo il cuor lo sa!

From your own mouth, Pimpinella,

I await the reply.

Do not make me suffer, Pimpinella,

and do not say no!

I love you very much, Pimpinella,

My suffering for you the heart alone knows!



Ora che siamo soli, Pimpinella,

vorrei svelare il mio cuore,

languisco per amore, Pimpinella,

solo il mio cuore lo sa!

Io ti voglio bene assai, Pimpinella,

quanto per te penai solo il cuQr 10 sa!

Now that we are alone, Pimpinella,

I would open my heart to you,

I languish tor love of you, Pimpinella,

my heart alone knows!

I love you very much, Pimpinella,

My suffering for you the heart alone knows!




Usni, pechalnly drug, Op. 47, No.4 (1880)

Words by Alexey Tolstoy

Dedicated to Alexandra Panayeva


Sleep, poor friend, Up. 47, No.4



Usni, pechalny drug, uzhe s gryadushchey tmoy

Vecherniy aly svet slivayetsya vse bole;

Bleyashchiye stada vernulisya domoy,

I uleglasya pyl na apustelom pale.

Sleep, poor friend, the scarlet evening glow

Blends with the darkness,

The herds have returned home,

Dust has settled on the deserted fields.



Da snidet angel sna, prekrasen i krylat,

Ida pereneset tebya on v zhizn inuyu!

Izdavna byl on mne v pechali drug i brat,

Usni, moyo ditya, k nemu ya ne revnuyu.

Let the wonderful angel of sleep fly down

And carry you to the other world !

He was my friend and brother for a long time.

Sleep, my baby, I am not jealous of his love.



Na rany serdtsa on zabveniye prolyet,

Pytlivuyu tosku ot razuma otymet,

I s garestnoy dushi na ney lezhashchiy gnet

Do novogo utra nez rima pripodymet.

He treats the wounds of the heart with oblivion,

He takes melancholy away from the mind,

He saves the sad soul

From oppression till morning



Tomimaya ves den dushevnayu borbay,

Ot vzorov i rechey vrazhdebnykh ty ustala;

Usni, maya ditya, mezh nimi i tobay

On blagastnoy rukay apustit pakryvalo.

Usni, moyo ditya! Usni, moyo ditya, ditya, usni!

You are tired of hostile looks and talk

After the whole day of struggle;

Sleep, my baby, he will hide you Beneath a blessed coverlet.

Sleep, my baby! Sleep, my baby!




Rastvoril ya okno, Up. 63, No.2 (1887)

Words by K. R(omanov)


I opened the window, Up. 63, No.2 (1887)



Rastvoril ya okno, --

stala dushno nevmoch, --

Opustilsya pred nim na koleni,

I v litso mne pakhnula vesennyaya noch

Blagavonnym dykhanyem sireni.

I opened the window, -­-

it had become unbearably stuffy, -­-

And sank to my knees in front of it,

And upon my face the spring night wafted

he fragrant breath of lilac.



A vdali gde --­

to chudno zapel solovey;

Ya vnimal yemu s grustyu glubokoy ...

Is toskoyu o rodine vspomnil svoyey;

Ob atchizne ya vspomnil dalekoy, -­-

Somewhere in the distance ¡V

­a nightingale broke into song,

I listened with deep sadness...

And thought with yearning of my homeland,

I recalled my far-off native land, -­-





Gde rodnoy solovey pesn rodnuyu poyot

I, ne znaya zemnykh ogorcheniy,

Zalivayetsya tseluyu noch naprolyot

Nad dushistoyu vetkoy sireni ...

Where a nightingale of home sings a native song

And, unaware of earthly sorrow,

Sings merrily throughout the night

Above sweet-scented lilac boughs...




Uzh gasli v kornnatakh ogni,

Op. 63, No.5 (1887)

Words by Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov


The fires in the room were already out,

Op. 63, No.5



Uzh gasli v komnatakh ogni.

Blagoukhali rozy.

My seli na skamyu v teni Razvesistoy beryozy.

The fires in the room were already out. Roses smelled sweet.

We sat down on a bench

In the shade of a branching birch-tree.



My byli molody s toboy!

Tak schastlivy my byli

Nas okruzhavsheyu vesnoy,

Tak goryacho lyubili!

We were young!

We were so happy

In spring;

We loved so passionately!



Dvurogiy mesyats navodil

Na nas svoyo siyanye;

Ya nichego ne govoril,

Boyas prervat molchanye;

The crescent moon

Shone for us:

I said nothing

Not to interrupt the silence;



Bezmolvno sinikh glaz tvoyikh

Ty opuskala vzory:

Krasnorechivey slov inykh

Nemye razgovory.

Your blue eyes

Looked down:

Silent conversations

Said more than words.



Chego ne smel poverit ya,

Chto v serdtse ty taila,

Vse eto pesnya solovya

Za nas dogovorila.

What I did not dare to tell you,

What you hid in your heart,

All that was told for us

By the nightingale's song.




Serenada, Op. 63, No.6 (1887)

Words by Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov


Serenade, Op. 63, No.6

O ditya, pod okoshkom tvoyim

Ya tebe propoyu serenadu.

Ubayukana penyem moyim,

Ty naydyosh v snovideyakh otradu;

Pust tvoy son i pokoy

V chas bezmolvny, nochnoy

Nezhnykhzvukov leleyut lobzanya!

Oh, my baby! I shall sing a serenade

Under your window.

You will enjoy the dreams

Lulled by my singing;

Let the kiss of the gentle sound Cherish your rest

In the silent night hours!

Mnogo gorestey, mnogo nevzgod

Tebya v zhizni, ditya, ozhidayot;

Spi zhe sladko, poka net zabot.

Poka serdtse trevogi ne znayet,

Spi vo mrake nochnom

Bezmyatezhnym ty snom,

Spi, ne znaya zemnogo stradanya.

Many sorrows and misfortunes

Are in store for you;

So sleep calmly while you are carefree,

While your heart is free of troubles,

Sleep in peace

In the darkness of night,

Sleep free of worldly suffering.

Pust tvoy angel-khranitel svyatoy,

Mily drug, nad toboyu letayet

I, leleya leleya son devstvenny tvoy,

Tebe rayskuyu pesn napevayet;

Pust toy pesni svyatoy

Otgolosok zhivoy

Tebe v dushu vselit upovanye.

Let your guardian angel

Come on wings,

To protect your innocent sleep,

And to sing you a song of paradise;

Let an echo

Of this holy song

Fill your soul with hope.

Spi zhe, milaya, spi, pochivay

Pod akkordy moyey serenady!

Pust prisnitsya tebe svetly ray,

Preyispolnenny vechnoy otrady;

Pust tvoy son i pokoy

V chas bezmolvny, nochnoy

Nezhnykh zvukov leleyutlobzanya!

Sleep, my dear, sleep

To the music of my serenade!

Dream about bright paradise

Full of eternal delights;

Let the kiss of the gentle sound

Cherish your rest

In the silent night hours!


Zachem? Op. 28, No.3 (1875)

Words by Lev Mey

Dedicated to Maria Il'ina


Why did 1 dream of you? Op. 28, No.3



Zachem zhe ty prisnilasya,

Krasavica dalyokaya,

I vspykhnula, chto v polyme,

Podushka odinokaya?

Why did I dream of you,

Unattainable beauty,

Why did my lonely pillow

Grow hot?



Okh, sgin ty, sgin ty, polunochnica! Glaza tvoyi lenivye

I pepel kos rassypchaty,

I guby gordelivye

Vse nayavu mne snilosya,

I vse, chto gryoza veshnyaya, Umchalosya, i na serdtse

Legla potma kromeshnaya!

Oh, bird of night, out of my sight!

Your languorous eyes,

And your ash-grey plaits,

And your haughty lips

Appeared to me as a day-dream.

But all disappeared as a spring reverie,

And my heart

Plunged into pitch darkness!



Zachem zhe ty prisnilasya,

Krasavica dalyokaya,

Kol sty net vmeste s gryozoyu

Polushka odinokaya?

Zachem zhe, zachem zhe ty prisnilasya!

Why did I dream of you,

Unattainable beauty,

If my lonely pillow

Grows cool again with the dream?

Why, why did I dream of you?




Ya vam nenravlyus, Op. 63, No.3 (1887)

Words by Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov


I do not please you, Op. 63, No.3 (1887)



Ya vam ne nravlyus ...Vy lyubili

Lish druzhbu ¡V ne lyubov moyu;

Moi nadezhdy vy sgubili,

I vse - taki ya vas lyublyu!

I do not please you...you enjoyed

My friendship, not my love:

You have ruined my hopes

But I still love you!



Kogda zhe posle kak-nibud,

Poymete vy moi muchenya

I nezametno v vashu grud

Proniknet kaplya sozhalenya,

When some time later

You understand my torments

And some regret lightly enters

Your heart,



To budet pozdno ...Rastsvetayut

Lish raz vesenniye tsvety;

Uzh serdtsa vnov ne prilaskayut

Perestradavshiye mechty.

It will be too late...

The flowers of spring bloom only once: Dreams that have passed

Bring no comfort to the heart.




Ne ver, moy drug, Op. 6, No.1 (1869)

Words by Alexey Tolstoy

Dedicated to Alexandra Menshikova


Do not believe me, my friend, Op. 6, No.1



Ne ver, moy drug, ne ver, kogda v poryve gorya

Ya govoryu, chto razlyubil tebya.

V otIiva chas ne ver, ne ver izmene morya,

Ono k zemle vorotitsya, lyubya.

Uzh ya toskuyu, prezhney strasti polny,

Svoyu svobodu vnov tebe otdam.

Do not believe me, my friend,

Do not believe me when on an impulse of grief

I say that I ceased to love you;

Do not believe the sea's infidelity

When the tide is on the ebb.

The sea will return to the land still loving.





I uzh begut obratno s shumom volny Izdaleka k ]yubimym beregam.

Ne ver, moy drug, ne ver, ne ver,

Kogda v poryve gorya

Ya govoryu, chto razlyubil tebya.

V otliva chas ne ver, ne ver izmene morya,

Ono k zemle vorotitsya, lyubya.

I am already sad and full of the old passion,

I want to give you my freedom back,

Do not believe me when on an impulse of grief

I say that I ceased to love you;

Do not believe the sea's infidelity

when the tide is on the ebb.

The sea will return to the land still loving.






Strashnaya Minuta, Op. 28, No.6 (1875)

Words by N. N (Pyolr Tchaikovsky ) Dedicaled to Evlaliya Kadmina


The fearful minute, Op. 28, No.6



Ty vnimayesh, vniz skloniv golovku,

Ochi opustiv i tikho vzdykhaya!

Ty ne znayesh, kak mgnovenya eti

Strashny dlya menya i polny znachenya,

Kak menya smushchayet eto molchanye.

Ya prigovor tvoy zhdu, ya zhdu reshenya

Il nozh ty mne v serdtse vonzish,

Il ray mne otkroyesh.

Akh, ne terzay menya, skazhi lish slovo!

You are listening with bowed head,

Your eyes are cast down, you utter a gentle sigh!

You do not know that this moment

Is so fear-ful and so significant for me,

You do not know how your silence troubles me

I await you sentence, your decision

Either you thrust a knife into my heart,

Or you bring me into paradise.

Ah, do not torture me, give me a word!



Otchego zhe robkoye priznanye

V serdtse tak tebe zapalo gluboko?

Ty vzdykhayesh, ty drozhish i plachesh;

Il slova lyubvi v ustakh tvoyikh nemeyut,

Ili ty menya zhaleyesh, ne lyubish?

Ya prigovor tvoy zhdu, ya zhdu reshenya:

Il nozh ty mne v serdtse vonzish,

Il ray mne otkroyesh!

Akh, vnemnli zhe molbe moyey, Otvechay, otvechay skorey!

Ya prigovor tvoy zhdu, ya zhdu reshenya!

Why did my timid declaration

Affect you so much?

You sigh, you tremble and weep;

Either the words of love freeze in your mouth, Or you only feel sorry for me, not love'?

I await your sentence, your decision

Either you thrust a knife into my heart,

Or you bring me into paradise.

Ah, hear my entreaty,

Answer me!

I await your sentence, your decision!




Usni, Op. 57, No.4 (1884)

Words by Dmitry Merezhkovsky

Dedicated to Vera Butakova


Sleep, Op. 57, No.4



Usnut by mne navek v trave, kak v koJybeli,

Kak ya rebyonkom spal v te solnechnye dni,

Kogda v luchakh poludennykh zveneli

Veselykh zhavoronkov treli

I peli mne oni: 'Usni. usni, usni!'

I would like to sleep on the grass for ever

As I slept in a cradle in my childhood

When in the midday sun

The lark's joyful song sounded

And told me: ¡¥sleep, sleep!¡¦



I krylya pestrykh mukh s prichudlivoy okraskoy

Na venchikakh tsvetov drozhali, kak ogni,

I shum derev kazalsya chudnoy skazkoy;

Moy son leleya, s tikhoy laskoy

Bayukali oni: 'Usni. usni, usni!'

Quaint multi-coloured fly's wings

Trembled like tiny lights on the flowers,

The rustle of the trees seemed to me a fairy tale,

The trees nursed me tenderly

And sang me a lullaby: 'sleep, sleep!'



I ubegaya v dal, kak volny zolotye,

Davali mne priyut v zadumchivoy teni,

Pod kushchey verb, polya moi, polya rodnye;

Skloniv kolosya nalivnye,

Sheptali mne oni: 'Usni. usni, usni!'

My native fields

Stretched afar like golden waves,

Willows gave me shadow

Ripe ears of corn

Whispered to me: 'sleep, sleep!'




Ya snachala tebya Ne lyubila, Op. 63, No. 1 (1887)

Words by Grand Duke Konstantin Romanov


I did not love you at first, Op.63, No.1 (1887)



Ya snachala tebya ne lyubila,

Ty trevozhil menya i pugal:

Menya novaya uchast strashila,

I nevedomy zhrebiy smushchal.

At first I did not love you,

You disturbed me, frightened me:

A new fate scared me,

And an unknown destiny confused me.



Tvoyego ya boyalas priznanya ...

No nastal neminuyemy chas,

I, ne pornnya sebya, bez soznanya,

Ya naveki tebe otdalas.

I feared your declaration...

But the inevitable moment came,

And, not understanding myself, all unaware, I went away from you forever.



I rasseyalis vnov opasenya,

Prezhney robosti net i sleda:

Pod luchami zari vo mgnovenye

Tak tumannaya tayot gryada.

And once again my fears dispersed,

With not a trace of my former timidity:

Like a misty bank melting in a twinkling

Beneath the rays of dawn.



Slovno solnce, lyubov prosiyala,

I nemerknushchiy den zablistal.

Zhiznyu novoyu serdtse vzygralo,

I svyashchenny ogon zapylal.

Like the sun, love shone forth,

And the day unfading sparkled.

My heart began to seethe with new life,

And a sacred fire blazed forth.






Na nivy zhyolfïye, Op. 57, No.2

Words by Alexey Tolstoy

Dedicated to Bogomir Korsov


On the golden cornfields, Op. 57, No.2





Na nivy zhyoltye niskhodit tishina,

V ostyvshem vozdukhe ot merknushchikh seleniy,

Drozha, nesetsya zvon ...

Dusha moya polna

Razlukoyu s toboy, i gorkikh sozhaleniy.

Silence comes to golden fields,

A peal of bells comes from dark villages Through the cold air. My soul is full

Of our parting and bitter regrets.





I kazhdy moy uprek ya vspominayu vnov,

I kazhdoye tverzhu privetlivoye slovo, Chto mog by ya skazat tebe, moya lyubov,

No chto na dne dush ya skhoronil surovo.

Dusha moya polna razlukoyu s toboy!

Dusha moya polna

Razlukoyu s toboy i gorkikh sozhaleniy!

I remember my every reproach once more

I repeat every friendly word

Which I could say to you, my love,

But which I buried deep in my soul

My soul is full of our parting!

My soul is full

Of our parting and bitter regrets!


Close the window