Musicisti russi in Liguria, da Cajkovskij a Skrjabin, in “Kandinsky, Vrubel’, Jawlenski e gli artisti russi a Genova e nelle Riviere. Passaggio in Liguria”, catalogue of the exhibition held in Genoa, Palazzo Ducale (27 October 2001-17 February 2002), edited by Franco Ragazzi, Milano Mazzotta 2001, pp.103-10.

Throughout the 19th century, Italy was the most favourite destination of several Russian artists; however, for a good part of the century, Liguria was not only a most favourite place of staying in comparison with other Italian regions, but it was rather a temporary stop for longer journeys. In this context, for example, it is possible to place composer Michail Ivanovic Glinka’s staying in Genoa.
After leaving Novospasskoe at the end of Aprile 1830 together with Nilolaj Kuzmic, a young tenor of the Imperial Choir, and after a staying in Germany, Glinka arrived in Milan in September 1830, under the official pretext of treating his precarious state of health in the Southern climate; as a matter of fact , it had been music ,and  in particular the theatre, to attract the young composer. Glinka would remain in Italy until his death: after having become Rossini’s most favourite  interpreter, he settled in Bologna where he died in 1880.
The  most important stop in his Italian staying was Milan, with its sparkling  theatre life, where he conceived his first project for a Russian national opera in 1832. The composer also visited Turin, Rome, naples, Venice and several other places. The events in those years were described twenty years after by Glinka  in his Memoires, of which the autograph manuscript is held today at the State Library in Saint Petersburg. Glinka passed through Genoa with Ivanov in September 1831, in the course of a journey from Milan to Naples; the composer describes the city as follows:
“In September we decided to go to Naples. First of all, we stopped in Turin  to collect Steric who saw us in Genoa. With some grounds this city is named Genes la superbe; it is placed in a wide amphitheatre and it seemed to me as if it were the realization of Babylon with its hanging gardens. We stayed there two days and visited all the most important places. Finally, the day of departure came”.
Petr Il’ic Cajkovskij’s staying in Liguria was far longer and more significant: he stayed in Sanremo about fifty days, during his journeyto Italy from 1877 to 1878. After his rash wedding  with his pupil Antonina NikolaevnaMiljukova, on 6 July 1877, and the hasty marriage failure, Cajkovskij fell in a deep depressed state; in autumn 1877 he set about a long journey to Europe in search of some serenity. Accompanied by his faithful servant Aleksej Ivanovic Sofronov, at first he was in Switzerland, and then in November 1877 in Florence, Rome and Venice; He returned to Russia in early March 1878. Cajkovskij sojourned in Sanremo from 31 December 1877 to 18 February 1878, but he also visited Genoa and other places in Liguria; his staying is documented by the several letters he used to write daily to relatives, colleagues, friends and to his intimate friend Nadezda von Meck, a genuine document of his spiritual restlessness at that time.

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