September 10, 1812: French soldiers pillage the town of Novospasskoye, home of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (8).
February 14, 1818: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (13) begins studies at the Blagorodny Boarding School, part of the Chief Pedagogical Institute, St. Petersburg.
July 10, 1820: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (16) plays a piano concerto at the graduation ceremonies of the Boarding School of the Nobility, St. Petersburg.
July 11, 1821: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (17) receives a Bible because of his success in his examinations. It is inscribed, “From the St. Petersburg University Boarding School to Mikhail Glinka, for good conduct and achievement in scripture, Russian language and literature, statistics, mathematics, and Latin.”
May 22, 1823: Following his desire to travel, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (18) makes for the Caucasus, reaching Kharkov today.
May 19, 1824: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (19) begins his duties as an under-secretary in the office of the Council of Communications, St. Petersburg. “I had to be in the office only five to six hours per day, I was not assigned work at home, and I had no real duties or responsibilities. Consequently, all the rest of my time I could devote to my favorite activities, especially music.”
September 2, 1827: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (23) and three others organize a serenade on the Little Chernaya River, St. Petersburg. Situated on a launch in the river, Glinka directs a chorus and accompanies them on piano. Military musicians play from the launch and in the breaks, fireworks go off from another launch. Crowds of people line the banks for the performance from nine till midnight.
June 13, 1828: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (24) leaves his civil service post in the office of the Council of Communications. He will travel to Italy for three years in an attempt to restore his health.
December 25, 1828: Publication of the Lyrical Album for 1829 edited by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (24) and Nikolai Ivanovich Pavlishchev, is advertised in the Journal de St. Pétersbourg. It is a collection of music, some of it by Glinka.
May 7, 1830: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (25), accompanied by Nikolai Kuzmich Ivanov (20), tenor in the Imperial Chapel, sets off from St. Petersburg to Italy by way of Germany. Glinka wants to travel anyway but when a doctor (a friend of his father) states that only three years in a warmer climate will cure him, his father allows him to go.
December 26, 1830: Gaetano Donizetti's (33) tragedia lirica Anna Bolena to words of Romani after Pindemonte and Pepoli is performed for the first time, in Teatro Carcano, Milan. Of the unusually warm reception Donizetti writes, “success, triumph, delirium.” A traveling Russian, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (26), will remember “The performance was like magic for me.”
March 6, 1831: La sonnambula, a melodramma by Vincenzo Bellini (29) to words of Romani after Scribe and Aumer, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Carcano, Milan, to great success. A sojourning Russian named Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (26) is in the audience. “Shterich and I...embraced one another and shed a flood of tears from emotion and joy.”
October 9, 1831: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (27) and Nikolai Kuzmich Ivanov depart Milan for Turin on their tour of Italy.
November 1, 1831: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (26) and his friend Nikolai Kuzmich Ivanov arrive in Naples.
March 7, 1833: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (28) arrives in Venice during his sojourn in Italy. He is very impressed.
March 16, 1833: Beatrice di Tenda, a tragedia lirica by Vincenzo Bellini (31) to words of Romani after Tedaldi-Fores, is performed for the first time, in Teatro La Fenice, Venice. It is not successful and Bellini is faulted. Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (28) remembers “Despite all Pasta's efforts in the part of Beatrice, the work was not a success.”
October 20, 1833: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (29) and Fyodor Gedeonov depart Prague for Berlin where they will arrive in a few days.
November 8, 1833: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (29) begins his studies with the theorist Siegfried Dehn in Berlin. “There is no doubt that I am more indebted to Dehn than to any other of my masters.”
March 16, 1834: While Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (29) is in Berlin with his sister, they receive word that their father has died. They immediately return to Russia. It is Glinka’s first return to his homeland in almost four years.
September 7, 1834: During his first week back in St. Petersburg, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (30) meets Maria Ivanovna Petrovna, his future wife, for the first time.
March 17, 1835: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (30) proposes marriage to Maria Petrovna Ivanovna in St. Petersburg. She accepts.
May 8, 1835: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (30) marries Maria Petrovna Ivanova, his sister’s brother-in-law’s wife’s sister, in St. Mikhail’s Church in the Engineering Castle, St. Petersburg. She is the daughter of an army officer. They will separate after four years and divorce.
April 20, 1836: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (31) petitions Alyeksandr Mikhailovich Gedeonov, Imperial Theatre director, to accept A Life for the Tsar for production.
April 20, 1836: An aria and chorus for Bakhturin’s play The Moldavian Girl and the Gypsy Girl by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (31) are performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg.
December 9, 1836: A Life for the Tsar, an opera by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (32) to words of Rosen, Sollogub, Kukolnik, and Zhukovsky, is performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Theatre, St. Petersburg before Tsar Nikolay and other members of the royal family. “The opera was a complete success and I was in a state of intoxication.” Glinka is called to the Imperial box to meet the Tsar. The night will be viewed as the birth of Russia as an art music power.
December 25, 1836: At a dinner to honor Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (32), Alyeksandr Pushkin improvises a stanza on the honoree. Glinka later sets it, and others performed this evening, to music.
January 13, 1837: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (32) is appointed Kapellmeister of the Court Chapel Choir by Tsar Nikolay I in St. Petersburg.
October 30, 1837: Scene at the Monastery by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (33) to words of Kukolnik is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg.
December 29, 1837: Fire breaks out in the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg. Tsar Nikolay is called back from the theatre to oversee firefighting operations but all that can be done is salvage as much as possible. Most of the interior decoration of the building is destroyed. The conflagration is witnessed by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (33) from his monastery.
April 4, 1838: Some excerpts from the unperformed opera Ruslan y Lyudmila by Mikahail Ivanovich Glinka (33) are performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg.
April 16, 1838: Tsar Nikolay I orders his Kapellmeister, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (33), to go to Ukraine and recruit singers.
May 10, 1838: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (33) sets out from St. Petersburg to Ukraine to recruit singers for the Imperial Choir.
June 28, 1838: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (34) reports to St. Petersburg about his very successful trip to Ukraine to recruit choristers. 25 boys have been found already.
September 13, 1838: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (34), his travelling companions, and a troop of boys for the Imperial Choir, return to St. Petersburg.
July 16, 1839: Waltz in G for orchestra by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (35) is performed for the first time, at the Winter Palace, St. Petersburg.
November 17, 1839: After receiving many reports of his wife’s infidelity, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (35) overhears his mother-in-law arranging for a meeting of his wife with her lover. “For me this was sufficient.”
November 18, 1839: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (35), having moved to a friend’s house in St. Petersburg, writes to his wife informing her that because of her infidelity, he can no longer live with her. He is not blameless on that score either.
December 19, 1839: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (35) petitions Tsar Nikolay I to be released from his position as Imperial Kapellmeister “because of ill health...and domestic disorders...”
December 30, 1839: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (35), depressed over the break with his wife, is granted release from the position of Imperial Kapellmeister, St. Petersburg. He has stayed on long enough to retire with the rank of collegiate assessor.
October 2, 1840: Farewell to St. Petersburg, a cycle for voice and piano by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (36) to words of Kukolnik, is reviewed in Northern Bee. The songs were first performed last summer.
January 25, 1841: Tarantella for reciter, chorus, and orchestra by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (36) to words of Myatlov is performed for the first time, in the Alyeksandrinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg.
March 27, 1841: The wife of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (36), from whom he has separated but not divorced, marries Nikolay Nikolayevich Vasilchikov, nephew of the Chairman of the Council of Ministers.
May 27, 1841: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (36) submits a formal petition for divorce. His wife has already remarried.
October 9, 1841: A Father Opolsky files a complaint with the Metropolitan and Chief Procurator in St. Petersburg. He says that Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (37) has been telling everyone that he married Glinka’s estranged wife to Nikolay Nikolayevich Vasilchikov. He says he told Glinka that because he suffers from “obscured judgment.”
October 12, 1841: Incidental music to Kukolnik’s play Prince Kholmsky by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (37) is performed for the first time, in St. Petersburg. The play is too long and not well received.
December 6, 1841: Because she has refused for five months to come to court to be questioned in divorce proceedings, Maria Petrovna, estranged wife of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (37), is questioned at home. She denies that she has married Nikolay Nikolayevich Vasilchikov.
March 7, 1842: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (37) appears before the consistory in St. Petersburg in the matter of his own divorce. He denies his wife’s charge that he threw her out. In fact, he left the apartment and gave 3,000 rubles per year for her maintenance. He produces 13 letters from his wife to her lover, Nikolay Nikolayevich Vasilchikov and reads sections of them into the record. He flatly refuses to live with her again.
March 16, 1842: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (37) petitions the Director of Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg to produce Ruslan and Lyudmilla. He forwards the music and promises the libretto soon. The director, Alyksandr Mikhailovich Gedeonov, immediately accepts and orders its production.
March 28, 1842: Maria Petrovna Glinka denies under oath that she ever married Nikolay Nikolayevich Vasilchikov and that she ever received letters from him. She says that her husband, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (37), bribed “the serf girl” to lie for him. She does not want a divorce.
April 20, 1842: Franz Liszt (30) gives his first performance in St. Petersburg before 3,000 people, the largest audience ever seen in Russia for such an event. The critic Stasov will later write, “After the concert, Serov and I were like madmen. We scarcely exchanged a word, but hurried home, each to write down his impressions, dreams and raptures. We both vowed to keep this anniversary sacred forever, and never, while life lasted, to forget a single instant of it.” Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (37) is also present and says that Liszt “played some things exceptionally well…but other things he played unbearably, with totally inappropriate expression…with often tasteless, worthless, vacuous ornamentation of his own.” It is the first time Glinka meets Vladimir Stasov.
September 12, 1842: The “serf girl” in the divorce case of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (38) testifies that she took letters from Nikolay Nikolayevich Vasilchikov to Maria Petrovna Glinka from Mrs. Glinka’s dresser. See 28 March 1842.
September 14, 1842: The Imperial Censor approves Ruslan and Lyudmilla by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (38) for public performance.
December 9, 1842: Ruslan and Lyudmilla, an opera by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (38) to words of the composer, Kukolnik, Shirkov, Markevich, and Gedeonov after Pushkin is performed for the first time, in the Bolshoy Theatre, St. Petersburg. The production is flawed from the start with bad sets, some inadequate singers and an undramatic libretto. The audience reception includes both loud applause and hissing.
May 15, 1843: The ecclesiastical consistory in St. Petersburg dismisses the divorce suit of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (38).
July 12, 1843: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (39) writes to the Synod asking them to reconsider the dismissal of his divorce suit. “In the eyes of society I am the object of unwarranted disgrace, which I must bear, knowing the full measure of my innocence.”
July 24, 1844: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (40) arrives in Paris from Brussels. He is favorably impressed.
November 16, 1844: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (40) writes from Paris that his trip abroad is for three reasons, “to improve my health...to satisfy my curiosity...and...to acquire a certain fame and to establish relations with the well-known names of Europe.”
April 10, 1845: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (40) performs in a concert at the Salle Herz, Paris featuring some of his music. It is moderately successful.
September 11, 1845: After spending the summer in Valladolid, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (41) departs for Madrid.
September 13, 1845: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (41) arrives in Madrid from Valladolid and takes up residence in the center of town.
October 16, 1845: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (41) visits Aranjuez, the “Tsarskoye Selo of the Spanish kings...” He is not impressed. He will then go on to Toledo, which pleases him much more.
May 14, 1846: In reconsidering the case of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (41) the Synod reverses the earlier decision of the ecclesiastical consistory and grants his request for a divorce. “Glinka, as the innocent party...is permitted to enter into another marriage, and Maria Petrovna is to remain forever unmarried.” See 15 May 1843.
December 21, 1846: Ruslan and Lyudmilla by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (42) is given its first Moscow performance.
June 19, 1847: Having returned to France from Spain, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (43) departs Toulouse for Paris.
August 9, 1847: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (43) returns home to Novospasskoye from a two-year trip to France and Spain.
March 27, 1850: Three orchestral works by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (45) are performed for the first time, in the Hall of the Nobility, St. Petersburg: Capriccio brillante (on the Jota aragonesa), Kamarinskaya and Recuerdos de Castilla. They are all a result of his recent journey to Spain. The audience is so delighted they require the repetition of Kamarinskaya.
November 8, 1851: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (47) signs and registers his will. He leaves all of his worldly possessions to his sister, Lyudmila Ivanovna Shestakova.
June 30, 1852: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) arrives in Strasbourg having traveled up the Rhine from Cologne.
July 26, 1852: In Avignon, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) receives homeopathic treatment for his “nervous condition.”
July 28, 1852: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) arrives in Toulouse. While here, Glinka’s “daily suffering” causes him to abandon his intention to make a second trip to Spain.
August 10, 1852: After two weeks of “daily suffering” in Toulouse, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) abandons his intention to make a second trip to Spain and boards a coach for Paris.
August 14, 1852: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) arrives back in Paris after a four-day trip from Toulouse.
August 31, 1852: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) writes to his sister that his increasing distaste for traveling is causing him to remain in Paris. His hypochondria is causing him to think that everyone traveling with him is going to infect him with dread disease.
December 21, 1852: Marco Spada, an opéra comique by Daniel Auber (70) to words of Scribe and Delavigne, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris. Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) is in the audience and, except for the beginning of the overture, finds the music “very unsatisfactory.” Giacomo Meyerbeer (61) is also there.
April 16, 1853: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (48) writes to his sister that he intends to stay in Paris, at least until 1854.
April 4, 1854: A week after declaration of war, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (49) leaves Paris for Russia.
May 28, 1854: Seven weeks after leaving Paris, Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (49) reaches Tsarskoye Selo where he plans to spend the summer.
April 7, 1856: The newly orchestrated Molitva for voice, chorus, and orchestra by Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (51) to words of Lermontov is performed for the first time, in Malyi Theatre, Moscow.
May 9, 1856: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (51) leaves St. Petersburg on his last trip abroad. As he reaches the city gates he gets out of his carriage to say goodbye to his sister. He spits on the ground and says, “May I never see this vile country again.”
May 28, 1856: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (51) arrives in Berlin, three weeks after leaving St. Petersburg.
May 31, 1856: Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (51) writes to his sister that he plans to stay in Berlin indefinitely.
February 4, 1857: Author and philosopher Vladimir Fyodorovich Odoyevsky visits Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (52) in his sick room in Berlin. Glinka gets out of bed and plays a new composition, claiming he is not really sick.
February 14, 1857: A doctor attending Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (52) in Berlin reports that, although his life is in danger, the composer will not die soon due to his “unusually strong bodily frame.”
March 7, 1857: A memorial service for Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) fills the Konyushnaya Church, St. Petersburg.
March 20, 1857: In the Hall of the Nobility, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society gives a concert in honor of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) consisting entirely of his music.
May 26, 1857: The earthly remains of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) are disinterred in Berlin for transport to St. Petersburg.
June 3, 1857: The earthly remains of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) arrive in Kronstadt aboard the steamship Vladimir from Stettin (Szczecin).
June 5, 1857: After a memorial service at the Alyeksandr Nevsky Monastery, St. Petersburg, attended by a large crowd, the earthly remains of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†0) are laid to rest in a private ceremony at the Tikhvinsky Cemetery of the monastery.
June 2, 1885: A monument to Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†28) is unveiled in his native city of Smolensk.
November 9, 1893: The mortal remains of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky are carried in procession from the apartment of his brother Modest to the Mariinsky Theatre where a requiem is sung. At noon they reach the Kazan Cathedral. This is the main requiem of the day, on the order of Tsar Alyeksandr III, the first time that a civilian has been given this honor. At 14:00 they proceed down Nevsky Prospect to the cemetery of the Alexander Nevsky monastery, St. Petersburg. After another requiem and several orations and poems, the body is laid to rest not far from those of Modest Musorgsky (†12), Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (†36), and Alyeksandr Borodin (†6).