Moscow: Yurgenson, . 21 pp. 32,5x25 cm. Original chromolithographed wrappers. Mild restoration of the spine, minor foxing, otherwise very good.
First edition. The sketch of the newly built cathedral on the front wrapper.
The score was printed for the first performance of the overture, on the 20th of August, 1883, conducted by Ippolit Altani, and performed in the Cathedral itself. This 15-minute piece became one of the most famous creations in composer’s career.
The building of the Cathedral became one of the most ambitious and long architectural constructions in Moscow in 19th century. Originally started in 1817 to commemorate the 5-th anniversary of 1812 campaign, the construction was postponed in the 1820s because the place chosen was not suited for the building of that altitude. In 1839 the new foundation was laid and the work began. The project designed by Konstrantin Ton was mostly executed under the supervision of his student Iosef Kaminskiy. The scale of the decorating involved the best artists, including Surikov, Kramskoy, Vereschagin.
Specially for the purpose of delivering the marble from the Northern provinces of Russia Ekaterinenskiy channel was built, that connected Moscow river and Volga. It’s worth remembering that 80 years later another channel was dug, Moskva-Volga, serving the same purpose, but in the different circumstances in 1937, as a part of Soviet reconstruction of the country, and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour was already blown up at that time.
The cathedral was opened the same day Alexander III was coronated, the 103-meter cathedral became the most spacious church in the country and the tallest building in Moscow.
The cathedral was blown up in 1931 as a symbolic gesture of the fight against the religion in USSR. It was planned to build the greatest architecture projects of the 1930s - The Palace of Soviets on its place. The Palace was never built, instead in 1958 the open-air pool Moskva has been constructed. In 1994-1999 the Cathedral was built again.