Aida Garifullina: Maria’s Lullaby from Tchaikovsky’s “Mazeppa”

Over the past few weeks, we have explored a few of the albums honored with a 2017 ECHO Klassik- Germany’s prestigious annual classical music awards. Today, we’ll turn our attention to the debut album of Russian operatic soprano Aida Garifullina. The recording, simply titled Aida Garifullina, won in the category of “Solo Recording/Voice (Arias/Recitals).” It’s a compilation of arias and songs by composers including Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov and Rimsky-Korsakov. Garifullina is accompanied by Vienna’s ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien and conductor Cornelius Meister.

Tchaikovsky’s 1883 opera, Mazeppa, inspired by a poem by Alexander Pushkin, is set in the dark shadows of Russia’s turbulent past. In the early 1700s, Mazeppa, in an alliance with King Charles of Sweden, led a Ukrainian revolt against the Russian czar Peter the Great. The revolt ended in crushing defeat. The historical event forms the blood-thirsty backdrop for a more intimate tragedy- the story of Mariya, a young peasant girl who has fallen in love with the much older Mazeppa against the wishes of her father who refuses to consent to their marriage. At the same time, the young cossack, Andrey, is madly in love with Mariya. By the end of the third act, amid the defeat of Mazeppa’s fleeing army, Mariya enters a daze. She has witnessed the gruesome execution of her father (ordered by Mazeppa) and Mazeppa’s stabbing of Andrey. She sings this lullaby to Andrey as he dies in her arms. As the curtain falls, the music fades away into the shimmering sounds of woodwinds and strings.

I thought I heard vague harmonic echoes of the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto in Maria’s Lullaby. Listen, and see if you agree:


  • Aida Garifullina, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Cornelius Meister iTunes
  • Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23, Martha Argerich, Berlin Philharmonic, Claudio Abbado iTunes

About Timothy Judd

A native of Upstate New York, Timothy Judd has been a member of the Richmond Symphony violin section since 2001. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music where he earned the degrees Bachelor of Music and Master of Music, studying with world renowned Ukrainian-American violinist Oleh Krysa.

The son of public school music educators, Timothy Judd began violin lessons at the age of four through Eastman’s Community Education Division. He was a student of Anastasia Jempelis, one of the earliest champions of the Suzuki method in the United States.

A passionate teacher, Mr. Judd has maintained a private violin studio in the Richmond area since 2002 and has been active coaching chamber music and numerous youth orchestra sectionals.

In his free time, Timothy Judd enjoys working out with Richmond’s popular SEAL Team Physical Training program.

2 thoughts on “Aida Garifullina: Maria’s Lullaby from Tchaikovsky’s “Mazeppa””

  1. I love this song and have been trying to find the lyrics (in Russian and English) but I can’t find them anywhere! Do you have any suggestions?

  2. I would love to sing this song. It’s so beautiful.
    If anyone knows where to find the sheet music and russian lyrics for this song pls help. Xx


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