Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (25 April/7 May 1840 – 25 October/6 November 1893), often anglicized as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884, by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Although musically precocious, Tchaikovsky was educated for a career as a civil servant. There was scant opportunity for a musical career in Russia at that time and no system of public music education. When an opportunity for such an education arose, he entered the nascent Saint Petersburg Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1865. The formal Western-oriented teaching he received there set him apart from composers of the contemporary nationalist movement embodied by the Russian composers of The Five, with whom his professional relationship was mixed. Tchaikovsky's training set him on a path to reconcile what he had learned with the native musical practices to which he had been exposed from childhood. From this reconciliation, he forged a personal but unmistakably Russian style—a task that did not prove easy. The principles that governed melody, harmony and other fundamentals of Russian music ran completely counter to those that governed Western European music; this seemed to defeat the potential for using Russian music in large-scale Western composition or for forming a composite style, and it caused personal antipathies that dented Tchaikovsky's self-confidence. Russian culture exhibited a split personality, with its native and adopted elements having drifted apart increasingly since the time of Peter the Great. This resulted in uncertainty among the intelligentsia about the country's national identity—an ambiguity mirrored in Tchaikovsky's career.

Despite his many popular successes, Tchaikovsky's life was punctuated by personal crises and depression. Contributory factors included his early separation from his mother for boarding school followed by his mother's early death, the death of his close friend and colleague Nikolai Rubinstein, and the collapse of the one enduring relationship of his adult life, which was his 13-year association with the wealthy widow Nadezhda von Meck. His homosexuality, which he kept private, has traditionally also been considered a major factor, though some musicologists now downplay its importance. Tchaikovsky's sudden death at the age of 53 is generally ascribed to cholera; there is an ongoing debate as to whether cholera was indeed the cause of death, and whether it was accidental or self-inflicted.

While his music has remained popular among audiences, critical opinions were initially mixed. Some Russians did not feel it was sufficiently representative of native musical values and expressed suspicion that Europeans accepted the music for its Western elements. In an apparent reinforcement of the latter claim, some Europeans lauded Tchaikovsky for offering music more substantive than base exoticism and said he transcended stereotypes of Russian classical music. Others dismissed Tchaikovsky's music as "lacking in elevated thought," according to longtime New York Times music critic Harold C. Schonberg, and derided its formal workings as deficient because they did not stringently follow Western principles.
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Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (25 April/7 May 1840 – 25 October/6 November 1893), often anglicized as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was ho...
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TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture
TCHAIKOVSKY Capriccio Italien
TCHAIKOVSKY Marche Slave
Recorded 1958

Total duration: 39:06

London Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Kenneth Alwyn
with The Band of H.M. Grenadier Guards
Director of Music Major F. J. Harris MBE

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NICOLAI The Merry Wives of Windsor: Overture
ELGAR
Serenade for Strings
HANDEL-BEECHAM
Love in Bath: The Great Elopement
DELIUS
The Walk to the Paradise Garden
J. STRAUSS II
Voices of Spring
WAGNER Götterdämmerung: Siegfried’s Funeral March
SIBELIUS Pelléas et Mélisande Suite: The Death of Mélisande
MOZART
Divertimento, K 131: Adagio
SCHUBERT
Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished.”
TCHAIKOVSKY
Serenade in C: Elegie
BERLIOZ
Les Troyens: Trojan March
MOZART  Symphony No. 31
HANDEL-BEECHAM 
Piano Concerto

CHABRIER
España

MOZART The Impressario - Overture
SAINT-SAENS Omphale’s Spinning Wheel
BERLIOZ The Trojans - Royal Hunt and Storm
BERLIOZ Hungarian March

Recorded in 1945

Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor
Blue Network Symphony Orchestra

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WAGNER Götterdämmerung: Siegfried’s Funeral March
SIBELIUS Pelléas et Mélisande Suite: The Death of Mélisande
MOZART
Divertimento, K 131: Adagio
SCHUBERT
Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished.”
TCHAIKOVSKY
Serenade in C: Elegie
BERLIOZ
Les Troyens: Trojan March

Live broadcast on ABC/Blue Network, 4pm, 14 April 1945
Total duration: 57:50

Sir Thomas Beecham, conductor
Blue Network Symphony Orchestra

 

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TCHAIKOVSKY Symphony No. 5
TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings
TCHAIKOVSKY Capriccio Italien
Recorded 1928-1930
Total duration: 57:25

Berlin State Opera Orchestra
conducted by Leo Blech

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TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture
TCHAIKOVSKY Hamlet Overture

Recorded in 1952
Duration 35:06

London Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductor: Sir Adrian Boult

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    HAYDN Quartet in G, Op. 76, No. 1
    MOZART “Hunt” Quartet
    SCHUBERT “Death and the Maiden” Quartet
    DVOŘÁK “American” Quartet
    TCHAIKOVSKY Quartet No. 2 in F, Op. 22
    Encores by Dittersdorf, Mendelssohn and Borodin
    Studio recordings, 1926-29
    Total duration: 2hr 35:50

    The Budapest Quartet