40 Posts
Success After All: Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony
On first hearing a performance of his fifth symphony in 1888, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) decided it was a failure: ‘There is something repellent in it, some over-exaggerated colour, some insincerity of invention, which the public instinctively recognises…’, as he
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The Last Symphony: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6
Pyotr Il’ych Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) wrote his last symphony the same year he died and the work tantalizes the listener: did he write this to a program idea? Why does he seem to refer to Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata in its opening
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13 Facts You Didn’t Know About Tchaikovsky’s Mysterious Benefactress, Nadezhda von Meck
In 1877, Tchaikovsky received a letter that would change his life forever. It was from a wealthy woman named Nadezhda von Meck, who described herself as a “fervent admirer.” She commissioned some chamber music from him, and eventually, she began
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Tchaikovsky’s Wife: Madwoman or Tragic Victim?
One of the most-maligned wives in classical music history is Antonina Miliukova. She married Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1877, and their union was a disaster from the beginning. She has often been portrayed as a madwoman intent on ruining her
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From Dawn to Dusk in a Child’s Life in Music and Pictures
Life for Tchaikovsky in the late 1870s was fraught: his short-lived marriage was disintegrating, his suicide attempt was unsuccessful, and his doctor looked at his nearly mad patient and ordered him off to the countryside for a complete rest. Financial
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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Aleksey Apukhtin
The Musician and the Poet
In 1850, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky entered the School of Jurisprudence in Saint Petersburg as a boarding student. This most prestigious school for boys destined to become imperial administrators was to be his home for the next nine years. Being separated
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On This Day
18 December: Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien Was Premiered
In October 1878, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky resigned from his post at the Moscow Conservatoire. The resignation followed on the heels of the disintegration of his disastrous marriage to his former student Antonia Miliukova. Psychologically and sexually mismatched, the couple lived
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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and His Circle of Friends II
The lawyer Nikolay Kondratyev (1832-1887) was first introduced to Tchaikovsky in 1864 at the estate of Prince Aleksey Golitsyn. They became fast friends in 1870, when the Kondratyev family moved to Moscow for the winter. Tchaikovsky was a frequent guest
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