33 Posts
The Soul of Russia: Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance
In 1876, when Swan Lake was given its premiere in Moscow, it wasn’t the hit that we consider it today. The prima ballerina was involved in a scandal with a government official (he gave her jewels, she married someone else
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The Gothic Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony
Lord Byron’s 1817 poem Manfred brought out all the elements of the Gothic novel into a dramatic poem. In 1816, Byron was traveling with Mary and Percy Shelley in Switzerland with her sister Claire Clairmont. The two couples began a
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Dancing the Exotic South: Tchaikovsky’s Spanish Dance in Swan Lake
In two different ballets, Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky added in a set of national ballets. In The Nutcracker (1892), part of Clara’s entertainments in the Land of Sweets at the Palace were a set of national dances depicting where sweets came
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Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony
Premiered Today in 1886
The premiere performance of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony on 23 March 1886 immediately brought forth strong opinions on both sides of the critical divide. Somewhat surprisingly, the fierce and feared critic César Cui liked the work, and favorably commented on the
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Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4
Premiered Today in 1878
When Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s Symphony No. 4 in F minor premiered at a Russian Musical Society concert in Moscow on 10 February 1878, it represented a veritable breakthrough in terms of emotional depth and complexity. This symphonic hybrid, which subsequently
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Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker
Premiered Today in 1892
For much of the Western world and beyond, Christmas without the Nutcracker just wouldn’t be Christmas! To me, this has always been somewhat surprising as there is absolutely nothing in the ballet that connects it with the story of the
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Tchaikovsky’s Romantic Music Dedicated to Mezzo-Soprano Désirée Artôt
The Belgian mezzo-soprano Désirée Artôt (1835-1907) studied with Pauline Viardot and Francesco Lamperti in London and in Paris. She started her career at the Paris Opera in 1858 when Giacomo Meyerbeer engaged her to sing in his Le prophète. Berlioz,
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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
“Music Is Heaven’s Gift to Humanity”
Boris Asafyev, one of the founders of Soviet musicology, wrote the following summary assessment regarding Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “He was the first composer of a new Russian type… in a deeply original, personal and national style he united the symphonic
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