Wednesday, March 15, 2006

War of the Romantics Part VIII: Tchaikovsky

This will be Masterfade's third post on Tchaikovsky already, but if anyone deserves that much attention, it's Tchaik. I just hope you guys like him as much as we do.

Tchaikovsky was kind of a musical loner in the Romantic Era. Though his music could be very Russian in character, it was too European for him to be accepted by the "Mighty handful" of Russian nationalist composers. It was too Russian, though, for him to join any European school of music. And even if he was invited to join Brahms' school, he probably wouldn't. He hated Brahms' music and he thought Beethoven was just mediocre.

With his musical uniqueness, his severe depression, and his closeted homosexuality, it is an understatement to say that Tchaikovsky had a hard time fitting in. In 1893, with his torment becoming unbearable, and having already attempted suicide, Tchaikovsky wrote his greatest piece of music, the emotional behemoth of a symphony called the Pathetique. He dispensed with the traditional fireworks that open and close symphonies, opting instead for moments of total despair to bookend the piece. The modulations and harmonies in this piece are beyond anything else Tchaikovsky wrote; violent dissonances abound. Tchaikovsky loved this symphony, but the critics didn't. It recieved lukewarm reviews at its premiere. Nine days later, Tchaikovsky was dead.

Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique"- Evegny Mravinsky and the Leningrad Phil.

Feedback? Requests? Feel free to leave a comment


At March 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, I love Tchaikovsky.

At March 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr T - he's the Russian for me! Thanks, Masterfaders.

At March 26, 2006, Anonymous Mark said...

This is a great find!
I'm just wondering, is this the 1982 recording on Warner Elatus or the one from 1960 on DG?

At March 26, 2006, Anonymous Mark said...

Ahh, I should have clicked the link first and written the comment later! From the coupling it's clear it must be the DG recording (which is the one I was particularly after anyway).
Thanks again.


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