In this distinctive new work on Tchaikovsky, David Brown uniquely combines a lively biography of Russia's best-loved composer with a chronological guide to his music, ranging from the popular symphonies, concertos, operas and ballets like Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, to some lesser-known pieces. Brown skillfully guides the reader through Tchaikovsky's music within the context of his life, and the result is an edifying journey through some of the greatest and most moving music ever composed.
As for Tchaikovsky himself, he emerges as a man dogged with bouts of depression but capable of great kindness, devoted to his family, unstinting with his time and money, even on behalf of virtual strangers. It is no wonder that when he died, he was given a state funeral, nor that the massive crowds lining the streets delayed the procession to the cemetery by five hours.
The great Russian composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was a compulsive letter writer. The 681 pieces contained in this volume offer unique and intimate insights into the composer's life. They range from two months before his 21st birthday in 1861 to six weeks before his death. In vivid, informative detail Tchaikovsky discusses both his own music and that of his contemporaries, as well as European literature, art, and, in a long missive, his reactions to the New World. The fascination and importance of these letters lie in the light that they throw on the social and political climate in which Tchaikovsky lived. He also has much to say about patriotism, censorship, the conditions of the peasantry, the place of the Orthodox Church, and attitudes toward foreign countries. This is the definitive work on TchaikovskyŚby Tchaikovsky.