Saturday, May 7, 2022

May 7: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer


Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) was a--some would say the--Russian composer. He suffered from depression and experienced a number of personal crises: his mother's early death; the death of his close friend and colleague Nikolai Rubinstein; and the loss of his patron of 13 years. He was a closeted homosexual, which may also have added to the tensions of his life in Russia of the 19th century. He is supposed to have died suddenly of cholera at 53; some see a greater likelihood of an intentional death. His unmistakably Russian style is expressed in one of my personal favorites, The 1812 Overture. There are also the ballets Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and The Sleeping Beauty; the opera Eugene Onegin; and shorter pieces Marche Slave and Capriccio Italien in A.


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