Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)
Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский

Russian composer of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, bolstered by his appearances as a guest conductor in Europe and the United States. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884, by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension.

Tchaikovsky was a pioneer in several ways. "Thanks in large part to Nadezhda von Meck, he became the first full-time professional Russian composer." This, Wiley adds, allowed him the time and freedom to consolidate the Western compositional practices he had learned at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with Russian folk song and other native musical elements to fulfill his own expressive goals and forge an original, deeply personal style. He made an impact not only in absolute works such as the symphony but also in program music and, as Wiley phrases it, "transformed Liszt's and Berlioz's achievements ... into matters of Shakespearean elevation and psychological import” (Wiley, Roland John, The Master Musicians: Tchaikovsky (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2009).

Many of his famous works include: The Nutcracker, Op. 71; Swan Lake; The Sleeping Beauty, Op. 66; 

Piano Concerto no. 1 in B-flat minor:

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