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Tchaikovsky's personal life Family life relationships2.
Tchaikovsky studied music sporadically early in his life, but took a job as a government clerk. Hating the post, he turned to music and studied at the newly founded music school in St. Petersburg. Here his compositions garnered much attention and Tchaikovsky was hailed as the hope of Russia's musical future. Yet much of Tchaikovsky's early works were harshly criticized by his peers and teachers, especially by the composers comprising "The Mighty Five." But his music usually always found favor with the public. Such works include his first three symphonies, the Violin concerto in D major, and the immensely popular Piano Concerto no. 1 in B-flat minor. Tchaikovsky, always self-critical, felt he was unable to grasp the concepts of musical form, and so relied heavily on romantic melodies and colorful orchestration. This reliance on "the big tune" is apparent in his best works, and is largely responsible for his overwhelming popularity among newcomers to classical music and in concerts of "popular" classics. Among his most popular works is the 1812 Overture, composed in 1880 as part of the celebrations commemorating Russia's defeat of Napoleon.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a brilliantly talented composer who not only created musical masterpieces, but who also lived as a relatively common man and faced the same things people today face.
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky | Biography & History | AllMusic
uring these years, Tchaikovsky worked as teaching assistant in a harmony class. Several weeks before his graduation, he was invited by Anton Rubinstain's brother Nikolay to teach at the newly founded Moscow Conservatory. Tchaikovsky, a vary soft and charming person, very quickly became a member of musical family, attracting people not only by his promising talant, but mostly by his character. But his creative efforts still were not still productive. Early in 1866 he began work on his first symphony "Winter Daydreams". It was time of endless depression, enforced by insomnia. The abnormal labor was killing his sleep, and sleepless nights were sapping his energy and paralyzing his creative power. In the middle of July, as his doctor said, Tchaikovsky was even close to insanity. In September, he showed the unfinished yet score to his former teachers - Anton Rubinstain and Nikolay Zaremba. To his dismay both men disliked of the symphony. But the "Moscow Rubinstain", Nikolay liked it and in December played the scherzo from it at a concert of the Russian Musical Society. The full performance of this work in February 1868 was a resounding success, which brought it in the row of one of the first symphonies written by Russian composer. "Winter Daydreams", filled with folk motives, already showed Tchaikovsky's own style. It was his first triumph, but aware of number of weaknesses in the work, Tchaikovsky decided to rewrite it. Encouraged by his first successful works, Tchaikovsky began to work on his first opera, with the libretto of the famous Russian playwright Aleksandr Ostrovsky. He composed with great speed and enthusiasm, but in his inexperience he made a number of scenographic errors. "I really wrote music to a given text, without a view to the immense difference between symphony and opera in terms of style". The first performance, which took place at the Bolshoy Theater, was not vary successful - the National opera was not as popular as Italian. Russian composers were not even permitted the advantage of a full orchestra and the second-rate singers were considered good enough. Even so, the opera was performed in all about ten times. Afterwards Tchaikovsky burned the score, perhaps from disappointing. But some parts of this fist opera would be included in his later opera "The Oprichnik".
In 1877, Tchaikovsky received some commissions from a wealthy widow, Nadezhda von Meck, whose continued patronage and financial gifts enabled Tchaikovsky to devote all of his time to composing. The Symphony No. 4 in F minor was the first of these later works, and although Madame von Meck and Tchaikovsky communicated almost daily by letters, during their fifteen-year relationship they never once met. One of his most successful and still popular works from this period is the opera Eugene Onegin . It was also at this time that Tchaikovsky, in anguish over his homosexuality, made the regrettable decision to marry. The union of the neurotic, hypersensitive homosexual and a mentally-disturbed and apparently sexually insatiable young girl was surely destined for disaster. The marriage was dissolved in only three months, after Tchaikovsky's mental breakdown and attempted suicide.
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