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Title: Tchaikowsky and His Orchestral Music - The New York Philarmonic Symphony Society Presents...
Author: Biancolli, Louis
Language: English
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               [Illustration: PETER ILYITCH TSCHAIKOWSKY
              _A drawing of the composer late in life._]


                       AND HIS ORCHESTRAL MUSIC

                          By LOUIS BIANCOLLI

                  [Illustration: Harp and cello logo]

                               NEW YORK
                          _Grosset & Dunlap_

                         Copyright 1944, 1950
             The Philharmonic-Symphony Society of New York

                Printed in the United States of America


Included in this little book are analyses and backgrounds of most of
Tschaikowsky’s standard concert music. A short sketch of Tschaikowsky’s
life precedes the section devoted to the orchestral music. Yet,
the personal outlook and moods of Russia's great composer are so
inextricably bound up with his music, that actually the whole booklet
is an account of his strangely tormented life. In the story of
Tschaikowsky, life and art weave into one closely knit fabric. It is
hoped that this simple narrative will aid music lovers to glimpse the
great pathos and struggle behind the music of this sad and lonely man.

                       AND HIS ORCHESTRAL MUSIC

Few great names in music spell as much magic to the average
concert-goer as that of Peter Ilyitch Tschaikowsky. In almost every
musical form will be found a work of his ranking high in popularity.
And quite deservedly so. Tschaikowsky’s music brims with a warm
humanity and stirring drama. The themes and feelings are easy to
grasp. The personal, intimate note is so strong in this music that we
find it natural, while listening to the _Pathetic_ symphony or the
_Nutcracker_ ballet suite, for example, to share Tschaikowsky’s joys
and sorrows. His music seems to take us into his confidence and show us
the secret places of his heart. Although Tschaikowsky’s range of moods
is wide—from the whimsical play of light fantasy to stormy outcries
of anguish—essentially he was a melancholy man, in his music as in
his life. Perhaps it is the genuineness of his music in conveying great
pathos and suffering that has drawn millions to his symphonies and
concertos. A frank sincerity and warmheartedness well from his music.
The best of his melodies linger hauntingly in the mind and heart. So
long as sincere feeling expressed in sincere artistic form can move the
hearts of men, Tschaikowsky’s music will continue to hold a high place
in the concert hall and opera house.

Only Beethoven and Mozart can rival Tschaikowsky in the number of
compositions in various musical forms that stand out as repertory
favorites. Tschaikowsky’s violin concerto is as much a “request” item
as Beethoven’s. The _Pathetic_ symphony ranks with the three or four
enduring favorites of the repertory. Tschaikowsky’s _Nutcracker_ ballet
is probably the most popular suite of its kind in music. The opera,
_Eugene Onegin_, a masterpiece worthy to stand beside some of the
best Italian and German operas, is widely loved even outside Russia.
Tschaikowsky’s Piano Concerto, or, at any rate, the big opening theme,
is doubtless known to more people than all other piano concertos put
together. The overture-fantasies, _Romeo and Juliet_ and _Francesca da
Rimini_, rank with the most popular in that form, and the _Overture
1812_ is an international hit with music-lovers of all ages and stages.
Tschaikowsky’s song, _None But the Lonely Heart_, is better known
to many music-lovers than most of the songs of Brahms and Schubert,
and the great String Quartet contains a melody familiar to every
follower of popular song trends. For, of all the classical composers,
Tschaikowsky has been a veritable gold-mine as a lucrative source of
themes for popular arrangement.

Yet, this sad and sensitive musical genius who knew so well how to
reach the human soul surprisingly began his career as a clerk in
the St. Petersburg Ministry of Justice. Like other great Russian
composers, Tschaikowsky arrived at music by a circuitous route, almost
by accident. Moussorgsky, one recalls, was long an officer in the
Czar’s Army before he switched to music. And Borodin always regarded
music as a secondary pursuit to his medical practice and his laboratory
experiments in chemistry. Tschaikowsky was first a lawyer. But soon he
found court action and the preparation of briefs tiresome and unsavory
toil, so at twenty-one he returned to his first love, which was music.

Born on May 7, 1840, Tschaikowsky had begun to study piano at the
age of seven. When he was ten, his father, a director of a foundry
at Votinsk with next to no interest in music, took the family to St.
Petersburg. There young Peter continued his musical studies, never,
though, with any thought of preparing for a career in music. Yet,
later, even while studying law, he went on playing the piano and taking
part in the performances of a choral society. Although he amused
friends by improvising on the piano, few detected any signs of creative
genius. At twenty-one Tschaikowsky made his crucial break. He abandoned
law, began earnestly to master musical theory, and resolved to risk
poverty and starvation by devoting himself to music professionally.
Today we can only applaud his decision. The repertory would be the
poorer without his music. Besides, it is not likely that the law lost a
great practitioner when Tschaikowsky bade it farewell.

His first important step was to enroll in the Russian Musical
Society, later to become the St. Petersburg Conservatory. There
Anton Rubinstein, the renowned pianist and composer, then teaching
composition and orchestration, exerted a lasting influence on him.
At that time Anton’s brother Nicholas was founding the Moscow
Conservatory. Impressed by Tschaikowsky’s brilliant showing at the St.
Petersburg school, he engaged him as instructor in harmony for the
new Moscow organization. Tschaikowsky held the post for eleven years.
The pay was scant, but there were weightier compensations. Nicholas
Rubinstein gave the young man a room in his Moscow house, encouraged
him to compose, introduced him around, and gave him sound advice on
sundry matters. Best of all, he produced many of Tschaikowsky’s early
compositions. Tschaikowsky, loyal and devoted in all his ties, never
forgot his friend. After Rubinstein’s death, he dedicated his Trio, _In
Memory of a Great Artist_, to the great man who had given him his real
start in music and a creative life.

During his second year in the Moscow Conservatory Tschaikowsky fell
madly in love with the French soprano Désirée Artôt, then touring
Russia. While the indecisive Russian wasted time weighing the
advantages and disadvantages of marriage, a Spanish baritone named
Padilla came along, made violent love to Mlle. Artôt, and hurried her
off to the altar before she could catch her breath and notify her
Russian suitor. We nevertheless owe the fickle French lady a debt of
gratitude. Without the emotional disturbance Tschaikowsky might not
have been moved to write the _Romeo and Juliet_ overture-fantasy. His
first serious rebuff in love had at any rate paid dividends in art.

From then on Tschaikowsky wrote at a feverish pace. Whenever his duties
at the Conservatory could spare him, he retired to his study and wrote
symphonies, overtures, operas, chamber music, songs, and religious
choruses. Sometimes a gnawing doubt in his own talents assailed him. To
his friends he wrote voluminous letters complaining of the strong sense
of inferiority bedevilling his work. There were attacks of bleak gloom
and diffidence lasting weeks. Trips to the country or to Italy and
Switzerland were often needed to restore his damaged nervous system and
jarred self-confidence to normalcy. Unfavorable reviews stung him like
wasps. And while Moscow often evidenced great enthusiasm for his music,
St. Petersburg was harder to please. The press there was often virulent
with abuse.

Then Tschaikowsky pinned great hopes on his operas _Eugene Onegin_ and
_Pique Dame_ (“The Queen of Spades”). Both proved fiascos at their
premières, though the public and press later revised their opinions
drastically. Moreover, reports reached him of the cold reception
accorded his _Romeo and Juliet_ in Paris and the catcalls greeting his
music in Vienna. And there was a music critic named Eduard Hanslick in
Vienna who kept Tschaikowsky awake nights wondering what new critical
blast was awaiting his latest Viennese première.

Ironically, America and England were the only two countries instantly
attracted to Tschaikowsky’s music. There his prestige rose with each
new symphony or overture. Cambridge University conferred an honorary
doctor’s degree on him in 1893. Europe was soon to be won over,
however. Despite an often hostile press, the music publics of France,
Germany, and Austria began clamoring for more and more of his music,
and conductors were forced to acquiesce. But to the end he remained a
sorrowing and morose man, hypersensitive, even morbidly so, but almost
always the soul of kindliness and punctilio. When, on the invitation of
Walter Damrosch, Tschaikowsky came to America in 1891, he was widely
acclaimed by public and press. While here he gave six concerts in all,
four in New York, one in Baltimore and one in Philadelphia. In New York
he was guest of honor on the programs of the New York Symphony Society
celebrating the opening of the Music Hall, now Carnegie Hall. The
festival lasted from May 5 to May 9, and Tschaikowsky was widely feted
socially and professionally. He conducted several of his own works in
the hall constructed largely from funds provided by the steel magnate,
Andrew Carnegie.

The year 1877 is an important one in the chronicle of Tschaikowsky’s
life. He made his one disastrous experiment in marriage with a
romantic-minded young conservatory student named Antonina Miliukov.
The girl had aroused his pity and alarm by her passionate avowals of
love and equally passionate threats of suicide. The story is discussed
below in my account of the Fourth Symphony, which grew partly out of
that distressing episode. Suffice it here to note that the experience
was so shattering to Tschaikowsky that he attempted to end his life by
standing up to his neck at night in the freezing waters of the Neva
River. Antonina eventually died in an insane asylum. Tschaikowsky
formed another alliance that year, one far more profitable and far
less nerve-wracking than his short tie with Mlle. Miliukov. This was
his famous friendship with Nadezhka von Meck, a wealthy and cultivated
widow. Out of profound admiration for his music and a probable romantic
hope to become Mrs. Tschaikowsky, Mme. von Meck settled an annuity
amounting to $3,000 on the destitute and ailing composer. The gift
continued for thirteen years. Many letters about life, music, and
people were exchanged between Tschaikowsky and his Lady Bountiful. The
two never met, however. Tschaikowsky’s Fourth Symphony is dedicated to
this remarkable woman, who was the most famous Fairy Godmother in music.

Although Tschaikowsky himself thought of the _Pathetic_ symphony as
his crowning masterpiece, the première on October 28, 1893, in St.
Petersburg proved a disappointment. Tschaikowsky took it bitterly.
Two weeks later, however, the tables were turned. Everybody acclaimed
it warmly. But Tschaikowsky was not there to bow his acknowledgment.
He had fallen victim to the cholera epidemic then raging in St.
Petersburg. Though warned by the authorities, Tschaikowsky drank some
unboiled water on November 2. Four days later he was dead. No symphony
was more appropriately named than this melancholy masterpiece, the
_Pathetic_ symphony, the brooding phrases of which sound truly like the
“swan song” of a tired and abysmally disillusioned man of genius.


                        _Marche Slave_, OPUS 31

The _Marche Slave_ stands foremost among Tschaikowsky’s marches,
of which he wrote numerous, including several incorporated in his
operas and suites. Most of them were composed for special purposes
or occasions. There is the _Marche Solennelle_, written “for the Law
Students,” which figured on the housewarming program at the opening
of Carnegie Hall in May, 1891, besides a _Marche Militaire_, which he
wrote for the band of the Czar’s 98th Infantry Regiment. In 1883 the
city of Moscow requisitioned a _Coronation March_ from him. Earlier,
Tschaikowsky had written a march in honor of the famous General
Skobelev. But he held it in such low esteem that he allowed it to
circulate as the work of a non-existent composer named Sinopov.

  [Illustration: The composer at the age of twenty-three, during his
               early years at the Moscow Conservatory.]

   [Illustration: Désirée Artôt, the French soprano who, in jilting
Tschaikowsky, helped to inspire his Romeo and Juliet overture-fantasy.]

The _Marche Slave_ was written in 1876 for a benefit concert to raise
funds for soldiers wounded in the Turko-Serbian war, which presently
merged into a greater war between Turkey and Russia. It is based
largely on the old Russian anthem, “God Save the Emperor,” and some
South Slavonic and Serbian tunes. The main theme has been traced to the
Serbian folk song, _Sunce varko ne fijas jednako_ (“Come, my dearest,
why so sad this morning?”). Divided into three sections, the march
features fragments of the old Czarist hymn in the middle portion.
How the hymn itself came to be written is told by its author, Alexis
Feodorovich Lvov:

“In 1833, I accompanied the Emperor Nicholas during his travels in
Prussia and Austria. When we had returned to Russia I was informed by
Count von Benkendorf that the sovereign regretted that we Russians had
no national anthem of our own, and that, as he was tired of the English
tune which had filled the gap for many years, he wished me to see
whether I could not compose a Russian hymn.

“The problem appeared to me to be an extremely difficult and serious
one. When I recalled the imposing British national anthem, ‘God Save
the King,’ the very original French one and the really touching
Austrian hymn, I felt and appreciated the necessity of writing
something big, strong and moving; something national that should
resound through a church as well as through the ranks of an army;
something that could be taken up by a huge multitude and be within the
reach of every man, from the dunce to the scholar. The idea absorbed
me, but I was worried by the conditions thus imposed on the work with
which I had been commissioned.

“One evening as I was returning home very late, I thought out and wrote
down in a few minutes the tune of the hymn. The next day I called on
Shoukovsky to ask him to write the words; but he was no musician and
had much trouble to adapt them to the phrases of the first section of
the melody.

“At last I was able to announce the completion of the hymn to Count von
Benkendorf. The Emperor wished to hear it, and came on November 23 to
the chapel of the Imperial Choir, accompanied by the Empress and the
Grand Duke Michael. I had collected the whole body of choristers and
re-enforced them by two orchestras. The sovereign asked for the hymn
to be repeated several times, expressed a wish to hear it sung without
accompaniment, and then had it played first of all by each orchestra
separately and then finally by all the executants together. His Majesty
turned to me and said in French: ‘Why, it’s superb!’ and then and there
gave orders to Count von Benkendorf to inform the Minister of War that
the hymn was to be adopted for the army. The order to this effect was
issued December 4, 1883. The first public performance of the hymn was
on December 11, 1883, at the Grand Theater in Moscow. The Emperor
seemed to want to submit my work to the judgment of the Moscow public.
On December 25 the hymn resounded through the rooms of the Winter
Palace on the occasion of the blessing of the colors.

“As proof of his satisfaction the Emperor graciously presented me with
a gold snuff-box studded with diamonds, and in addition gave orders
that the words ‘God Save the Tsar’ should be placed on the armorial
bearings of the Lvov family.”

                       _Overture 1812_, OPUS 49

Although clearly a _pièce d’occasion_ prompted by the commemoration
of a crucial page in Russian history, the _Overture 1812_ is a minor
mystery in the Tschaikowsky catalogue. Supposedly Nicholas Rubinstein
commissioned Tschaikowsky in 1880 to write a festival overture for the
Moscow Exhibition. At least the composer admits as much in letters to
Nadezhka von Meck and the conductor Napravnik.

But his friend Kashkin insisted the piece was requested for the
ceremonies consecrating the Moscow Cathedral of the Saviour, intended
to symbolize Russia’s part in the Napoleonic struggle. The overture,
accordingly, pictured the great events beginning with the Battle of
Borodino (September 7, 1812) and ending with Napoleon’s flight from
Moscow, after the city was set aflame. To make it more effective, the
work was to be performed in the public square before the cathedral.
An electric connection on the conductor’s desk would set off salvos
of real artillery, and all Moscow would thrill with thoughts of its
heroic past. In any case Tschaikowsky finished the overture at Kamenka
in 1880, and though the cathedral was dedicated in the summer of 1881,
there is no record of the planned street scene having come off.

Instead, we find Tschaikowsky offering the overture to Eduard
Napravnik, then directing the Imperial Musical Society of St.
Petersburg: “Last winter, at Nicholas Rubinstein’s request, I composed
a Festival Overture for the concerts of the exhibition, entitled
‘1812.’” Tschaikowsky then makes a statement that possibly suggests
an earlier rebuff: “Could you possibly manage to have this played? It
is not of great value, and I shall not be at all surprised or hurt if
you consider the style of the music unsuitable to a symphony concert.”
Apparently Napravnik turned down the overture, and its première was
postponed to August 20, 1882, when it figured on an all-Tschaikowsky
concert in the Art and Industrial Exhibition at Moscow.

Tschaikowsky’s attitude to the work is further expressed in the
letter to his patroness-saint Mme. von Meck. There he speaks of the
overture as “very noisy” and having “no great artistic value” because
it was written “without much warmth of enthusiasm.” And in a diary
entry of the time he refers to it as having “only local and patriotic

The “patriotic significance,” of course, is what gives the overture
its _raison d’être_ as a motion picture of historical events.
Tschaikowsky’s brushstrokes are bold and obvious. The French and
Russians are clearly depicted through the use of the Czarist National
Anthem and the _Marseillaise_. Fragments of Cossack and Novgorod folk
songs enter the scheme, and the battle and fire scenes are as plain as
pictures. As the overture develops, one envisions the clash of arms
at Borodino, with the Russians stiffly disputing every step and the
_Marseillaise_ finally rising dominant. The Russians are hurled back;
the French are in Moscow. Finally the city is ablaze and the dismal
rout begins, as cathedral bells mingle with the roll of drums and the
hymn, _God Preserve Thy People_, surges out in a paean of victory.

                     _Capriccio Italien_, OPUS 45

Described by Edwin Evans as a “bundle of Italian folk-tunes,” the
_Capriccio Italien_ draws partly on published collections of such
melodies and partly on popular airs heard by Tschaikowsky in 1880 while
touring Italy. “I am working on a sketch of an ‘Italian Fantasia’ based
on folksongs,” he notifies his patroness-confidante, Nadeshka von Meck,
from Rome on February 17, 1880. “Thanks to the charming themes, some of
which I have heard in the streets, the work will be effective.”

 [Illustration: A facsimile of a piece of Tschaikowsky’s music, signed
                           by the composer.]

Tschaikowsky’s room at the Hotel Constanzi overlooked the barracks of
the Royal Cuirassiers. Apparently the bugle-call sounded nightly in
the barracks yards contributed another theme “heard in the streets,”
for it may be heard in the trumpet passage of the introduction. The
_Italian Fantasia_ was fully sketched out in Rome and the orchestration
begun. With the title now changed to _Capriccio Italien_, the work was
completed that summer on Tschaikowsky’s return to Russia. Nicholas
Rubinstein directed the première at Moscow on December 18, 1880. Six
years later Walter Damrosch introduced it to America at a concert in
the Metropolitan Opera House, the precise date being November 6, 1886.

After the introductory section, the strings chant a lyric theme of
slightly melancholy hue, which the orchestra then develops. Later
the oboes announce, in thirds, a simple folk melody of less sombre
character. This, too, is elaborately worked out, before the tempo
changes and violins and flutes bring in another tune. This promptly
subsides as a brisk march section sets in, followed by a return of
the opening theme. There is a transition to a lively tarantella, then
another bright theme in triple rhythm, and finally the Presto section,
with a second tarantella motif leading to a brilliant close.

“It is a piece of music which relies entirely on its orchestration for
its effects,” writes Evans in the Master Musicians Series. “Its musical
value is comparatively slight, but the coloring is so vivid and so
fascinating, and the movement throughout so animated, that one does not
realize this when listening to the work. It is only afterwards that
one experiences certain pangs of regret that such a rich garment should
bedeck so thin a figure.”

          SUITE FOR STRINGS, _Souvenir de Florence_, OPUS 70

Compared with his output in other forms, Tschaikowsky’s chamber music
is small, consisting of an early quartet, of which only the first
movement survives, three complete string quartets, a trio, and the
_Souvenir de Florence_, written for violins, violas, and ’cellos in

As the title implies, the work grew out of a visit to Italy early in
1890, though as a clew to the mood and manner of the music, _Souvenir
de Florence_ is a better title for the first two movements than for the
others. The remaining _Allegretto moderato_ and _Allegro vivace_ bear
an Italian “memory” only insofar as much other music by Tschaikowsky
and other composers may share the same quality. Even a marked Slavic
character is evident in places, which is only natural. As is well
known, Tschaikowsky’s overture-fantasy _Romeo and Juliet_ is often
dubbed “Romeo and Juliet of the Steppes.”

A first mention of the _Souvenir_ occurs in a letter to
Ippolitoff-Ivanoff dated May 5, 1890, written shortly after
Tschaikowsky’s return from abroad. It is quoted by his brother Modeste:
“My visit brought forth good fruit. I composed an opera, ‘Pique Dame,’
which seems a success to me.... My plans for the future are to finish
the orchestration of the opera, sketch out a string sextet [the
_Souvenir_], go to my sister at Kamenka for the end of the summer, and
spend the whole autumn with you at Tiflis.”

On the following June 30 he communicated news of the sextet to his
patroness-saint Mme. von Meck, hoping she would be “pleased to hear”
about it. “I know your love of chamber music,” he writes, “and I hope
the work will please you. I wrote it with the greatest enthusiasm and
without the least exertion.”

In November Tschaikowsky went to St. Petersburg for a rehearsal of
_Pique Dame_. While there he arranged for a private hearing of the
sextet by friends. The performance left him cold and he resolved to
rewrite the Scherzo and Finale. By the following May the work was
thoroughly remodelled. It was not till June, 1892, while in Paris, that
he actually completed the revision to his satisfaction.

The four movements comprise an _Allegro con spirito_ (D minor, 4-4),
an _Adagio cantabile e con moto_ (D major, 3-4), an _Allegretto
moderato_ (A minor, 2-4), and an _Allegro vivace_ (D minor-D major,
2-4). The form is largely that of the classical string quartet, though
characteristically bold and novel devices of color and structure
abound. Often the strings are ingeniously treated to suggest wind
instruments, and one senses Tschaikowsky’s frequent striving for
orchestral effects.

Research has failed to unearth the “opprobrious epithets” Tschaikowsky
is alleged to have heaped upon this slight but appealing work.

                 OVERTURE-FANTASY, _Romeo and Juliet_

Shortly before the overture-fantasy on Shakespeare’s tragedy took
shape in Tschaikowsky’s mind, he had been jilted by the French soprano
Désirée Artôt, then enjoying a prodigious vogue as opera singer in St.
Petersburg. The twenty-eight-year-old composer and Mlle. Artôt had
become engaged in 1868, but the lady promptly left him and married the
Spanish baritone Padilla y Ramos. The theory is that Tschaikowsky’s
composition grew out of the resulting emotional upset, or at least that
his frame of mind conduced to tragic expression on a romantic theme.

The Artôt episode acted as stimulus, but the concrete suggestion for
using Shakespeare’s tragedy in a symphonic work came from Balakireff
during a walk with Tschaikowsky and their friend Kashkin “on a lovely
day in May.” Balakireff, head of the group of five young Russian
composers (Tschaikowsky was not one of them) bent on achieving a pure
national idiom, went so far as to outline the scheme to Tschaikowsky,
unfolding the possibilities of dramatic and musical co-ordination so
vividly that the young composer took eagerly to the project. Balakireff
even furnished the keys and hints for themes and development.

However, four months went by before Tschaikowsky plunged into the
actual composition of the overture-fantasy. Balakireff kept in close
touch with him and virtually supervised the process. His dogmatism and
narrowness often bored and irritated the young composer. Balakireff
accepted this and rejected that, was pitilessly graphic in his
comments, and yet somehow egged on the hypersensitive Tschaikowsky to
completion of a taxing assignment. Finally, in January of the following
year, Balakireff and Rimsky-Korsakoff came to visit him and he could
write: “My overture pleased them very much and it also pleases me.”
Still, the Moscow public responded coolly, and Tschaikowsky felt
obliged to revise much of the score that summer. Further rewriting was
done for the definitive edition brought out in 1881.

The thematic scheme is easy to follow. Friar Laurence takes his bow in
a solemn andante introduction for clarinets and bassoons in F-sharp
minor. The feud of the Montagues and Capulets rages in a B minor
allegro. Romeo and Juliet enter via muted violins and English horn in
a famous theme in D-flat major suggesting Tschaikowsky’s song _Wer nur
die Sehnsucht kennt_ (“None But the Lonely Heart”). The strife-torn
Montagues and Capulets return for another bout. Chords of muted violins
and violas hinting at mystery and secrecy bring back the love music.
The themes of Romeo and Juliet, the embattled families, and Friar
Laurence are heard in succession, followed by a fierce orchestral
crash, and the storm subsides to a roll of kettledrums.


Written in 1876, Tschaikowsky’s symphonic treatment of the celebrated
love story of Paolo and Francesca grew out of an original project for
an opera on the same subject. He abandoned the idea of an opera when
the libretto submitted to him proved impossible. Later Tschaikowsky
again read through the fifth canto of Dante’s _Inferno_, in which the
tragedy is related. Stirred by the verses and also by Gustave Doré’s
illustrations, he resolved to write an orchestral fantasy on the

Prefacing the score are the following lines from Dante’s great poem:

“Dante arrives in the second circle of hell. He sees that here the
incontinent are punished, and their punishment is to be continually
tormented by the crudest winds under a dark and gloomy air. Among these
tortured ones he recognizes Francesca da Rimini, who tells her story.

“‘ ... There is no greater pain than to recall a happy time in
wretchedness; and this thy teacher knows. But if thou hast such desire
to learn the first root of our love, I will do like one who weeps and

“‘One day, for pastime, we read of Lancelot, how love constrained him.
We were alone, and without all suspicion. Several times reading urged
our eyes to meet, and changed the color of our faces. But one moment
alone it was that overcame us. When we read of how the fond smile was
kissed by such a lover, he, who shall never be divided from me, kissed
my mouth all trembling. The book, and he who wrote it, was a Galeotto.
That day we read in it no farther.’

“While the one spirit thus spake, the other wept so that I fainted with
pity, as if I had been dying; and fell, as a dead body falls.”

Tschaikowsky used to insist that the following titles be given in the
program-book at performances of his fantasia:

    I.  Introduction: The gateway to the Inferno
          (“Leave all hope behind, all ye who enter here”)
        Tortures and agonies of the condemned.
   II.  Francesca tells the story of her tragic love for Paolo.
  III.  The turmoil of Hades. Conclusion.

The composition starts with a descriptive setting, in which a sinister,
gruesome picture is painted of the second circle of Dante’s _Inferno_.
The awesome scene, with its haunting, driving winds, desolate moans,
and dread terror, is repeated at the end. In the middle occurs a
section featuring a clarinet in a plaintive and tender melody heard
against string pizzicati. This instantly evokes the image of Francesca
telling her tragic tale, which mounts in fervor and reaches its
shattering crisis, before the wailing winds of Dante’s netherworld
close in again.

                             BALLET SUITES

       SUITE FROM THE BALLET, _Swan Lake_ (_Le Lac des Cygnes_)

All told, Tschaikowsky wrote three ballets, plus a scattering of
incidental dances for operas, beginning with the surviving “Voyevode”
fragments. The composition of _Swan Lake_, first of the trio—the
others being _The Sleeping Beauty_ and _The Nutcracker_—originated in
a twofold impulse, the need for ready cash and a fondness for French
ballet music, especially the works of Delibes and the _Giselle_ of
Adolphe Adam, which Tschaikowsky regarded as archetype.

He evidently thought little of his initial effort, for shortly after
the Moscow production of _Swan Lake_ he recorded in his diary: “Lately
I have heard Delibes’ very clever music. ‘Swan Lake’ is poor stuff
compared to it. Nothing during the last few years has charmed me so
greatly as this ballet of Delibes and ‘Carmen’.” Per contra, the same
entry bemoans the “deterioration” of German music, the immediate
offender being the “cold, obscure and pretentious” C minor symphony of

Tschaikowsky was probably sincere when he described his own ballet as
“poor stuff” compared with Delibes’. That was in 1877. Performances of
_Swan Lake_ at the Bolshoi Theater had been flat, shabby, and badly
costumed. A conductor inexperienced with elaborate ballet scores had
directed. Modeste Tschaikowsky, in the biography of his brother,
testifies to this. Numbers were omitted as “undanceable,” and pieces
from other ballets substituted. At length only a third of the original
remained, and not the best. The ballet dropped out of the Moscow
repertory, and it was not until 1894 that the enterprising Marius
Petipa wrote to Moscow for the full score and produced _Swan Lake_
with brilliant success at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg,
on January 15, 1895. It has since remained a repertory staple, both
the current Ballets Russes and the Ballet Theatre having staged it
successfully. Pavlova, Karsavina, and Markova, among others, have
interpreted the heroine Odette, and Prince Siegfried has been embodied
by Nijinsky, Lifar, Mordkin, and Dolin. _Swan Lake_ was one of the
first ballets witnessed in his youth by Serge Diaghileff, founder of
the famous Ballets Russes.

Tschaikowsky first refers to _Swan Lake_ in a letter to
Rimsky-Korsakoff, dated September 10, 1875: “I accepted the work partly
because I need the money and because I have long cherished a desire to
try my hand at this type of music.” V. P. Begitche, stage manager of
the Bolshoi, offered 800 roubles (less than $500) and in turn granted
Tschaikowsky’s request for a story from the Age of Chivalry, making
the sketch himself. Tschaikowsky set to work in August, 1875, and had
the first two acts planned out in a fortnight, but the score was not
completed till the following March and for some reason held up for
performance until February, 1877.

The story, possibly of Rhenish origin, tells how Prince Siegfried woos
and wins Odette, the Swan Queen. At a celebration the prince is told
he must soon choose a bride. A flight of swans overhead distracts him
and a hunt is proposed. Siegfried and the hunters are at the lake-side.
It is evening. Odette appears surrounded by a bevy of swan-maidens.
She begs the hunters to spare the swans. They are maidens under the
spell of the enchanter Rotbart. Swans by day, they return briefly to
human form at midnight. The prince and Odette fall in love. Siegfried
swears she will be his wife. Odette cautions him about Rotbart’s evil
power. Breach of promise will mean her death. Rotbart brings his own
daughter to the court ball, disguised as Odette. Siegfried makes the
false choice of bride, and the pledge is broken. Discovering Rotbart’s
ruse, he hastens to Odette, who at first rebuffs him. Siegfried
blames Rotbart and Odette relents. At length Rotbart whips up a storm
which floods the forest. When Siegfried vows he will die with Odette,
Rotbart’s spell is shattered and all ends happily.

Tschaikowsky’s close friend and collaborator Kashkin is authority for
the statement that an adagio section in _Swan Lake_ was a love-duet
in the opera _Undine_ before it found new lodgings. Conversely, a
Danse Russe in the group of piano pieces, Op. 40, was written for
_Swan Lake_, thus balancing matters. Like _The Sleeping Beauty_ and
_The Nutcracker_, _Swan Lake_ is famed for its waltz. The score brims
with typical Tschaikowskyan melody, and probably for the first time
in ballet music a scheme of leitmotifs is used, two of the principal
subjects being the tremulous theme of the swans in flight and the
hauntingly wistful theme of Odette herself, assigned to the oboe
against soft strings and harp arpeggios. The music adjusts itself
snugly to the technic of pure classical ballet and solos and ensembles
are contrasted adroitly.

         SUITE FROM THE BALLET, _The Sleeping Beauty_, OPUS 66

Based on Perrault’s famous fairy tale, Tschaikowsky’s _Sleeping Beauty_
ballet dates from the summer of 1889. Its music is generally regarded
as superior to that of the _Swan Lake_ ballet and inferior to that
of the _Nutcracker_ suite. Few ballet scores are so suitable in mood
and style for the action they accompany. The music is truly melodious
in Tschaikowsky’s lighter vein. The fantasy is conveyed in bright,
glittering colors, and, as Mrs. Newmarch pointed out, the music “never
descends to the commonplace level of the ordinary ballet music.”
There are thirty numbers in all, many of them, especially the waltz,
endearing in their lilting and haunting grace. The work was first
produced in St. Petersburg on January 2, 1890. In the early twenties,
Diaghileff, the great ballet producer, revived the work in London and
elsewhere with immense artistic _éclat_. Fragments of the ballet have
been gathered in the Monte Carlo Ballet Russe’s production of _Aurora’s

          SUITE FROM THE BALLET, _The Nutcracker_, OPUS 71-A

The usual fit of depression assailed Tschaikowsky while composing
the music for his _Nutcracker_ ballet, based on E. T. A. Hoffmann’s
story _Nussknacker und Mausekönig_ (“Nutcracker and Mouse King”).
Commissioned by the St. Petersburg Opera early in 1891, the work was
slow in taking shape. At length, on June 25, Tschaikowsky completed
the sketches for the projected ballet. What had taken him weeks should
have been finished in five days, he lamented. “No, the old man is
breaking up,” he wrote. “Not only does his hair drop out, or turn as
white as snow; not only does he lose his teeth, which refuse their
service; not only do his eyes weaken and tire easily; not only do his
feet walk badly, or drag themselves along, but, bit by bit, he loses
the capacity to do anything at all. The ballet is infinitely worse than
‘The Sleeping Beauty’—so much is certain.”

Apparently the first night audience agreed with him, for at the
première in the Imperial Opera House, the response was chilling. Yet an
earlier concert performance of the music had drawn plaudits from both
public and press. The ballet’s failure, however, was easy to explain.
The producer, Marius Petipa, fell ill, and the work of staging the
new ballet was entrusted to a man of inadequate skill and experience.
Then, the audience found it hard to thrill to the spectacle of children
dashing coyly about in the first act. And balletomanes, accustomed to
beauty and glamor in their favorite ballerinas, found the girl dancing
the part of the Sugarplum Fairy anything but appetizing to look at.

Act I of the ballet is concerned with a Christmas Tree party. The scene
is overrun with children and mechanical dolls. Little Marie is drawn
to a German Nutcracker, which is made to resemble an old man with huge
jaws. During a game, some boys accidentally break the Nutcracker. Marie
is saddened by the tragedy. That night she lies awake in bed, sleepless
with grief over the broken utensil. Finally, she jumps out of bed and
goes to take one more look at the beloved Nutcracker. Suddenly strange
sounds reach her ears. Mice! The Tree now seems to come to life and
grow massive. Toys begin to stir into action, followed by cakes and
candies. Even the Nutcracker creaks into life. Presently a battle
arises between the mice and the toys. The Nutcracker challenges the
Mouse King to a duel. Just as the Nutcracker is about to be felled,
Marie hurls a shoe and kills the royal rodent. And of course, the
Nutcracker promptly is transformed into a handsome prince. Arm in arm,
they leave for his magic kingdom.

The scene now changes to a mountain of jam for the second act. This is
the land ruled by the Sugarplum Fairy, who is awaiting the arrival of
Marie and her princely escort. The court cheers jubilantly when the
happy pair appears on the scene. What follows is the series of dances
usually heard in the concert hall. The sequence runs as follows:

_Miniature Overture_ (_Allegro giusto_, B-flat, 4-4), featuring
two sharply differentiated themes, scored largely for the higher

_March_ (_Tempo di marcia vivo_, G major, 4-4), in which the main theme
is chanted by clarinets, horns and trumpets, as the children make their
measured entrance.

_Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy_ (_Andante con moto_, E minor, 2-4). Here
the celesta gives out the entrancing melody, with pizzicato strings

_Russian Dance: Trepak_ (_Tempo di trepak, molto vivace_, G major,
2-4), which grows out of a brisk rhythmic figure heard at the beginning.

_Arabian Dance_ (_Allegretto_, G minor, 3-8). Intended to convey
the idea of “Coffee.” A melody in Oriental mood is announced by the
clarinet, later picked up by the violins.

_Chinese Dance_ (_Allegretto moderato_, B-flat major, 4-4). Intended to
convey the idea of “Tea.” The melody is given to the flute against a
pizzicato figure sustained by bassoons and double basses.

_Dance of the Mirlitons_ (_Moderato assai_, D major, 2-4). For the main
theme three flutes join forces. Then comes a different melody given out
by the trumpets in F-sharp minor before the chief subject is back.

_Waltz of the Flowers_ (_Tempo di valse_, D major, 3-4). Woodwinds and
horns, aided by a harp-cadenza, offer some introductory phrases. Then
the horns give out the fetching main melody. Soon the clarinets take it
up. Flute, oboe, and strings bring in other themes, and the waltz comes
to a brilliant close.



Before occupying its permanent niche in the repertory, Tschaikowsky’s
violin concerto had to run a fierce gantlet of fault-finding. Friend
and foe alike took pokes at it. The wonder is that it survived at all.
Even Mme. von Meck, Tschaikowsky’s patroness-saint, picked serious
flaws in the work, and the lady was known for her unwavering faith in
Tschaikowsky’s genius.

As a matter of fact, Tschaikowsky, often an unsparing critic of his
own music, started the trend by finding objection with the Andante
and rewriting it whole. That was in April, 1878. He was spending the
spring at Clarens, Switzerland. Joseph Kotek, a Russian violinist and
composer, was staying with him. Tschaikowsky and Kotek went over the
work several times, and evidently saw eye-to-eye on its merits.

Then came the first outside rebuff. Mme. von Meck was frankly
dissatisfied and showed why in detail. Tschaikowsky meekly wrote back
pleading guilty on some counts but advancing the hope that in time his
Lady Bountiful might come to like the concerto. He stood pat on the
first movement, which Mme. von Meck particularly assailed.

“Your frank judgment on my violin concerto pleased me very much,” he
writes. “It would have been very disagreeable to me if you, from any
fear of wounding the petty pride of a composer, had kept back your
opinion. However, I must defend a little the first movement of the

“Of course, it houses, as does every piece that serves virtuoso
purposes, much that appeals chiefly to the mind; nevertheless, the
themes are not painfully evolved: the plan of this movement sprang
suddenly in my head and quickly ran into its mould. I shall not give up
the hope that in time the piece will give you greater pleasure.”

Next came a more serious setback from Leopold Auer, the widely
respected Petersburg virtuoso. Auer was then professor of violin at the
Imperial Conservatory and the Czar’s court violinist. Tschaikowsky,
hoping to induce Auer to launch the concerto on its career, originally
dedicated the work to him. But Auer glanced through the score and
promptly decided against it. It was “impossible to play.”

Tschaikowsky later made a quaintly worded entry in his diary to the
effect that Auer’s pronouncement cast “this unfortunate child of
my imagination for many years to come into the limbo of hopelessly
forgotten things.” Justly or unjustly, he even suspected Auer of having
prevailed on the violinist Emile Sauret to abstain from playing it in
St. Petersburg.

The ice finally broke when Adolf Brodsky, after two years of admitted
laziness and indecision, took it up and succeeded in performing it with
the Vienna Philharmonic on December 4, 1881. Yet, even Brodsky, despite
his wholehearted espousal of the work, complained to Tschaikowsky that
he had “crammed too many difficulties into it.” Previously, in Paris,
Brodsky had experimented with the concerto by playing it to Laroche,
who, whether because of Brodsky’s rendering or the concerto’s inherent
character, confessed “he could gain no true idea of the work.”

Even the première went against the new concerto. In the first place
Brodsky had to do some strong propagandizing to get Hans Richter to
include the work on a Philharmonic program. Then, only one rehearsal
was granted. The orchestral parts, according to Brodsky, “swarmed with
errors.” At the rehearsal nobody liked the new work. Besides, Richter
wanted to make cuts, but Brodsky promptly scotched the idea. Finally,
during the performance, the musicians, still far from having mastered
the music, accompanied everything pianissimo, “not to go smash.”

Of course, Brodsky outlines the chain of contretemps in a letter to
Tschaikowsky partly to assuage the composer’s pained feelings on
receiving news of the Vienna fiasco. For the première ended with a
broadside of hisses, completely obliterating the polite applause coming
from some friendly quarters. As the _coup de grâce_ Eduard Hanslick,
Europe’s uncrowned ruler of musical destinies, wrote a scathing notice,
which Philip Hale rendered as follows:

“For a while the concerto has proportion, is musical, and is not
without genius, but soon savagery gains the upper hand and lords it to
the end of the first movement.

“The violin is no longer played. It is yanked about. It is torn
asunder. It is beaten black and blue. I do not know whether it is
possible for any one to conquer these hair-raising difficulties, but I
do know that Mr. Brodsky martyrized his hearers as well as himself.

“The Adagio, with its tender national melody, almost conciliates,
almost wins us. But it breaks off abruptly to make way for a finale
that puts us in the midst of the brutal and wretched jollity of a
Russian kermess. We see wild and vulgar faces, we hear curses, we smell
bad brandy.

“Friedrich Vischer once asserted in reference to lascivious paintings
that there are pictures which ‘stink in the eye.’ Tschaikowsky’s violin
concerto brings to us for the first time the horrid idea that there may
be music that stinks in the ear.”

The pestiferous odors of the Hanslick blast further embittered
Tschaikowsky’s already gloomy disposition, and it is not surprising to
learn that the review haunted him till the day he died. But Brodsky’s
unflagging devotion to the concerto, together with his practical
missionary zeal in acquainting the European public with it, finally
started the concerto on its path of glory.

“Nor was that the end of time’s revenges,” wrote Pitts Sanborn.
“Hanslick was to write glowingly of the ‘Pathétique’ symphony, and
in due course Leopold Auer not only played the unplayable concerto
himself, but made a specialty of teaching it to his pupils, who have
carried its gospel the world over. But while the belated triumphs were
accruing Tschaikowsky died.”

The dedication is to Brodsky, who certainly earned it.

The first movement (_Allegro moderato_, D major, 4-4), opens with a
melody for strings and woodwind. Then the solo violin is heard in a
cadenza-like sequence followed by the first theme (_Moderato assai_). A
second theme, _Molto espressivo_, is next discoursed by the violin in A
major. Instead of the usual development there is an intricate cadenza
without accompaniment. A long and brilliant coda concludes the movement.

The second movement (_Canzonetta: Andante_, 3-4) starts with the
muted solo violin chanting, after a brief preface, a nostalgic theme
in G minor. The flute and clarinet then offer the first phrase of
this theme, and later the solo violin unreels a Chopinesque second
subject, in E-flat major, _con anima_. The clarinet offers an obbligato
of arpeggios when the first theme returns. The rousing finale is an
_Allegro vivacissimo_ in D major, 2-4.

The Rondo-like last movement, typically Russian in theme and rhythm,
develops from two folk-like melodies. Listeners will be reminded of
the well-known Russian dance, the Trepak, in this movement. The music
builds up at a brisk pace to a crashing climax.


Like the violin concerto, Tschaikowsky’s great piano concerto in
B-flat minor went through a gruelling ordeal of abusive rebuffs and
setbacks before becoming established as one of the world’s most beloved
symphonic scores. In the case of the violin work, it was Leopold
Auer who first flouted it as unplayable, and then made it a popular
repertory standby. Nicholas Rubinstein is the name linked with the
early stages of the piano concerto. After excoriating the concerto in
its first state, Rubinstein grew to like it, humbly apologized for his
blunder, and made practical amends by playing it in public with huge

Early in its composition we find Tschaikowsky writing to his brother
Anatol: “I am so completely absorbed in the composition of a piano
concerto. I am anxious that Rubinstein should play it at his concert.
The work proceeds very slowly and does not turn out well. However, I
stick to my intentions and hammer piano passages out of my brain; the
result is nervous irritability.” Begun in November, 1874, the concerto
was completed the following month. Rubinstein was then invited to
hear the work. Rubinstein and one or two musical colleagues gathered
in one of the classrooms of the Moscow Conservatory. Unluckily, the
great man was in a sombre mood that day. Tschaikowsky sat down and
played the first movement. No comment from Rubinstein. Then he played
the Andantino. Still no comment. Finally, Tschaikowsky ran through the
last movement. He turned around expectantly. Rubinstein said nothing.
Uneasily, Tschaikowsky asked him pointblank: “What do you think of
it?” And the storm broke. It was vulgar, cheap, pianistic, completely
valueless, retorted Rubinstein, who then stepped up to the piano and
began to burlesque the music.

“I left the room without saying a word and went upstairs,” writes
the distraught Tschaikowsky. “I could not have spoken for anger and
agitation. Presently Rubinstein came to me and, seeing how upset I
was, called me into another room. There he repeated that my concerto
was impossible, pointed out many places where it needed to be
completely revised, and said that if I would suit the concerto to his
requirements, he would bring it out at his concert.

“‘I shall not alter a single note,’ he replied. ‘I shall publish the
work precisely as it stands.’ This intention I actually carried out.”
Tschaikowsky did make some alterations in the score, however.

Tschaikowsky changed his mind about dedicating the score to Rubinstein,
conferring the honor on Hans Von Bülow, instead. Von Bülow played the
world première in Boston on October 25, 1875, and in a letter to the
Russian composer conveyed his enthusiasm for the work: “The ideas are
so original, so noble, so powerful; the details are so interesting,
and though there are many of them they do not impair the clearness
and the unity of the work. The form is so mature, ripe, distinguished
for style, for intention and labor are everywhere concealed. I should
weary you if I were to enumerate all the characteristics of your
work—characteristics which compel me to congratulate equally the
composer as well as all those who shall enjoy the work actively or
passively respectively.” Later Tschaikowsky, reading reports of how
Americans were acclaiming his concerto, wrote: “Think what healthy
appetites these Americans must have! Each time Bülow was obliged to
repeat the whole finale of my concerto! Nothing like this happens in
our own country.”

The concerto opens with a striking theme, _Allegro non troppo e molto
maestoso_, in D-flat major, 3-4, familiar to music-lovers of all tastes
the world over. The strings take it up after some brief preluding, and
it is then repeated, with rhythmic modification, by the solo piano.
There is a piano cadenza, and the theme comes back by way of the
strings, minus double-basses, against an ascending obbligato from the
piano. For reasons best known to himself, Tschaikowsky never allows
this imposing theme to return to the scene.

The “blind beggar tune” is the name often applied to the piano theme
serving as chief subject of the main section of the first movement
(_Allegro con spirito_, B-flat minor). Tschaikowsky heard it sung on a
street in Kamenko and he wrote to his patroness-friend, Mme. von Meck:
“It is curious that in Russia every blind beggar sings exactly the same
tune with the same refrain. I have used part of this refrain in my
piano concerto.” Horns and woodwind discourse the second subject (_Poco
meno mosso_, A-flat major) before the solo instrument turns to it.

The song-like first theme of the second movement (_Andantino semplice_,
D-flat major, 6-8) is given out first by the flute, with the oboe
and clarinets bringing in the second subject against a bassoon
accompaniment. The _Prestissimo_ middle section in F major, has the
spirit of a scherzo. A waltz enters the scheme by way of violas and
’cellos. Tschaikowsky’s brother, Modeste, insisted the theme of this
waltz derived from a French song the brothers Tschaikowsky used to sing
and whistle in their boyhood days.

The Rondo-like finale develops from three themes, the first of which,
a lively dance in Cossack style, is given out by the piano. A further
folk-like quality is observable in the second theme, and the violins
later chant the third of the finale’s themes. In the brisk Coda the
Cossack-like first theme is given the dominant role.


                  SYMPHONY IN F MINOR, NO. 4, OPUS 36

At first sight, this symphony arouses no “cherchez la femme” mystery.
Seemingly, the lady is not far to seek. In fact, Tschaikowsky throws
off the search in his dedication. The lady is Madame Nadia Filaretovna
von Meck. She was his loyal confidante and benefactress. The least
Tschaikowsky could do was to dedicate a symphony to her. Comfort and
encouragement in the form of checks and adulatory letters from Mme. von
Meck saw the sorrowing Slav through many bleak periods.

The association has been called “the most amazing romance in musical
history.” That the “romance” was purely platonic does not make it any
the less “amazing.” Whatever Mme. von Meck’s secret hopes and longings,
Tschaikowsky shrank from carrying the liaison beyond epistolary scope.
Mme. von Meck resigned herself to an advisory role of patroness-friend,
and played it nobly. The world reveres her for it. “_Our_ symphony,”
Tschaikowsky wrote to her, communicating his intention to dedicate the
Fourth to her. “I believe you will find in it echoes of your deepest
thoughts and feelings.”

What Tschaikowsky meant, of course, was “_my_ deepest thoughts and
feelings.” The plural possessive, “_ours_,” is gallant rather than
collaborative. Even so, he could with more truth than courtesy have
written to another woman, Antonina Ivanovna Miliukov, in similar
style. Antonina was Tschaikowsky’s wife in a domestic farce lasting
two weeks. The whole episode—spanning a wild sequence of engagement,
marriage, flight in the night, attempted suicide, separation—nestles
snugly in the period of the symphony’s origin. Antonina would have
understood the words “_our_ symphony.” Only fate and brother Anatol
saved it from becoming Tschaikowsky’s obituary. Not that it was
Antonina’s fault. Far from it. But no psychological analysis of the
Fourth can be complete without her.

The girl was a conservatory pupil. Tschaikowsky’s music acted like
magic on her. Through it she came to a slavish worship of the composer.
Next followed written avowals of love sizzling with passion. At first
Tschaikowsky was amused, then alarmed, finally haunted. The girl was
persistent. Her pleas grew piteous. To make matters worse, Tschaikowsky
was immersed in his romantic opera _Eugene Onegin_ at the time. He had
just composed music for Tatiana’s impassioned love-letter to Onegin.
Antonina’s plight was too much like the spurned Tatiana’s to be lost on
Tschaikowsky’s sensitive nature. Onegin’s cold disdain had virtually
wrecked the girl’s life. Antonina might even kill herself. Tschaikowsky
saw himself as another and more heartless Onegin. The situation
probably stroked his vanity, too.

He made a naïve offer of friendship. It only stirred up more trouble.
He finally granted a meeting. Antonina had won. The girl was deaf
to his self-depiction as a morose, ill-tempered neurotic who would
assuredly drive her mad. Antonina knew better. No, there was only
one way out—marriage. Tschaikowsky became engaged. He repented at
leisure. Attempts to break the engagement proved futile. Antonina was
bent on becoming Mrs. Tschaikowsky. They were married. A few days later
Tschaikowsky fled for his sanity. They were reconciled. There followed
two hellish weeks of tragi-farcical life together in Moscow. One night,
in a wild daze, Tschaikowsky fled again. He wandered about wildly and
reached the Moscow River. He had made up his mind. He stood neck-deep
in the water, hoping to freeze to death. He was rescued in time.

Though for long he “bordered on insanity,” somehow he came through
the crisis with most of his mind. His brother Anatol took him to
Switzerland. Slowly Tschaikowsky got back to normal. He never saw
Antonina Ivanovna again. The clinical aspects of the case have been
thoroughly aired in recent years. The publication of long-withheld
letters throw fresh light on Tschaikowsky’s temperament. Antonina and
he were mentally and physically incompatible. Despite the fearful
suicidal state into which his marriage plunged him, Tschaikowsky never
made a harsh reference to his wife. Antonina, for her part, graciously
cleared him in her memoirs. “Peter was in no way to blame,” she wrote.

     [Illustration: The house at Votinsk, in western Russia, where
 Tschaikowsky was born and where he spent the early years of his life
              before his family moved to St. Petersburg.]

    [Illustration: Mme. Nadeshka von Meck, Tschaikowsky’s life-long
        benefactress, whom he corresponded with but never met.]

During this period, which extends from May to September, 1877,
Tschaikowsky worked on his Fourth Symphony. Just how much of his
private woes were transmuted into symphonic speech cannot be
determined, even from Tschaikowsky’s own written confidences. Possibly,
the symphony was an avenue of escape from his mounting anxieties.
Anyway, his completion of the sketch coincides with his engagement to
Antonina in May. The orchestration of the first movement took up a
month, from August 11 to September 12—the breathing spell between his
two flights from Antonina. Then followed the nerve-racking fortnight
in Moscow. The other three movements were completed in the Swiss Alps,
where, thanks to his brother, he regained his full sanity and working
tempo. A passage in a letter to Mme. von Meck, during the Antonina
regime, suggests an explanation of Tschaikowsky’s abstract talk of Fate
in connection with his Fourth: “We cannot escape our fate, and there
was something fatalistic about my meeting with this girl.” In January,
1878, when the whole dismal affair was safely locked away in the past,
he wrote to Mme. von Meck that he could only recall his marriage as a
bad dream:

“Something remote, a weird nightmare in which a man bearing my name,
my likeness, and my consciousness acted as one acts in dreams: in a
meaningless, disconnected, paradoxical way. That was not my sane self,
in possession of logical and reasonable will-powers. Everything I
then did bore the character of an unhealthy conflict between will and
intelligence, which is nothing less than insanity.”

Tschaikowsky wrote to the composer Taneieff that there was not a single
bar in his Fourth Symphony which he had not truly felt and which
was not an echo of his “most intimate self.” He frankly avowed the
symphony’s “programmatic” character, but declared it was “impossible
to give the program in words.” Yet, to Mme. von Meck, who insisted on
knowing the full spiritual and emotional content of the symphony, he
wrote out a detailed analysis which has long been familiar to concert
audiences. In reading it the listener usually does one of three things:
takes it literally; regards it as irrelevant to the music as such;
relates it to Tschaikowsky’s private life. There is the fourth choice
of combining all three. In that choice lies the synthesis of mind,
emotion, and external stimuli which is regarded as the very stuff of

“Our symphony has a program,” he writes. “That is to say, it is
possible to express its contents in words, and I will tell you—and
you alone—the meaning of the entire work and its separate movements.
Naturally I can only do so as regards its general features.

“The Introduction is the kernel, the quintessence, the chief thought
of the whole symphony. This is Fate, the fatal power which hinders one
in the pursuit of happiness from gaining the goal, which jealously
provides that peace and comfort do not prevail, that the sky is not
free from clouds—a might that swings, like the sword of Damocles,
constantly over the head, that poisons continually the soul. This might
is overpowering and invincible. There is nothing to do but to submit
and vainly to complain.

“The feeling of despondency and despair grows ever stronger and more
passionate. It is better to turn from the realities and to lull
oneself in dreams. O joy! What a fine sweet dream! A radiant being,
promising happiness, floats before me and beckons me. The importunate
first dream of the Allegro is now heard afar off, and now the soul
is wholly enwrapped with dreams. There is no thought of gloom and
cheerlessness. Happiness! Happiness! Happiness! No, they are only
dreams, and Fate dispels them. The whole of life is only a constant
alternation between dismal reality and flattering dreams of happiness.
There is no port: you will be tossed hither and thither by the waves
until the sea swallows you. Such is the program, in substance, of the
first movement.

“The second movement shows another phase of sadness. Here is that
melancholy feeling which enwraps one when he sits at night alone in
the house exhausted by work; the book which he had taken to read has
slipped from his hand; a swarm of reminiscences has arisen. How sad it
is that so much has already _been_ and _gone_! And yet it is a pleasure
to think of the early years. One mourns the past and has neither the
courage nor the will to begin a new life. One is rather tired of life.
One wishes to recruit his strength and to look back, to revive many
things in the memory. One thinks on the gladsome hours when the young
blood boiled and bubbled and there was satisfaction in life. One thinks
also on the sad moments, on irrevocable losses. And all this is now so
far away, so far away. And it is also sad and yet so sweet to muse over
the past.

“There is no determined feeling, no exact expression in the third
movement. Here are capricious arabesques, vague figures which slip into
the imagination when one has taken wine and is slightly intoxicated.
The mood is now gay, now mournful. One thinks about nothing; one gives
the fancy loose rein, and there is pleasure in drawings of marvellous
lines. Suddenly rush into the imagination the picture of a drunken
peasant and a gutter-song. Military music is heard passing by in the
distance. These are disconnected pictures which come and go in the
brain of the sleeper. They have nothing to do with reality; they are
unintelligible, bizarre, out-at-elbows.

“Fourth movement. If you had no pleasure in yourself, look about you.
Go to the people. See how they can enjoy life and give themselves up
entirely to festivity. The picture of a folk-holiday. Hardly have
we had time to forget ourselves in the happiness of others when
indefatigable Fate reminds us once more of its presence. The other
children of men are not concerned with us. They do not spare us a
glance nor stop to observe that we are lonely and sad. How merry and
glad they all are. All their feelings are so inconsequent, so simple.
And you still say that all the world is immersed in sorrow? There still
_is_ happiness, simple, native happiness. Rejoice in the happiness of
others—and you can still live.”

                  SYMPHONY IN E MINOR, NO. 5, OPUS 64

If surroundings alone determined the mood of a piece of music,
Tschaikowsky’s Fifth Symphony, composed one summer in a country villa
near Klin, would be a sunlit idyl. Of course it is nothing of the sort,
for though Tschaikowsky responded keenly to outdoor beauty, he was a
prey to gloomy thoughts and visions that constantly found their way
into his music. His own inner world crowded out the other. Frolovskoe,
where he wrote his symphony in 1888, was a charming spot, fringed by a
forest. Between spurts of composing he took long walks in the woods and
puttered around the villa garden.

On his return from Italy two years later he found that the forest
had been cut down. “All those dear shady spots that were there last
year are now a bare wilderness,” he grieved to his brother Modeste.
Ironically, Tschaikowsky also composed his _Hamlet_ overture in
the sylvan retreat at Frolovskoe, though from his own and others’
descriptions, the place was an ideal setting for an _As You Like It_
symphonic fantasy, say.

The first intimation that Tschaikowsky was considering a new symphony
appears in a letter to his brother Modeste dated May 27, 1888. A dread
that he had written himself out as composer had been steadily gaining
a grip on Tschaikowsky’s mind. He had complained about his imagination
being “dried up.” He felt no urge to write. Finally he resolved to
shake off the mood and convince the world and himself there were still
a few good tunes in him.

“I am hoping to collect, little by little, material for a symphony,”
he writes to his brother on May 27. The following month we find him
inquiring of his lady bountiful, Nadezhka von Meck: “Have I told you
that I intended to write a symphony? The beginning has been difficult;
but now inspiration seems to have come. However, we shall see.” In the
same letter he makes no bones about his intention to prove that he is
not “played out as a composer.”

On August 6 he reported progress on the new work. “I have orchestrated
half the symphony,” he writes. “My age, although I am not very old,
begins to tell on me. I become very tired, and I can no longer play
the piano or read at night as I used to do.” Ill health troubled him
during the summer months, but by August 26 he was able to announce
the completion of the symphony. At first he was dissatisfied with
it. Even the favorable verdict of a group of musical friends, among
them Taneieff, did no good. Early performances of the symphony only
strengthened Tschaikowsky’s misgivings. The work was premièred in
St. Petersburg on November 17, 1888, with Tschaikowsky conducting. A
second performance followed on November 24, at a concert of the Musical
Society, with the composer again conducting. Then came a performance in
Prague. The public was enthusiastic. The critics, on the other hand,
almost unanimously attacked it as unworthy of Tschaikowsky’s powers.
In a letter to Mme. von Meck in December he expressed frank disgust
with the symphony:

“Having played my symphony twice in Petersburg and once in Prague, I
have come to the conclusion that it is a failure. There is something
repellent in it, some over-exaggerated color, some insincerity of
fabrication which the public instinctively recognizes. It was clear to
me that the applause and ovations referred not to this but to other
works of mine, and that the symphony itself will never please the
public. All this causes a deep dissatisfaction with myself.

“It is possible that I have, as people say, written myself out,
and that nothing remains but for me to repeat and imitate myself.
Yesterday evening I glanced over the Fourth Symphony, _our_ symphony.
How superior to this one, how much better it is! Yes, this is a
very, very sad fact.” A composer who was still to write the _Hamlet_
overture-fantasy, the _Sleeping Beauty_ and _Nutcracker_ ballets, the
opera _Pique Dame_, and the _Pathetic_ symphony, was anything but
“written out,” as Tschaikowsky feared!

After the symphony triumphed in both Moscow and Hamburg, Tschaikowsky
speedily changed his mind and wrote to his publisher Davidoff: “I like
it far better now, after having held a bad opinion of it for some
time.” He speaks of the Hamburg performance as “magnificent,” but
expresses his old complaint about the Russian press, that it “continues
to ignore me,” and bemoans the fact that “with the exception of those
nearest and dearest to me, no one will ever hear of my successes.”
Modeste Tschaikowsky attributed the work’s early failure in St.
Petersburg (that is, with the critics) to his brother’s poor conducting.

The assumed programmatic content of the Fifth Symphony has aroused much
speculation. Most analysts are convinced Tschaikowsky had a definite,
autobiographical plan in mind. Yet he left no descriptive analysis
such as we have of the Fourth Symphony. There he had set out to depict
the “inexorableness of fate.” One Russian writer discerned “some dark
spiritual experience” in the Fifth. “Only at the close,” he observed,
“the clouds lift, the sky clears, and we see the blue stretching pure
and clear beyond.” Ernest Newman spoke of the sinister motto theme
first announced in the opening movement as “the leaden, deliberate
tread of fate.” Many have agreed with Newman in classing the Fifth with
the Fourth as another “fate” symphony.

           SYMPHONY IN B MINOR, NO. 6, OPUS 74 (_Pathetic_)

First drafts of a sixth symphony—not the _Pathetic_—were made by
Tschaikowsky on his return trip from America in the late spring of
1891. Dissatisfied with the way the new score was shaping up, he tore
it up and congratulated himself on his “admirable and irrevocable
determination” to do so. It is not till February, 1893, that first
mention is made of a fresh start on a sixth symphony. “I am now wholly
occupied with the new work,” he writes excitedly to his brother Anatol.
“It is hard for me to tear myself from it. I believe it comes into
being as the best of my works. I must finish it as soon as possible,
for I have to wind up a lot of affairs....” Subsequent events were to
give the last sentence of this letter a sinister note of prophesy. Like
Mozart writing the _Requiem Mass_ on his deathbed, Tschaikowsky seemed
to be defying some unfriendly fate to stop him in the midst of his
great symphony.

There was to be a program to this symphony, a mysterious, profoundly
personal program. But Tschaikowsky would never tell the world what
it was. “Let them guess who can,” he challenged. Amid the beautiful
natural scenery of Klin, near Moscow, Tschaikowsky worked at his
symphony. Curiously enough, his mood was bright and cheerful for a
change. Early in October he left for Moscow to attend a funeral. There
he met his friend Kashkin and together they talked jovially of life
and death. Tschaikowsky was in excellent spirits and Kashkin assured
him that he would outlive them all. Tschaikowsky laughed, and talked
excitedly about his new symphony, how he was satisfied with the first
three movements, how the finale still needed tinkering.

At length he was in St. Petersburg again. The day of the première of
his symphony was approaching. Rehearsals were begun and Tschaikowsky
soon found reason to grow morose and pessimistic again. He had counted
on the musicians reacting warmly to this new music of his, but he
began to notice cool faces, indifferent glances, and—horror of
horrors—yawns. This was too much for the hypersensitive Tschaikowsky.
He felt his hands suddenly become lifeless, his mind lose its
alertness. His confidence ebbed from him. To spare the men any further
boredom he cut short the rehearsal. Still, he knew he had written
his greatest symphony. At the première of October 28th, the audience
received the new symphony coolly, and it was not till shortly after
Tschaikowsky’s death that it began to make a mighty, overpowering
impression on listeners wherever it was played.

But the symphony had been baptized without a name. Tschaikowsky felt
the term “No. 6” was too bald and lonely a title for it. “Programme
Symphony” was also ruled out, for the good reason that he refused to
divulge the “program.” His brother Modeste suggested “Tragic,” but
Tschaikowsky rejected that too. When Modeste left him, he went on
casting about for a title. In a flash it came to him. He rushed back
to his brother. “Peter,” he exclaimed; “I have it! Why not call it the
‘Pathetic’ symphony.” Tschaikowsky pounced on the proposal eagerly:
“Splendid, Modi, bravo—_Pathetic_!” he shouted. In his brother’s
presence Tschaikowsky wrote on the score the name by which the symphony
has since been known. Most programs, however, give the title in its
French form, _Symphonie Pathétique_.

Shortly after the conversation with his brother, Tschaikowsky attended
a performance of Ostrowsky’s play, _A Warm Heart_. Later he went
backstage to pay his respects to the leading actor, Warlamoff. The
talk somehow turned to spiritualism, and again Tschaikowsky showed
a lighthearted mood. When Warlamoff laughingly ridiculed “these
abominations which remind one of death,” Tschaikowsky agreed jovially.
“There is plenty of time before we have to reckon with this snub-nosed
horror. It will not come to snatch us off just yet! _I feel that I
shall live a long time!_” Five days later, Peter Ilyitch Tschaikowsky,
generally regarded as Russia’s greatest composer, was dead, one of
the many victims of the fearful cholera epidemic then raging in St.

If Tschaikowsky followed a definite emotional or philosophical program
in the _Pathetic_ symphony, the key to it died with him. Had he lived,
the chances are he would have divulged it, since he was not by nature
a secretive, unconfiding man. However, many have probed the symphony’s
content and concluded it harbored a message of impending death. Yet
Kashkin, Tschaikowsky’s close friend, interpreted the fierce energy of
the third movement and the abysmal sorrow of the Finale “in the broader
light of a national or historical significance.” He refused to narrow
down the scope of the symphony to a merely personal experience.

“If the last movement is intended to be prophetic, it is surely of
things vaster and issues more fatal than are contained in a purely
personal apprehension of death,” he said. “It speaks, rather, of
_une lamentation large et souffrance inconnue_—a large lamentation
and unknown suffering. It seems to set the seal of finality on all
human hopes. Even if we eliminate the merely subjective interest, this
autumnal inspiration of Tschaikowsky’s, in which we hear the _whirling
of the perished leaves of hope_, still remains the most profoundly
stirring of his works.”

I think we may safely agree with Kashkin’s judgment, at the same time
reserving the right to read into this monumental dirge, for such it
unmistakably is, our own individual sense of its profoundly moving
theme of tragic resignation. That Tschaikowsky left it as a testament
of disillusion and futility is likely. Yet no one can miss the fine
vein of tenderness and the flashes of defiance recurring through it.
Few artists have bequeathed the world such a candid, soul-searing

                   *       *       *       *       *

                     COMPLETE LIST OF RECORDINGS
                                BY THE

                           COLUMBIA RECORDS

LP—Also available on Long Playing Microgroove Recordings as well as on
                the conventional Columbia Masterworks.

                 _Under the Direction of Bruno Walter_

  BARBER—Symphony No. 1, Op. 9
  BEETHOVEN—Concerto for Violin, Cello, Piano and Orchestra in C major
        (with J. Corigliano, L. Rose and W. Hendl)—LP
  BEETHOVEN—Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major (“Emperor”) (with Rudolf
        Serkin, piano)—LP
  BEETHOVEN—Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra (with Joseph
  BEETHOVEN—Symphony No. 1 in C major, Op. 21—LP
  BEETHOVEN—Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (“Eroica”)—LP
  BEETHOVEN—Symphony No. 5 in C minor—LP
  BEETHOVEN—Symphony No. 8 in F major—LP
  BEETHOVEN—Symphony No. 9 in D minor (“Choral”) (with Elena Nikolaidi,
        contralto, and Raoul Jobin, tenor)—LP
  BRAHMS—Song of Destiny (with Westminster Choir)—LP
  DVORAK—Slavonic Dance No. 1
  DVORAK—Symphony No. 4 in G Major—LP
  MAHLER—Symphony No. 4 in G major (with Desi Halban, soprano)—LP
  MAHLER—Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
  MENDELSSOHN—Concerto in E minor (with Nathan Milstein, violin)—LP
  MENDELSSOHN—Scherzo (from Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  MOZART—Cosi fan Tutti—Overture
  MOZART—Symphony No. 41 in C major (“Jupiter”), K. 551—LP
  SCHUBERT—Symphony No. 7 in C major—LP
  SCHUMANN, R.—Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major (“Rhenish”)—LP
  SMETANA—The Moldau (“Vltava”)—LP
  STRAUSS, J.—Emperor Waltz

              _Under the Direction of Leopold Stokowski_

  COPLAND—Billy the Kid (2 parts)
  GRIFFES—“The White Peacock,” Op. 7, No. 1—LP 7"
  IPPOLITOW—“In the Village” from Caucasian Sketches (W. Lincer and M.
        Nazzi, soloists)
  KHACHATURIAN—“Masquerade Suite”—LP
  SIBELIUS—“Maiden with the Roses”—LP
  TSCHAIKOWSKY—Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32—LP
  TSCHAIKOWSKY—Overture Fantasy—Romeo and Juliet—LP
  VAUGHAN-WILLIAMS—Symphony No. 6 in E minor—LP
  WAGNER—Die Walküre—Wotan Farewell and Magic Fire Music (Act
        III—Scene 3)
  WAGNER—Siegfried’s Rhine Journey and Siegfried’s Funeral March—(“Die

                 _Under the Direction of Efrem Kurtz_

  CHOPIN—Les Sylphides—LP
  GLINKA—Mazurka—“Life of the Czar”—LP 7"
  GRIEG—Concerto in A minor for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 16 (with Oscar
        Levant, piano)—LP
  KABALEVSKY—“The Comedians,” Op. 26—LP
  KHACHATURIAN—Gayne—Ballet Suite No. 1—LP
  KHACHATURIAN—Gayne—Ballet Suite No. 2—LP
  LECOQ—Mme. Angot Suite—LP
  PROKOFIEFF—March, Op. 99—LP
  RIMSKY-KORSAKOV—The Flight of the Bumble Bee—LP 7"
  SHOSTAKOVICH—Polka No. 3, “The Age of Gold”—LP 7"
  SHOSTAKOVICH—Symphony No. 9—LP
  SHOSTAKOVICH—Valse from “Les Monts D’Or”—LP
  WIENIAWSKI—Concerto No. 2 in D minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 22
        (with Isaac Stern, violin)—LP

                _Under the Direction of Charles Münch_

  D’INDY—Symphony on a French Mountain Air for Orchestra and Piano—LP
  MILHAUD—Suite Française—LP
  MOZART—Concerto No. 21 for Piano and Orchestra in C major—LP
  SAINT-SAENS—Symphony in C minor, No. 3 for Orchestra, Organ and
        Piano, Op. 78—LP

               _Under the Direction of Artur Rodzinski_

  BIZET—Carmen—Entr’acte (Prelude to Act III)
  BIZET—Symphony in C major—LP
  BRAHMS—Symphony No. 1 in C minor—LP
  BRAHMS—Symphony No. 2 in D major—LP
  COPLAND—A Lincoln Portrait (with Kenneth Spencer, Narrator)—LP
  ENESCO—Roumanian Rhapsody—A major, No. 1—LP
  GERSHWIN—An American in Paris—LP
  GOULD—“Spirituals” for Orchestra—LP
  IBERT—“Escales” (Port of Call)—LP
  LISZT—Mephisto Waltz—LP
  MOUSSORGSKY—Gopack (The Fair at Sorotchinski)—LP
  MOUSSORGSKY-RAVEL—Pictures at an Exhibition—LP
  PROKOFIEFF—Symphony No. 5—LP
  RACHMANINOFF—Concerto No. 2 in C minor for Piano and Orchestra (with
        Gygory Sandor, piano)
  RACHMANINOFF—Symphony No. 2 in E minor
  SAINT-SAENS—Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 4 in C minor (with
        Robert Casadesus)—LP
  SIBELIUS—Symphony No. 4 in A minor
  TSCHAIKOWSKY—Nutcracker Suite—LP
  TSCHAIKOWSKY—Suite “Mozartiana”—LP
  TSCHAIKOWSKY—Symphony No. 6 in B minor (“Pathétique”)—LP
  WAGNER—Lohengrin—Bridal Chamber Scene (Act III—Scene 2)—(with
        Helen Traubel, soprano, and Kurt Baum, tenor)—LP
  WAGNER—Lohengrin—Elsa’s Dream (Act I, Scene 2) (with Helen Traubel,
  WAGNER—Siegfried Idyll—LP
  WAGNER—Tristan und Isolde—Excerpts (with Helen Traubel, soprano)
  WAGNER—Die Walküre—Act III (Complete) (with Helen Traubel, soprano
        and Herbert Janssen, baritone)—LP
  WAGNER—Die Walküre—Duet (Act I, Scene 3) (with Helen Traubel,
        soprano and Emery Darcy, tenor)—LP
  WOLF-FERRARI—“Secret of Suzanne,” Overture

               _Under the Direction of Igor Stravinsky_

  STRAVINSKY—Firebird Suite—LP
  STRAVINSKY—Fireworks (Feu d’Artifice)—LP
  STRAVINSKY—Four Norwegian Moods
  STRAVINSKY—Le Sacre du Printemps (The Consecration of the Spring)—LP
  STRAVINSKY—Scènes de Ballet—LP
  STRAVINSKY—Suite from “Petrouchka”—LP
  STRAVINSKY—Symphony in Three Movements—LP

              _Under the Direction of Sir Thomas Beecham_

  MENDELSSOHN—Symphony No. 4, in A major (“Italian”)
  SIBELIUS—Melisande (from “Pelleas and Melisande”)
  SIBELIUS—Symphony No. 7 in C major—LP
  TSCHAIKOWSKY—Capriccio Italien

               _Under the Direction of John Barbirolli_

  BACH-BARBIROLLI—Sheep May Safely Graze (from the “Birthday
  BERLIOZ—Roman Carnival Overture
  BRAHMS—Symphony No. 2, in D major
  BRAHMS—Academic Festival Overture—LP
  BRUCH—Concerto No. 1, in G minor (with Nathan Milstein, violin)—LP
  DEBUSSY—First Rhapsody for Clarinet (with Benny Goodman, clarinet)
  DEBUSSY—Petite Suite: Ballet
  MOZART—Concerto in B-flat major (with Robert Casadesus, piano)
  MOZART—Symphony No. 25 in G minor, K. 183
  RAVEL—La Valse
  RIMSKY-KORSAKOV—Capriccio Espagnol
  SIBELIUS—Symphony No. 1, in E minor
  SIBELIUS—Symphony No. 2, in D major
  SMETANA—The Bartered Bride—Overture
  TSCHAIKOWSKY—Theme and Variations (from Suite No. 3 in G)—LP

              _Under the Direction of Andre Kostelanetz_

  GERSHWIN—Concerto in F (with Oscar Levant)—LP

             _Under the Direction of Dimitri Mitropoulos_

  KHACHATURIAN—Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (with Oscar Levant,

                            VICTOR RECORDS

               _Under the Direction of Arturo Toscanini_

  BEETHOVEN—Symphony No. 7 in A major
  BRAHMS—Variations on a Theme by Haydn
  DUKAS—The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
  GLUCK—Orfeo ed Euridice—Dance of the Spirits
  HAYDN—Symphony No. 4 in D major (The Clock)
  MENDELSSOHN—Midsummer Night’s Dream—Scherzo
  MOZART—Symphony in D major (K. 385)
  ROSSINI—Barber of Seville—Overture
  ROSSINI—Italians in Algiers—Overture
  VERDI—Traviata—Preludes to Acts I and II
  WAGNER—Excerpts—Lohengrin—Die Götterdämmerung—Siegfried Idyll

               _Under the Direction of John Barbirolli_

  DEBUSSY—Iberia (Images, Set 3, No. 2)
  PURCELL—Suite for Strings with four Horns, two Flutes, English Horn
  RESPIGHI—Fountains of Rome
  RESPIGHI—Old Dances and Airs (Special recording for members of the
        Philharmonic-Symphony League of New York)
  SCHUBERT—Symphony No. 4 in C minor (Tragic)
  SCHUMANN—Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D minor (with Yehudi
        Menuhin, violin)
  TSCHAIKOWSKY—Francesca da Rimini—Fantasia

              _Under the Direction of Willem Mengelberg_

  J. C. BACH—Arr. Stein—Sinfonia in B-flat major
  J. S. BACH—Arr. Mahler—Air for G String (from Suite for Orchestra)
  BEETHOVEN—Egmont Overture
  HANDEL—Alcina Suite
  MENDELSSOHN—War March of the Priests (from Athalia)
  MEYERBEER—Prophète—Coronation March
  SAINT-SAENS—Rouet d’Omphale (Omphale’s Spinning Wheel)
  SCHELLING—Victory Ball
  WAGNER—Flying Dutchman—Overture
  WAGNER—Siegfried—Forest Murmurs (Waldweben)

                   *       *       *       *       *


* Italics indicated as _italics_.
* Small caps changed to All caps.
* Illustrations moved to nearest paragraph break
* Copyright notice is from the printed exemplar. Copyright was not
  renewed, the book is in the public domain.

* p.8: “Solennelle” instead of “Solenelle” (typo)
* p.7, 11, 13, 40 & 46: “Nadeshka” or “Nadezhka von Meck”, listed
  elsewhere as “Nadezhda von Meck”.
* “Desirée” (Artôt), usually “Désirée” (2x)
* p.33: “Pathétique” instead of “Pathetique” (typo)
* p.33: “espressivo” instead of “espressive” (typo)
* p.53: “Cosi fan Tutti” kept, but should be “Cosi fan Tutte”
* p.54-56: “Saint-Saens” kept, but should be “Saint-Saëns” (3x)

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operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.