Donald Macleod takes a series of snapshots of a period that lay at the centre of Tchaikovsky's creative life, from 1876 to 1890.
1877 had been a wretched year for Tchaikovsky. His marriage had gone hideously wrong in a matter of days and had left deep emotional scars. But the following year, things began to look up. He left his job at the Moscow Conservatoire, which had been a millstone around his neck, and correspondence now flourished between Tchaikovsky and his 'best friend', the wealthy widow Nadhezda von Meck. The fact that he was now solvent, owing to a monthly allowance from her, must have helped.
Liturgy of St John Chrysostom (excerpt, The Lord's Prayer)
St Petersburg Chamber Choir
Nikolai Korniev (conductor)
Philips 473 069-2 CD1, Tr 8
Maid of Orleans (excerpt from Act 1 conclusion)
Joan of Arc ...... Sofia Preobrazhenskaya (soprano)
Orchestra and Chorus of the Kirov
Boris Khaikin (conductor)
MYTO 992.H028 CD1, Trs 8-10
Violin Concerto in D, Op 35
Gidon Kremer (violin)
Lorin Maazel (conductor)
DG 459 043-2, Trs 1-3
Amid the din of the ball; It was in the early spring, Op 38
Joan Rodgers (soprano)
Roger Vignoles (piano)
Hyperion CDA 66617, Tr 5.