Main content
Sorry, this episode is not currently available

Donald Macleod explores 1891 which, for Tchaikovsky, saw the premiere of Sleeping Beauty as well as the completion of Queen of Spades.

Donald Macleod takes a series of snapshots of a period that lay at the centre of Tchaikovsky's creative life, from 1876 to 1890.

For Tchaikovsky, who was not the most prolific composer, 1890 was an astonishing year. A few days after the premiere of Sleeping Beauty, he set off for Florence, where he completed his opera Queen of Spades at breakneck speed in just 43 days. Donald Macleod dips into the opera and also enjoys Tchaikovsky's other Souvenir of Florence.

Queen of Spades (excerpt from Overture)
Kirov Orchestra, St Petersburg
Valery Gergiev (conductor)
Philips 438 141-2 CD1, Tr 1

Souvenir de Florence
Yuri Yurov (viola)
Mikhail Milman (cello)
Borodin Quartet
Teldec 4509 90422-2 CD1, Trs 6-9

Queen of Spades (Act 3, Sc 2)
Liza ...... Maria Gulegina (soprano)
Herman ...... Gegam Grigorian (tenor)
Kirov Chorus and Orchestra, St Petersburg
Valery Gergiev (conductor)
Philips 438 141-2 CD3, Trs 6-7

Sleeping Beauty (Waltz)
Philharmonia Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan (conductor)
EMI 476 899-2, Tr 8.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Queen of Spades (excerpt from Overture)

    Performers: Kirov Orchestra, St Petersburg, Valery Gergiev (conductor)

    • Philips 438 141-2.
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Souvenir de Florence

    Performers: Yuri Yurov (viola), Mikhail Milman (cello), Borodin Quartet,

    • Teldec 4509 90422-2.
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Queen of Spades (Act 3, Sc 2)

    Performers: Liza ...... Maria Gulegina (soprano),Herman ...... Gegam Grigorian (tenor), Kirov Chorus and Orchestra, St Petersburg, Valery Gergiev (conductor)

    • Philips 438 141-2.
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Sleeping Beauty (Waltz)

    Performers: Philharmonia Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan (conductor)

    • EMI 476 899-2.

Broadcasts

Composers A to Z

Composers A to Z

Visit the extensive audio archive of Radio 3 programmes about Composers and their works.

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

Who knew? Five eye-opening stories from Composer of the Week

The production team reflects on 5 of Donald Macleod’s best stories from the last 20 years

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

A man out of time – why Parry's music and ideas were at odds with his image...

The composer of Jerusalem was very far from the conservative figure his image suggests.

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

Five reasons why we love Parry's Jerusalem

What is the strange power of Jerusalem which makes strong men weep?

Composer Help Page

Composer Help Page

Find resources and contacts for composers from within the classical music industry.