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Donald Macleod focuses on the year 1881, a troubled period for Tchaikovsky, who lost one of his greatest friends and champions. With a complete performance of the Piano Trio.

Even for this rootless 'lost decade', 1881 was a wretched year in the life of the composer - and Russia. As the nation was riven with domestic turmoil, following the assassination of Tsar Alexander II, Tchaikovsky also lost one of his greatest champions, the critic Nikolai Rubinstein. Last - but very much not least - the composer also had to deal with unwanted and relentless attentions of an obsessive young male fan.

In today's episode Donald Macleod presents perhaps Tchaikovsky's greatest chamber work - the Piano Trio, written in memory of his friend and colleague - as well as an excerpt from his glorious "All-Night Vigil", composed for the Russian Orthodox Church.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    1812 Overture (excerpt)

    Performer: Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra / Antal Dorati

    • MERCURY 4343602.
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Piano Trio, Op.50 (1881-2)

    Performer: I. Pezzo Elegiaco Performer: IIa. Tema Con Variazioni Performer: IIb. Variazione Finale e Coda Performer: Yefim Bronfman (piano), Cho-Liang Lin (violin), Gary Hoffman (cello)

    • SONY CLASSICAL SK53269.
  • Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    All Night Vigil (Vespers), Op.52 (1881-2) (excerpt)

    Performer: The Polyeleion: “Praise Be To God” Performer: The Russian Church Chorus Of New York / Nikolai Kachanov

    • KOCH 374202.

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