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Donald Macleod focuses on why a career in music seemed a distant dream for Tchaikovsky as a young civil servant.

A career in music seems a distant dream for the young civil servant. Presented by Donadl Macleod.

A sensitive, emotionally fragile boy, Tchaikovsky was sent to a boarding school where life was harsh. After leaving school, he became a government clerk in the Ministry of Justice. His disillusionment at work though eventually led to him studying music in night classes at the St Petersburg conservatoire, even though a professional career in music was rare in Russia. His studies eventually took over as his full-time occupation, and the evolution of one the greatest composers of all had started.

In the late 19th century, a number of Russian musicians were attempting to turn the tide of Western European influence, and create a new, distinctively Russian, style of music. Tchaikovsky managed to embrace both traditions. A lover of folk music, his early compositions were often inspired by national tunes. His First String Quartet was a stunning success - the second movement was an instant hit all over Europe.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 17 Aug 2015 18:30

Music Played

  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Sleeping Beauty - Ballet Op.66 - Act 1, no.8; Pas d'action

    Orchestra: London Symphony Orchestra. Conductor: André Previn.
    • EMI CLASSICS : 9-67689 2.
    • EMI CLASSICS.
    • 14.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    The Storm [groza] - Overture Op.76

    Orchestra: Polish R S O.. Conductor: Antoni Wit.
    • naxos:8.550716.
    • Naxos.
    • 2.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    50 Russian Folksongs For Piano Duet

    Ensemble: Crommelynck Duo.
    • claves:cd 50-8805.
    • Claves.
    • 5.
  • Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    Quartet No. 1 In D Major Op.11 For Strings -- 1st mvt; Moderato e semplice

    Ensemble: New Haydn String Quartet.
    • naxos: 8.550807.
    • Naxox.
    • 6.

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