6/11/2009 - 7/30/2009 ~ Thursday 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
This course will give Tchaikovsky his due as a Russian nationalist and reveal how gracefully he navigated between the sometimes rough-hewn Slavocentrism of his contemporaries, “The Five,” and the technical demands of Western cosmopolitanism. With his profound melodic gift, Tchaikovsky also entranced audience after audience and provided us with a living soundtrack for 19th century Russia. Works studied: Swan Lake, the magnificent Pushkin operas Queen of Spades and Eugene Onegin, the supposedly autobiographical fourth and sixth symphonies, and more.
Printable Syllabus:PDF format | RTF format
Syllabus - Week 1
The course syllabus is in process, but for the first class on Thursday, June 11 we will cover Tchaikovsky at the School of Jurisprudence and the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Anton and Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky and Balakirev. Works discussed: 1st Symphony, 1st String Quartet, and Romeo & Juliet.
From the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Beyond the Score to Michael Tilson Thomas Keeping Score program, these resources combine musical performance with biography to put Tchaikovsky’s music in historical context.
Tchaikovsky at the School of Jurisprudence and the St. Petersburg Conservatory. Anton and Nikolai Rubinstein, Tchaikovsky and Balakirev. Featured: 1st Symphony, 1st String Quartet, Romeo & Juliet.
Tchaikovsky as professor in Moscow. Tchaikovsky’s social circle. Featured works: Second Symphony, First Piano Concerto, The Tempest.
Tchaikovsky’s orchestral Style. Featured works: The Four Suites, Hamlet,Manfred Symphony.
Tchaikovsky’s disastrous marriage to Antonina Milyukova. His patroness, Nadezhda von Meck. Fourth Symphony, Eugene Onegin (opera), Choral work, Liturgy of St. John Christotam.
Tchaikovsky as an opera composer, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky and Slavic nationalism. Tchaikovsky and Italian and French models. An overview of the operas concentrating on Mazeppa and Pique Dame.
Tchaikovsky the international master. The Imperial Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky vis a vis Brahms, Wagner. Featured works: Second Piano Concerto, Fifth Symphony, Piano trio, Violin Concerto.
The sovereign ballet composer: musical analysis & DVD of Swan Lake,Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet.
The circumstances of Tchaikovsky’s death. Featured work: Symphony No. 6, Pathetique.
Some overall picks for the whole course are below. For specific works, check each week’s syllabus for things you might buy or rent.
Tchaikovsky: The Man and His Music
Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man
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Tchaikovsky and His World
Tchaikovsky through Others' Eyes (Russian Music Studies)
Defining Russia Musically
On Russian Music
Tchaikovsky: Letters to His Family (An Autobiography)
Life & Letters of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
"To My Best Friend": Correspondence between Tchaikovsky and Nadezhda von Meck, 1876-1878
The Tchaikovsky Handbook: A Guide to the Man and His Music : Catalogue of Letters Genealogy Bibliography (Russian Music Studies Published With the Kind Support of Allen Clowes)
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