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Tchaikovsky, Peter, Part II

This week, we’ll continue our exploration of Peter Tchaikovsky, focusing on the latter part of his life, including his symphonies, ballets, and life at the Moscow Conservatory. Bill picks up in 1876 with Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op.33 for Cello and Orchestra and we close the week with his Symphony No. 6 in b minor, Pathetique, written in 1893 and premiered just days before his death. This week, Bill tells the story of Tchaikovsky’s failed marriage and his unusual relationship with his patroness Nadezhda von Meck.

Program 1

Bill picks up in 1876 with two big pieces by Tchaikovsky. First we hear Variations on a Rococo Theme followed by Francesca da Rimini, inspired by the works of Dante. We close with a couple of pieces from The Seasons. 

Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini (excerpt)
Cleveland Orch/Chailly
Lon 414159-2

Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
Chamber Orch of Europe/Gardiner; Isserlis, vc.
Virgin 91134

Tchaikovsky: Francesca da Rimini, Op. 32
Cleveland Orch/Chailly
Lon 414159
Tchaikovsky: April & December + May fr. The Seasons, Op. 37b
Pletnev, p.
Virgin 82055
6:17, :54


Program 2

We begin with excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s fourth symphony, which he completed with help from his patroness Nadezhda von Meck. Bill tells the story of Tchaikovsky’s failed marriage before we hear from his opera Eugene Onegin

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 4 in f minor, Op. 36 (excerpts)
Vienna Phil/Kubelik
EMI 68223
1:38, :30, 18:16

Tchaikovsky: Letter Scene fr. Eugene Onegin, Op. 24
Orchestre de Paris/Bychkov; Focile, s.
Phil 438235-2

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, I 
Philadelphia Orch/Ormandy; Oistrakh, v.
Great Perf 700812


Program 3

Bill opens with “Praise ye the Lord from Heavens,” written in 1880. We hear another scene from the opera Eugene Onegin and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio written in memory of Nikolai Rubinstein. We end with excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s fifth symphony. 

Tchaikovsky: “Praise ye the Lord from Heavens” fr. Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom
LeningradGlika Choir/ Chernushenko
Russian Disc 11040

Tchaikovsky: Lenski’s Aria fr. Eugene Onegin, Op. 24
Orchestre de Paris/Bychkov; Shicoff, ten.
Phil 438235-2
Tchaikovsky: Serenade for Strings in C Major, Op. 48, IV
Orpheus Chamber Orch
DG 423060
Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in a minor, In Memory of a Great Artist, Op. 50
Argerich, p.; Kremer, v.; Maisky, vc.
DG 459326
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in e minor, Op. 64 (excerpts)
Sony 87883
14:36, :26, 1:11


Program 4

We hear the entirety of the Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture, as well as excerpts from Tchaikovsky's original version. Bill plays a bit more from the fifth symphony and excerpts from The Sleeping Beauty

Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Op. 49 (excerpts)
Moscow Radio Symphony Orch/Fedoseev
JVC 6501
1:55, 1:25

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture
Boston Symphony Orch/Davis
Phil 411448

Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet (original version excerpts)
Philharmonia Orch/Atlas
Pickwick 55
:58, 3:19

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 5 in e minor, Op. 64, II + III (excerpt)
Sony 88807
12:42, 2:05

Tchaikovsky: The Sleeping Beauty Suite (excerpts)
Vienna Phil/Levine
DG 437806

Program 5

We close this exploration of Tchaikovsky with excerpts from the Manfred Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 Pathetique and a short clip from The Nutcracker

Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony, Op. 58, II
Leipzig Gewandhaus Orch/Masur
Warner Classics 63781

Tchaikovsky: Valse Bluette fr. Morceaux, Op. 72
Pletnev, p.
DG 428402

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in b minor, Pathetique, I & IV
Vienna Phil/Gergiev
Phil 411402
18:19, 10:28

Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker, Op. 71 (excerpt)
Berlin Phil/Bychkov
Phil 420237


The Exploring Music streaming website is supported by Mr. & Mrs. William Gardner Brown and the Richard P. and Susan Kiphart Family.  
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