PETER ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Tchaikovsky is a great composer who composed an epoch in the history of the world musical culture. Tchaikovsky’s life is an example of continuous, persistent work. He combined the fruitful work of the composer with the activity of a teacher-educator, critic-publicist, conductor. Tchaikovsky’s work is deeply national: he created a gallery of remarkable images of Russian people, captured pictures of his native nature, glorified the glorious heroic past of Russia. A sensitive realist psychologist, Tchaikovsky, with tremendous emotional strength and vital truth, reflected the spiritual world of his contemporaries. The main idea of his work is a protest and a passionate struggle against the dark forces of life, erecting obstacles on the way of man to happiness. Even bringing this struggle to a tragic end (as, for example, in The Enchantress, The Queen of Spades, The Sixth Symphony), Tchaikovsky emphasized the final triumph of light, humanistic ideals. Tchaikovsky’s words: “I am a person passionately fond of life and equally passionately hating death” – can serve as an epigraph to all of his work.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on April 25 (May 7) in 1840 in Votkinsk in the Urals in the family of a mining engineer. His musicality manifested itself early. However, his parents identified him in the St. Petersburg School of Law, where he stayed from 1850 to 1859. Only in 1862, after
The next decade passed in intense creative, pedagogical and social activities. One after another there were operas, symphonies, chamber works. Lyrically light First symphony (Winter Dreams, 1866), opera The Smith of Vakula (1874, later edited – Cherevichki, 1885), full of elements of folk song and dance Second Symphony (1872) and First Piano Concerto (1874) are characteristic for this period of Tchaikovsky’s creativity. However, the program symphonic works “Romeo and Juliet” (1869) and “Storm” (1873, according to Shakespeare), as well as “Francesca da Rimini” (1876, according to Dante) outlined the tragic line that has manifested itself most vividly in recent years life of the composer. By 1878 Tchaikovsky had finished the Fourth Symphony and the opera “Eugene Onegin”
In the 1880s, the circle of themes and images that attracted the composer expanded, and his interest in showing life’s contradictions and clashes of human characters grew stronger. This is evidenced by most of his major works of the mature period: the operas The Maid of Orleans (1879), Mazepa (1883), The Enchantress (1887), the program symphony Manfred (1885, Byron), The Fifth Symphony (1888) . Since 1887, Tchaikovsky has performed in the largest cities of Europe and America, promoting Russian music. His work is universally met with the widest recognition. In 1893, in England, at the University of Cambridge, Tchaikovsky was awarded the honorary title of doctor of music. In the last period of his life (1887-1893), the composer created his most tragic works – the opera The Queen of Spades (1890) and the Sixth Symphony (1893)
Tchaikovsky died on October 25 (November 6) in 1893 in St. Petersburg.