Although we often think of an artist's work as a window into their own inner world, that is not always the case.
In the life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, however, we can see perhaps the closest link to be found anywhere between a creative product and the shifting moods of a turbulent soul, which found its outlet through the glorious music created by the great Russian composer.
To know his music, you must know the man, and this fast-moving series of eight lectures from an award-winning composer and accomplished teacher offers an insightful look into both the circumstances of Tchaikovsky's life and the impact that life had on his music. You'll learn about his fear of conducting, his disastrous marriage and subsequent suicide attempt, his depression, and the constant anxiety that his closeted homosexuality would become public-a fear that proved prophetic and led to a second, and successful, attempt to take his own life.
Torn by the conflicts between his own Romantic inclination for expression and the requirements of Classical structure - he was the first full-time, formally trained, professional composer in Russian history - Tchaikovsky's music is a delicate balancing act. Heart versus head, emotion versus reason, release versus control, the expressiveness demanded of his Russian soul and the strictures of Classical technique - all of these conflicts find their way into his music, and give it its extraordinary emotional power.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses
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Robert Greenberg's Great Masters are the BEST "Great Courses" lectures that I have heard until now. I loved Beethoven's courses and I loved Tchaikovsky's as well. Greenberg's style is unique: he speaks full of passion, the characters are well painted, the music is properly inserted.He points out to the music for example-- listen to the oboe, or look how the piano is the superb instrument-- and demonstrates the mood of the author at that precise time-- here he was sad, then he was happy. He retells with music the history of Tchaikovsky's life, his torments, and greatness.
Robert Greenberg's lectures are as entertaining as educational. Listen to them. You won't regret!
"12000 love letters to someone you never met"
I don't know if I would have the time again with all the other Dr Greenberg courses I am listening to. I have listend to about fifty four hours and counting. These courses are most invormative.and give you a very good idea of the composers life and the history of the area in which he lived.
His relationship with Van Meck is very interesting, and the story about his Romeo and Juliet.
Ihave listened to Dr Greendergs lectures on Brahms, Stavinsky and how to listen to and understand music 3rd addition I have several others of his courses that I will listen to in the future.
Why to long for one sitting. nice to have it in dailey lectures.
"love the series but too short"
as always these lectures pass far too quickly. they are very entertaining and I learned many a new fact. however I can't get rid of the impression that the professor focuses very much on sensational details to make the time pass quickly. I could easily do with more rigor and would enjoy the lecture more
The story, the music and Dr. Greenberg's presentation leave me feeling utterly in sympathy and admiration for this spectacularly gifted and achingly haunted Russian composer whose life embodied the same ecstatic highs and crushing despair of his music. Dr. Greenberg: once again, THANK YOU!
"Informative and engaging, a true masterpiece"
Robert Greenberg is about as good as it gets when it comes to delivering biographical information. His wit and enthusiasm for the subject matter is unparalleled. I would recommend anyone to read this book who doesn't believe classical music is the coolest thing ever!
Amazing musical biography of Pyotr Tchaikovsky. I love how the lectures introduced less known music and I just wish that they were longer. As a life-long fan of Tchaikovsky's music, this series was a special treat
"Much too much about his sexuality instead of music"
I have several of these books and would try more. I prefer ones that spend more time on the musical achievements.
I would have appreciated learning much more about the great music and hearing more excerpts. There were, of course, some--just not enough.
The narration keeps your interest. I wish, however, that Greenberg would not read the quotes with such a strange emphasis. He often makes things sound mocking or sarcastic when they really were not that way at all. Also, there was too much speculation about Tchaikovsky's homosexuality throughout this. Some...okay. But rather than lengthy speculations, for example, that his feelings for his nephew were inappropriate, a sentence or two would have been sufficient--then, please, more focus on the music.
This course did inspire me to read more about Tchaikovsky (correcting a few of the misimpressions I got from it along the way) and also to listen to and watch more of his symphonies, ballets and the great violin concerto.
I definitely learned from this course and Professor Greenberg's enthusiasm held my interest. But it is unfortunate there was not more about his professional life (which is overwhelmed by speculation about his personal life and sexual orientation) and more excerpts and analysis of his greatest works.
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