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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)

This week Donald Macleod reflects on five aspects of Tchaikovsky. The rich vein of fairy tale and fantasy, his love of literature and his long-standing love-affair with Italy. Also, the composer’s relationship with the man he called ‘Modya’, his beloved younger brother, Modest.
In 19th-century Russia, music was a key strand in national identity. Tchaikovsky’s ancestral Russian roots were a matter of great pride to him, but just how Russian a composer was he?

Music featured:

The Nutcracker, Op 71 (Act 1 Scene 2, March of the Toy Soldiers)
The Snow Maiden, Op 12 (No 2, Dance and Chorus of the Birds)
Swan Lake, Op 20 (Act 2 No 13e, Danse des cygnes: Pas d’action (Odette et le prince))
The Slippers (Act 1 scene 2, extract – Oksana’s aria)
The Sleeping Beauty, Op 66 (Act 1 No 5 (‘The Palace Garden’), No 6 (‘Valse’))
The Nutcracker, Op 71 (Act 2 No 12, Divertissement)
12 Romances, Op 60 (No 5, ‘Simple Words’)
Manfred Symphony, Op 58 (2nd mvt, Vivace con spirito)
Eugene Onegin, Op 24 (Act 1 scene 2)
Hamlet, overture-fantasia, Op 67
Six Romances, Op 73 (No 2, ‘Night’)
Six Romances, Op 38 (No 6, ‘La Pimpinella’)
Piano Trio in A minor, Op 50 (1st mvt, Pezzo elegiaco. Moderato assai—Allegro giusto)
String Sextet in D minor (‘Souvenir de Florence’), Op 70 (2nd mvt, Adagio cantabile e con moto)
Capriccio Italien, Op 45
Six Romances, Op 38 (No 2, ‘It was in the early spring’)
12 Pieces for Piano, Op 40 (No 1, Etude)
The Queen of Spades, Op 68 (Act 3 scenes 6 (conclusion) and 7)
12 Pieces for Piano, Op 40 (No 8, ‘Valse’)
Iolanta, Op 69 (No 7, Scene and Duet of Iolanta and Vaudémont)
Sixteen Songs for Children, Op 54 (No 10, ‘Lullaby in a storm’)
Scherzo à la Russe, Op 1 No 1
Symphony No 2 (‘Little Russian’) (2nd mvt, Andantino marziale, quasi moderato)
String Quartet No 1 in D, Op 11 (2nd mvt, Andante cantabile)
All-Night Vigil (No 16, The Great Doxology)
The Year 1812, Op 49
Six Romances, Op 6 (No 6, ‘None but the Lonely Heart’)

Presented by Donald Mcleod
Produced by Chris Barstow

For full track listings, including artist and recording details, and to listen to the pieces featured in full (for 30 days after broadcast) head to the series page for Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) https://ift.tt/2Y5xu4E

And you can delve into the A-Z of all the composers we’ve featured on Composer of the Week here: https://ift.tt/2vwHS8q

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Alex Ross Two Sigrid Onégin moments

Via David Shengold.

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Alex Ross Two Sigurd Onégin moments

Via David Shengold.

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Alex Ross Valitutto, sunrise to sunset

Here is the program of simple lines / quiet music / silent songs, a remarkable marathon recital that the pianist Richard Valitutto gave today at his apartment in Ithaca NY, as part of Wild Up’s Darkness Sounding festival.
​SET 1 — 9:58am-11:40am EST // 6:58am-8:40am PST
“gardens, cities, palaces” (100 min)
​eva-maria houben: le jardin suspendu (2015)
eva-maria houben: a walk through the bamboo garden (2020)
​Alvin Curran: Inner Cities 1 (1993)
Morton Feldman: Palais de Mari (1986)
SET 2 — 11:50am-2:30pm EST // 8:50am-11:30am PST
“soft, silent 1” (45 mins)
Federico Mompou: Música callada, Book I (1959)
Valentin Silvestrov: Silent Songs, Book I (1974/77)
“hin und da” (110 mins)
Ann Southam: Simple Lines of Enquiry (2008)
Jürg Frey: La présence, les silences (2014-15)
SET 3 — 3:00-5:00pm EST // 12:00-2:00pm PST
“soft, silent 2” (60 mins)
Federico Mompou: Música callada, Book II (1962)
Valentin Silvestrov: Silent Songs, Book II (1974/77)
“nocturnes, lullabies, chorales” (60 mins)
Taylan Susam: Nocturnes (2009 – )
eva-maria houben: three lullabies (2007)
Wolfgang von Schweinitz: Plainsound Lullaby (2014)
Linda Catlin Smith: Nocturnes & Chorales (2014)
Richard Valitutto: giant moon / light steps (2020)
SET 4 — 5:10-6:20pm EST // 2:10-3:20pm PST
​“soft, silent 3” (70 min)
Federico Mompou: Música callada, Books III & IV (1965-67)
Valentin Silvestrov: Silent Songs, Books III & IV (1974/77)
SET 5 — 6:35-8:08pm EST // 3:35-5:08pm PST
​“philosophia” (100 min)
Laurence Crane: Jacques Derrida Goes to a Nightclub (1986)
Chris Rountree: Immediate Tragedy (2020, 7 min)
​Laurence Crane: Jacques Derrida Goes to a Massage Parlor (1986)
Thomas Feng: This Illusion Meant Something (2018)
Laurence Crane: Kierkegaard His Prelude (1986)
​Andrew McIntosh: I have a lot to learn (2019)
Nick Norton: On Nothing (2020)
Laurence Crane: Jacques Derrida Goes to the Supermarket (1986)
​jürg frey: sam lazaro bros (1984)
Laurence Crane: Jacques Derrida Goes to the Beach (1986)
Alvin Curran: Endangered Species (1994-96)
​Laurence Crane: Kierkegaard His Walk Around Copenhagen (1986)
Linda Catlin Smith: The Underfolding (2001)

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Alex Ross Wagnerism alert

There is an absolutely superb Wagnerian moment in Emerald Fennell’s new film Promising Young Woman. I won’t divulge details, but Isolde’s Transfiguration is involved.

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Alex Ross A Percy Grainger moment

An extraordinary recording, one of John Eliot Gardiner’s finest.

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Alex Ross Respite

In a stream from Wigmore Hall, members of Apartment House play Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet.

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Alex Ross David Hockney’s Wagner Drive

Road Trip. The New Yorker, Jan. 18, 2021.

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Alex Ross Personal note

To be from Washington, DC is in some sense to be from nowhere. There is no DC accent, no identity. The city’s population is too malleable and transient, it seems, for such markers to take hold. Nonetheless, you feel an ineradicable attachment to the place whence you came. Some usually undisturbed nerve of DC-ness, of DC pride, was touched by the grotesque and appalling images that came out of the US Capitol yesterday. I am not in the habit of shouting expletives at the television, but so it turned out.
My father grew up in the city and worked for the government for his entire career, at the US Geological Survey. My late mother worked part-time for the Smithsonian Institution for many years, in the National Museum of Natural History, on the Mall. She also volunteered at the White House during the Bush and Obama administrations. These somnolent, seemingly impregnable monuments were always in the background of my youth, though I very seldom went inside them. My only visit to the Capitol, as far as I can recall, was for a second-grade field trip in which we were given a tour by Senator Edward Kennedy, one of whose sons was in my class. I remember being very impressed by the underground miniature train that carried people from one part of the complex to another.
My rage at Wednesday’s events gave way to tears when I tried to imagine my mother’s reaction to them. She was deeply devoted to Washington’s ceremonial trappings and architecture. We had dozens of books about the White House, the Capitol, and other buildings on the mall. She was also politically very conservative. I don’t know if she would have accepted any of the right-wing justifications or distortions that are circulating around the terrorist incident at the Capitol, but I know that the sight of American symbols being destroyed would have caused her very intense distress. I can’t help feeling the same, even if the physical damage is incidental to the lives that were lost, and even if the entire circus-like spectacle drove home the concept of white privilege in incontrovertible fashion.

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