Tchaikovsky through Others' Eyes

Overview

"... intriguing collection... a recommended study for anyone interested in the habits and personalities of great minds." —ForeWord

This compilation of reminiscences about Tchaikovsky the man is unprecedented in English. The memoirs, diary entries, and interviews written and conducted by his contemporaries show us both the public and the private figure: the law student, the professor, the philanthropist, the loving brother and uncle, the intrepid traveler, and of course the composer and conductor. In more than 50 ...

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Overview

"... intriguing collection... a recommended study for anyone interested in the habits and personalities of great minds." —ForeWord

This compilation of reminiscences about Tchaikovsky the man is unprecedented in English. The memoirs, diary entries, and interviews written and conducted by his contemporaries show us both the public and the private figure: the law student, the professor, the philanthropist, the loving brother and uncle, the intrepid traveler, and of course the composer and conductor. In more than 50 documents—some laudatory, others not—Tchaikovsky’s contemporaries speak of little-known facets of the composer’s life: foibles and mannerisms, politics and tastes, prejudices and preferences (sexual and otherwise). The result is a dynamic portrayal of the composer, with all the complexities and paradoxes of a real life.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
"This is Poznansky's third book on Tchaikovsky in one decade and—like its two well-received predecessors, Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man (CH, Jun'92) and Tchaikovsky's Last Days (CH, Apr'97)—it deals not at all with the music but with the man and his milieu. Poznansky (Yale) divides the book into ten essentially chronological chapters, ranging from descriptions of the composer as a schoolboy to reactions to his untimely death. At the heart of each chapter are contemporaneous comments and journalistic writings; each chapter begins with an essay by Poznansky, in which he sets the scene for the era and describes the reliability—sometimes nonreliability—of those making the comments. Given the chronological order of presentation, the essays constitute a selective biography of the composer. This book serves as a companion to Alexandra Orlova's somewhat flawed compilation of writings by the composer himself (Tchaikovsky: A Self-Portrait, comp. by Alexandra Orlova, CH, Jun'91). Poznansky's project also benefits from the assistance of two experienced translators. Materials concerning Tchaikovsky have been subject to longstanding suppression, and documentation remains to published, especially in translation. Copious endnotes and a reliable index complete the volume, which this reviewer recommends to anyone interested in this composer." —R. Stahura, Ripon College, Choice, November 1999

— R. Stahura, Ripon College

Choice - R. Stahura

"This is Poznansky's third book on Tchaikovsky in one decade and—like its two well-received predecessors, Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man (CH, Jun'92) and Tchaikovsky's Last Days (CH, Apr'97)—it deals not at all with the music but with the man and his milieu. Poznansky (Yale) divides the book into ten essentially chronological chapters, ranging from descriptions of the composer as a schoolboy to reactions to his untimely death. At the heart of each chapter are contemporaneous comments and journalistic writings; each chapter begins with an essay by Poznansky, in which he sets the scene for the era and describes the reliability—sometimes nonreliability—of those making the comments. Given the chronological order of presentation, the essays constitute a selective biography of the composer. This book serves as a companion to Alexandra Orlova's somewhat flawed compilation of writings by the composer himself (Tchaikovsky: A Self-Portrait, comp. by Alexandra Orlova, CH, Jun'91). Poznansky's project also benefits from the assistance of two experienced translators. Materials concerning Tchaikovsky have been subject to longstanding suppression, and documentation remains to published, especially in translation. Copious endnotes and a reliable index complete the volume, which this reviewer recommends to anyone interested in this composer." —R. Stahura, Ripon College, Choice, November 1999

From the Publisher
"This is Poznansky's third book on Tchaikovsky in one decade and—like its two well-received predecessors, Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man (CH, Jun'92) and Tchaikovsky's Last Days (CH, Apr'97)—it deals not at all with the music but with the man and his milieu. Poznansky (Yale) divides the book into ten essentially chronological chapters, ranging from descriptions of the composer as a schoolboy to reactions to his untimely death. At the heart of each chapter are contemporaneous comments and journalistic writings; each chapter begins with an essay by Poznansky, in which he sets the scene for the era and describes the reliability—sometimes nonreliability—of those making the comments. Given the chronological order of presentation, the essays constitute a selective biography of the composer. This book serves as a companion to Alexandra Orlova's somewhat flawed compilation of writings by the composer himself (Tchaikovsky: A Self-Portrait, comp. by Alexandra Orlova, CH, Jun'91). Poznansky's project also benefits from the assistance of two experienced translators. Materials concerning Tchaikovsky have been subject to longstanding suppression, and documentation remains to published, especially in translation. Copious endnotes and a reliable index complete the volume, which this reviewer recommends to anyone interested in this composer." —R. Stahura, Ripon College, Choice, November 1999
Hall
It is [the] insights...into Tchaikovsky's character that make this intriguing collection appropriate for more than musicians...[A] recommended study for anyone interested in the habits and personalities of great minds.
ForeWord
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253335456
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Series: Russian Music Studies Series
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexander Poznansky’s many publications on Tchaikovsky include Tchaikovsky’s Last Days: A Documentary Study and Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man.

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Note on transliteration, names spellings, and dates
Abbreviations
Introduction
I. The Schoolboy (1840-1863)
Fanny Dürbach, Fyodor Maslov, Ivan Turchaninov, Alexander Mikhailov, Vladimir Gerard, Rudolph Kündinger, Ippolit Tchaikovsky, Arkady Raich, Modest Tchaikovsky
II. The Music Student (1863-1865)
Modest Tchaikovsky, Vasily Bessel, Herman Laroche, Ivan Klimenko, Adelaida Spasskaya, Alexander Rubets
III. The Conservatory Professor (1866-1876)
Rostislav Genika, Mariya Gurye, Alexandra Amfiteatrova-Levitskaya, Samuil Litvinov, V. A., Ivan Klimenko
IV. The Socialite (1866-1876)
Modest Tchaikovsky, Konstantin de Lazari, Alexandra Sokolova
V. Marriage (1877)
Antonina Tchaikovsky, Nikolay Kashkin
VI. The Composer (1878-1892)
Alexander Glazunov, Eduard Nápravník, Vladimir Pogozhev, Romain Rolland, Herman Klein, Julius Block, Varvara Tsekhovskaya
VII. The Man (1878-1892)
Konstantin de Lazari, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, Boris Vietinghoff-Schell, Vasily Korganov, Vasily Bertenson, Konstantin Varlamov, Nazar Litrov
VIII. The Celebrity (1891-1892)
Musical Courier, New York Herald, News of the Day, Petersburg Life, Petersburg Gazette
IX. The National Treasure (1893)
Leonid Sabaneyev, Mikhail Bukinik, Anton Door, Abram Kaufman, Konstantin Dumchev, Isaak Bukinik, Yulian Poplavsky, Ivan Klimenko, Vasily Sapelnikov
X. Death (1893)
Modest Tchaikovsky, Vladimir Nápravník, Yury Davydov, Vasily Bertenson, Lev Bertenson, Nikolay Mamonov, Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich, Yulian Poplavsky

Indiana University Press

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    ...suppressed by melancholy...,

    Tchaicovsky was highly melancholy and controversial figure; his personality -pessimist - appeared to be every bit less fascinating than the music he composed with consummate mastery. <BR/><BR/>Tchaicovsky mixed feelings towards his male and female lovers revealed profound dissatisfaction in him and remained in search of personal happiness that he never found (which made himself infirm of purpose, something of a miserable grasshopper jumping from adventure to another).<BR/> <BR/>His story does not fall within the scope of the sentiments, nostalgias or the occasions of pride prevalent among the other composers

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