Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Essay

1728 words - 7 pages

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky is the author of six symphonies and the finest and most popular operas in the Russian repertory. Tchaikovsky was also one of the founders of the school of Russian music. He was a brilliant composer with a creative imagination that helped his career throughout many years. He was completely attached to his art. His life and art were inseparably woven together. "I literally cannot live without working," Tchaikovsky once wrote, "for as soon as one piece of work is finished and one would wish to relax, I desire to tackle some new work without delay." The purpose of this paper is to give you a background concerning Tchaikovsky's biography, as well as to discuss his various works of art.
Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840 in Vatkinsk, a town about 600 miles east of Moscow. His father, Ilya Petrovich, earned a profitable living by working as a director in the metal working industry and as a mine inspector. His mother Alexandra was a busy housekeeper and mother of six, with Peter being the second oldest. Peter began his studies of music when he was just five years old. Music had became an important pastime to upper-middle class. It was only a short while before Peter's talents began to shine. Peter, after taking some basic lessons, began to have a great feel for the piano. At the age of 10 he enrolled at a Russian boarding school called Jurisprudence in the town of St. Petersburg. There he would study the basic arts where he soon found a passion for music.
Only four short years later Peter's mother died in 1854. This tragic event, some say, sparked a great emotion in the young 14-year-olds life. His mother's death had a lot to do with the drive and passion behind his music. This parting from his mother was quite a shock and very painful, because he and his mother were very close. The young Peter would enter a ministry of Justice as a clerk in 1859 (Mason 1). Tchaikovsky stayed there four years despite the long journey to Western Europe and increasing involvement in music. In 1863 he entered the conservatory where he took private teachings and focused all his energy to his music and compositions.
Three years later in 1866 he and his family had moved to Moscow with a professorship of harmony at a new conservatory. Even by this time very little of his music had pleased the conservative musical establishment or the more nationalist group. It was not until 1868 when his 1st Symphony had a good public reception when heard in Moscow.
Not even a year later Tchaikovsky wrote his first opera the Voyevada. He later used this piece in his next opera the Oprichnik, which won some success at St. Petersburg in 1874. It was then that a critic named Balakirev requested that he write a work on Romeo and Juliet, which would later be known as the Fantasy Overture. This specific work was rewritten many times until it met the requirements of Balakirev. This romantic piece is a symphony...

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