The String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Opus 11, was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's first completed string quartet of three string quartets, published during his lifetime. (An earlier attempt had been abandoned after the first movement had been completed.) Composed in February 1871, it was premiered in Moscow on 16/28 March 1871 by four members of the Russian Musical Society: Ferdinand Laub and Ludvig Minkus, violins; Pryanishnikov, viola; and Wilhelm Fitzenhagen, cello.
The life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) exhibits as close a link as you will find anywhere between an artist's inner world and the outward products of that artist's creative activity. As a man, Tchaikovsky was defined by and indivisible from his music, which became an outlet for all the shifting moods of his turbulent soul. As Professor Robert Greenberg says, "If Tchaikovsky felt it, it found a way into his music."
Tchaikovsky is one of the most popular composers of all time. His melodies are known to many people who may never have heard his name. They crop up on mobile telephones, alarm clocks and answering machines as often as on records and concert programs. Like his music, the man himself was widely loved, but his inner life was fraught with sufferings, confusions and a deep vein of self-doubt. The drama of his emotional life is vividly reflected in his music, letters and diaries, all of which play a major part in this intimate portrait-in-sound. Who was the man behind some of the most intensely emotional music ever written? Who were the influential figures in his life?
Alexandrie : joyau d'un empire qu'Antoine et Cléopâtre, l'Imperator et la Reine des Rois, vont entraîner dans leur chute. …
Described by Tchaikovsky as ‘lyric scenes’, Eugene Onegin receives a spectacular reinterpretation from the Norwegian director Stefan Herheim. His productions create controversy and excitement around Europe, and here he takes Pushkin’s story of illusion, disaffection and frustrated love, and places the protagonists – world-weary Onegin and naïve, passionate Tatyana – in a triple temporal perspective, referencing the theatrical present, the period of the work’s composition, and the pageant of Russia’s history. Mariss Jansons, renowned for his mastery of Tchaikovsky’s symphonies, conducts this performance from Amsterdam’s Muziektheater.
It's a bit unclear what pianist Vladimir Feltsman means by calling this album A Tribute to Tchaikovsky, or by assertion that the "pieces in this recording were selected to be heard as a single composition"; they come from various parts of Tchaikovsky's career and do not really cohere as a single utterance. Nor are so many Tchaikovsky miniatures usually put together in this way; many of them were works of middling technical difficulty and fell into established patterns, mostly coming from Chopin, rather than getting into the deeper realms of Tchaikovsky's musical or psychological makeup. This said, Russian-American pianist Vladimir Feltsman has created an appealing recital, scaling the music back to chamber dimensions.