Swan Lake was the first of Tchaikovsky's three great ballets– works which added a new level of depth and sophistication to what had been a purely superficial art form. Today the music is so well-known and popular that it's impossible to comprehend the difficulties the composer experienced at early performances. Audiences found the music "too symphonic," and the dancers were put off by the prominence given to the orchestra which, they felt, distracted ballet fans from the action on stage. Of course, all of these supposed "defects" are precisely what we admire about the music today, and this elegant but exciting performance reveals the music in all of its glory.
This 2010 recording of Tchaikovsky's eternally popular Swan Lake ballet, with Mikhail Pletnev and the Russian National Orchestra might be ideal for dancing, but it is less ideal purely as a listening experience.
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.
This Soviet production filmed live at the Kirov conveys the full beauty of Tchaikovsky's vision. It is a poetically tender work which was confirmed by Tchaikovsky himself in 1878 when he said I played the whole of Eugene Onegin, the author was the sole listener, the listener was moved to tears. Eugene Onegin is Tchaikovsky's most lyrical operatic work. While composing it, he wrote he was filled with indescribable pleasure and enthusiasm. The opera is based on Pushkin's novel in verse and was first produced in Moscow on March 29, 1879. Featuring Sergei Leyferkus as Onegin, Yuri Marusin, Tatiana Novikova, Larissa Dyadkova.
Das war ein Abend, wie Opernfreunde ihn lieben: Tschaikowskis »Pique Dame«, ein Werk des Repertoires und doch selten gespielt, ein Ensemble nicht nur berühmter Namen, sondern großer Singschauspieler, dazu ein Dirigent der Sonderklasse – eine Aufführung, wie sie auch an einem Haus wie der Wiener Staatsoper nicht zum »Alltag« gehört. Der Erfolg der Aufführung, der Jubel waren gleichsam vorprogrammiert. Zumal die Wiener Staatsoper ihrem Publikum noch eine ganz besondere Attraktion anzubieten hatte: Im Mittelpunkt des Abends und schier endloser Ovationen stand eine der großen Heroinen der Opernbühne, Martha Mödl, die hier in den Fünfziger- und Sechzigerjahren des Jahrhunderts als Leonore in Beethovens »Fidelio«, als Isolde und Brünnhilde, aber auch in so manchen Partien des dramatischen Mezzofachs Triumphe gefeiert hatte.