John Suchet presents a major new eight-part series looking at the fascinating life and music of one of classical music’s most famous – and most influential – composers: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
With plenty of his great music played along the way – ‘Swan Lake’, ‘The Nutcracker’ and his ‘1812 Overture’ among them – John takes a look at what made Tchaikovsky such a remarkable man and composer.
John explains the ups and downs of the composer’s extraordinary life and works that were deeply shaped by his troubled character. From his disastrous marriage, to his extraordinary relationship with his female patron, his many amorous liaisons and his devotion to friends and family, we explore ‘Tchaikovsky – The Man Revealed’ through his music.
In the fourth episode of Classic FM’s new series chronicling the life of one of the greatest melodists of them all, John Suchet tells listeners how, just at the moment Tchaikovsky tried to ‘cure’ his homosexuality by getting married, another woman came into the famous composer’s life.
It was to lead to one of the strangest, and most important, relationships in the history of classical music. We also hear the music that goes with that remarkable story: Tchaikovsky’s answer to Beethoven’s Fifth, his own ‘Fate’ Symphony.
We may know Tchaikovsky as the creator of some of the most memorable pieces of music ever written, but as John Suchet reveals in part five of Classic FM’s new series, it wasn’t always like that.
This week, we discover that, as the composer travels and pours his experiences into his music, the critics are merciless. One, for example, described his Violin Concerto as “music that stinks to the ear”. We’ll also hear the melodies that have since become some of Tchaikovsky’s best loved, and discover how the great composer responded to criticism.
Tonight, John Suchet tells the story behind what is arguably the single most popular piece of music Tchaikovsky ever composed, though he himself never rated it at all: his 1812 Overture.
We also discover more of the musical form of which Tchaikovsky was the master – ballet – and how the growing popularity of his Piano Concerto No.1 came to overshadow a work for which Tchaikovsky had high hopes.
In the penultimate programme of Classic FM’s new series, we’ll discover how Tchaikovsky was striving to become a successful composer of grand opera – a form that, with one exception, had so far eluded him.
We’ll also hear why Tchaikovsky continued to struggle against what he saw as ‘Fate’, colouring his return to writing a fifth symphony – even a decade after he had finished his Symphony No.4.