It's very easy to notice how controversial becomes to argue about
Tchaikovsky s genius. Either you recognize his greatness or either you
insist, as in past decades, that he was not great at all.
The fact is that snobs judge from worn out references of errated
commentators and far from a complete and deep konowledge of his wealthy
catalog. Why? Because snobs can t frogive him his appeal to intelectuals
paralel to universal public taste for his music.
Snobs love rare and indigestable means of creation and Tchaikovsky s
works are indeed rare for their uncommon beauty but very much atractive
for the universal human ear, brain and heart.
Alberto Saénz Enríquez
There can be no doubt about Tchaikovsky's enduring popularity as a
composer. His music almost rivals that of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven in
frequency of performances and recordings. For generations, audiences have
responded to his works with affection and enthusiasm. Among the champions
of Tchaikovsky's music we find the greatest singers, musicians, conductors
and orchestras of the past 100 years.
Regarding the critical appraisal of his work, we have moved far beyond
the days of darkness and ignorance when Tchaikovsky was dismissed as a
sentimental hack who wrote good tunes to compensate for his lack substance
(well, most of us have...) We are fortunate to have at our disposal fine
recordings of many, if not most, of his stage, orchestral, chamber, and
other works, which enable us to form a more complete picture of the range
of his artistry. Our knowledge of Tchaikovsky as a man and musician is
greatly enhanced by the excellent biographical and critical studies by G.
Abraham, D. Brown, A. Poznansky, and other writers.
The image of Tchaikovsky that has emerged in recent years is that of a
conscientious craftsman with a strong work ethic and thoroughly
professional technique. The unevenness of much of his output may be
attributed to the fact that he toiled hard even when his invention was
flagging, because he believed that "inspiration does not come to the
lazy." He was certainly capable of writing mediocre music, but the same
can be said for most of the great composers. His finest works (Onegin, the
ballets, the late symphonies) easily rival the masterpieces of his
Today there can be no excuse for denying Tchaikovsky's greatness as a
composer. If any further confirmation is needed, we should remember that
he was revered by such diverse masters as Mahler, Rachmaninov, Stravinsky,
Prokofiev, Gershwin, and Shostakovich. Of course, some might dismiss their
views by arguing that Stravinsky and Prokofiev were not "guided by the
craft of musicology." (whatever that means)
Gentlemen I would suggest that we refrain from making ad hominem or
personal remarks on the contributors to this forum and maintain a degree
of civility towards one another. Being at variance with the views of
others does not make one a snob. There is more than one viewpoint on this
issue. Is someone a snob because he dares venture forth views that are at
variance with those of others? i dont think so. To entertain alternative
views especially if they are well founded is fitting and proper. But to
assume that one alone has the access to the truth does not become one.
Have a good day gentlemen.
There are no offensive remarks when you don t mention names or persons.
Mr Gasparo however called me once a flatterer personally, so I agree this
is not a place to offend, but simply to say the plain truth and deffend it
My respects to all.
Alberto Saénz Enriquez
Ladies and gentlemen, I would suggest that "maintaining a degree of
civility toward one another" has to work both ways. In a previous post,
Mr. Gasparo wrote caustically that "Mr. Geidelberg's argument...is
specious and irrelevant...such attitudes are more suited to schoolboys who
lack knowledge of the greater world..." not to mention, "this also applies
to Mr. Enriquez' specious views of undiluted adulation." Would you say
these are civil comments, or do they smack of "ad hominem or personal
remarks?" Is Mr. Gasparo suggesting that the rest of us should respect his
views, but not vice versa?
On a more positive note, I do enjoy reading some of the "devil's
advocate" views on this forum, as they challenge me to justify my opinion
of this composer. I do not expect anyone to accept Tchaikovsky's greatness
on faith, nor would I necessarily argue that his achievement is comparable
in consistency and scope to that of
Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. I have
always maintained—and I will continue to maintain—that his technique,
range of expression, and melodic gifts justify his inclusion among the
great composers of his time. However, whether one likes Tchaikovsky's
music or not is a purely personal and subjective matter and, as such, is
not open to debate. Facts can be proved or disproved, argued and
counter-argued, but opinions and tastes cannot.
Gentlemen let us put this matter to rest. I dont think alluding to
those you disagree with by calling them "snobs" as per Mr. Enriquez is at
all helpful. Nor do I feel that declaring as Mr. Giedelberg did that if
you cant write music greater than Tchaikovsky one is not entitled to offer
a critique is appropiate. That is the gist of the matter...and that is
what I meant by ad hominem or personal comments.Nor do i care for
preachments. i dont hold your views on the subject so lets not have any
further discussions on this issue.. .thank you.