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Tchaikovsky and Schumann


First, Let me congratulate you on a remarkable freely available website about one of my favourite composers! As soon as I heard about Professor Alexander Poznansky's first volume about Tchaikovksy's life I knew I had to read it.

I was absolutely certain that Tchaikovsky's life was filled with more than just writing music, anguished self condemnation about his sexuality and corresponding with Madam von Meck..

Now to my question. Tchaikovsky at one point rebutted some criticism of Schumann's writing by very bluntly saying something to the effect that ".... Kriesleriana was a great work, who's true nature would not be understood for at least another hundred years" My quotation is not correct, but the gist of it is. I would like to know the source and context of his comment. I think it is a very astute critical account of Kriesleriana and a prophetic one as well. One only has to look at the number of recordings of Kerisleriana and compare it to the number of performances of the work both public (none) and private ( maybe a dozen) during Schumann's lifetime.

I have been looking closely at Tchaikovksy's 5th Symphony and doing a comparison between two performances that are so alike they can be mistaken for the same performance. (they aren't though the interpretation leads the listener to believe it so). As well, I have listened many times over to Andre Previn's complete performance of Sleeping Beauty and am convinced as is Maestro Previn is that it works as a Symphonic whole. I just heard something in the second act of the ballet that I think also appears in the 5th symphony. I will have to follow that up later to.

I look forward to joining your forum as well and talking more about Tchaikovsky's works. I have always thought he deserved far more credit as a great composer than he has ever been given. I dare say that Stravinsky's ballets may not have been possible without Tchaikovsky's three works in that genre. Not just because he championed the form with good music but because there are stylistic things which i think were behind some of Stravinsky's early ballet scores (after Firebird).

Thank-you in advance for your help

David Fedoruk

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013