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Tchaikovsky's Voice

Dear Ladies & gentlemen,

It is a pleasure for me to send the link I have found on youtube with the minute-long recording that includes Tchaikovsky's voice. It is exactly the same excerpt as the one mentioned being included in the CD-set. But contrary to the CD-set, we find here in addition the simultanous translation of what every one is saying and also a the name (and picture) of who is speaking.

It is really fascinating to listen to Tchaikovsky's voice; from this very short recording we can indeed feel that it must have been very funny and enjoyable to be in Tchaikovsky's company - as has been mentioned by many of his friends. Clearly, Tchaikovsky was NOT a dull or always sad and depressive person.

With best regards,

Guido Muehlemann
31/12/2012 10:46

Tchaikovsky Research : Endorsement of Thomas Edison’s "Phonograph" (TH 318)

Here on our own "Tchaikovsky Research" we have a detailed report on this particular recording of his voice as well as his views on the phonograph as per Edison..included is also a history of the phonograph...I think this gives a more creditable account of what happened that day when the recording was made...

Albert Gasparo
11/01/2013 21:26

In a previous entry Mr Brett Langston mentions the following:

It has been supposed that the order of the names given on the label is the same order in which the participants are heard—in which case Tchaikovsky's voice appears three times (once whistling), sounding surprisingly shrill. We know from personal recollections of his contemporaries that his voice was "a rather pleasing baritone", so either this shrillness must either stem from the method of the recording, or the participants have not been identified correctly. The latter is certainly possible, since another source states that Anton Rubinstein resolutely refused to utter a single word into the infernal machine—if true, this means he could not be the first voice as labelled, and the sequence must be thrown into doubt.

In the book "Tchaikovsky through others' Eyes" edited by Alexander Poznansky the following recollection by Leonid Sabaneyev is mentioned on page 216:

Block asked Pyotr Ilyich to play something, or at least, to say something. Tchaikovsky frowned and tried to disappear before refusing decisively.

"I am a bad pianist and my voice is raspy. Why should one eternalize it?"

So from this entry of Tchaikovsky describing his own voice it does seem that the order of the participants in the recording is correct - so that we are actually listening to Tchaikovsky's voice.

Philip de Vos
16/06/2013 17:18

I'm not sure how you reach that conclusion Philip. Tchaikovsky's voice was 'raspy' because he had some teeth missing, giving him a slight lisp, and that had nothing to do with the pitch of his voice. And if Tchaikovsky had 'refuse decisively' to participate, then it couldn't have been him anyway. 

Brett Langston
18/06/2013 10:59

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This page was last updated on 05 November 2013