Russian Audio – Story 12 – A Great Russian Compositor
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Russian Audio recordings of stories in Russian Language – Story 12 (of 15) – The great Russian compositor P I Tchaikovsky
In the previous story you visited the Bolshoi Theater, and watched the ballet “Sleeping Beauty”. Of course, you know that the music to this fairy-tale was written by the great Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
Maybe you would like to know a little about his life?
So, imagine a rainy autumn evening in St. Petersburg. 16th October 1893. On the stage of the Imperial Mariinsky Theater, the orchestra performs the 6th Symphony by Tchaikovsky. The composer conducts the orchestra himself. The symphony made a tremendous and tragic impression on the audience, which heard in the music Tchaikovsky’s requiem for himself, a premonition of imminent death.
After finishing work on the 6th Symphony, Tchaikovsky told his brother: “After this symphony, I can never write anything more.” Indeed, Tchaikovsky never wrote another piece of music.
Eight days after the performance of the Sixth Symphony, in the night from 24th to 25th October, the composer died of cholera. A few days earlier, he drank a glass of unboiled water even if his brother had warned him of not to drink tap water – after a cholera epidemic in St. Petersburg. But Peter Ilich said that of all the diseases he was least afraid of cholera. Soon he fell ill. The best doctors fought for the life of Tchaikovsky, but they could not save him.
The next day, newspapers around the world reported on the untimely death of the great Russian composer …
Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composer, conductor, teacher, music critic, was born on April 25, 1840 in a small town in the Urals. His father was a mining engineer. The family had six children: five boys and one girl. Their mother played the piano beautifully and sang. They all loved music. Peter began piano lessons at age 5 and was soon playing the piano as good as a grown up person.
In 1850, the year of the family moved to St. Petersburg. There’s Peter first studied at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence. (This is a legal institution). After graduation he worked in the Ministry of Justice, but all his spare time, Peter devoted to the music. Soon, he left a legal career and entered the St. Petersburg Conservatory. At age 25, Tchaikovsky became a teacher at Moscow Conservatory.
During this period he wrote his first concerto for piano and orchestra, the ballet “Swan Lake” (1876), the opera “Eugene Onegin” (1878) and other musical works.
At the same time began many years of friendship with the composer’s big admirer, Nadezhda von Meck. They never saw each other, but their fourteen-year correspondence tells us how close they were spiritually. More than once she helped him in hard times,not only morally but also financially.
Tchaikovsky’s dedicated his 4th Symphony to Nadezhda von Meck.
At 37, Peter Ilyich married, but very soon he finally realized that he could not live with a woman. He had a severe depression, and went abroad. There he continued to work hard and had big successes in different countries.
Living abroad, the composer said that he was from morning to evening and from evening to morning missing Russia, and that there were moments when he would drop everything for the possibility go back to Russia.
Pyotr Ilyich had for a long time had a dream of buying a house near Moscow. “To live in the countryside, work, walk a lot, breathe clean air – that the conditions necessary for me” – he wrote to Nadezhda von Meck.
And finally Tchaikovsky found a home in the small town of Klin where he spent the last nine years of his life. There he created the opera “The Queen of Spades” (1890), “Iolanta” (1891), the ballets “The Nutcracker” (1892), “Sleeping Beauty” (1889), symphonies, songs and concerts.
“Why simple Russian landscape, a walk in the summer on the field, the forests are so important to me that I was ready to cry … I love Russian people, Russian language, Russian beauty. I am angry on those who are willing to starve to death in Paris, that scold all Russian and can live a life abroad, because Russia is less comfortable “- wrote Tchaikovsky.
More than a hundred thousand visitors comes every year to the house of the compositor . Everything – music, books, portraits and furniture – are in the same places where they were when Tchaikovsky was living there.
In this house in Klin, the music by the great composer continues to live. Twice a year – on his birthday and on the day of Tchaikovsky’s death – the sound of the old grand piano fills the house and its surrounding park. Those are the days when the best pianists in the world come to fulfill the immortal music of the Great Russian Compositor.
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Here are some examples (from many) of Russian Grammar in this story.
словосочетания (word combinations)
симфония произвела потрясающее впечатление
услышать в музыке реквием
предчувствие близкой смерти
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