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Publisher's Summary

Although we often think of an artist's work as a window into their own inner world, that is not always the case.
In the life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, however, we can see perhaps the closest link to be found anywhere between a creative product and the shifting moods of a turbulent soul, which found its outlet through the glorious music created by the great Russian composer.
To know his music, you must know the man, and this fast-moving series of eight lectures from an award-winning composer and accomplished teacher offers an insightful look into both the circumstances of Tchaikovsky's life and the impact that life had on his music. You'll learn about his fear of conducting, his disastrous marriage and subsequent suicide attempt, his depression, and the constant anxiety that his closeted homosexuality would become public-a fear that proved prophetic and led to a second, and successful, attempt to take his own life.
Torn by the conflicts between his own Romantic inclination for expression and the requirements of Classical structure - he was the first full-time, formally trained, professional composer in Russian history - Tchaikovsky's music is a delicate balancing act. Heart versus head, emotion versus reason, release versus control, the expressiveness demanded of his Russian soul and the strictures of Classical technique - all of these conflicts find their way into his music, and give it its extraordinary emotional power.
©2000 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2000 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By ANDRÉ on 05-17-15

Spectacular

Robert Greenberg's Great Masters are the BEST "Great Courses" lectures that I have heard until now. I loved Beethoven's courses and I loved Tchaikovsky's as well. Greenberg's style is unique: he speaks full of passion, the characters are well painted, the music is properly inserted.He points out to the music for example-- listen to the oboe, or look how the piano is the superb instrument-- and demonstrates the mood of the author at that precise time-- here he was sad, then he was happy. He retells with music the history of Tchaikovsky's life, his torments, and greatness.
Robert Greenberg's lectures are as entertaining as educational. Listen to them. You won't regret!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Russell Bernard on 02-26-14

12000 love letters to someone you never met

Would you listen to Great Masters: Tchaikovsky - His Life and Music again? Why?

I don't know if I would have the time again with all the other Dr Greenberg courses I am listening to. I have listend to about fifty four hours and counting. These courses are most invormative.and give you a very good idea of the composers life and the history of the area in which he lived.<br/>

What was one of the most memorable moments of Great Masters: Tchaikovsky - His Life and Music?

His relationship with Van Meck is very interesting, and the story about his Romeo and Juliet.

Have you listened to any of Professor Robert Greenberg’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Ihave listened to Dr Greendergs lectures on Brahms, Stavinsky and how to listen to and understand music 3rd addition I have several others of his courses that I will listen to in the future.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Why to long for one sitting. nice to have it in dailey lectures.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mike of Alsager on 08-04-17

A Curate's Egg

What did you like best about Great Masters: Tchaikovsky - His Life and Music? What did you like least?

Introductions and samples of Tchaikovsky's music were interesting, but the continued references to his sexuality, while not irrelevant, seemed to dominate the narrative.

What three words best describe Professor Robert Greenberg’s performance?

Over the top.

Did Great Masters: Tchaikovsky - His Life and Music inspire you to do anything?

I went back and listened to some of my Tchaikovsky CDs and ordered some others.

Any additional comments?

I think I'd give Greenberg's other courses a miss.

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