Friday, October 16, 2009

Tchaikovsky's Last Symphony

On October 16th, 1893, Piotr Ilyach Tchaikovsky premiered his Sixth Symphony in St. Petersburg. He was full of plans: trips to Odessa and Moscow, an opera based on a story by George Eliot, or perhaps The Merchant of Venice. The symphony was a great success, but audiences were puzzled by how it ended. One critic sensed a premonition of death in the Adagio. Nine days later the composer was dead of cholera at age 53. Tchaikovsky appears four times in A Book of Ages.

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