The Romantic Era

nineteenth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky



Tchaikovsky grew up in a family both upper class and unmusical. His father was a government mining official in St Petersburg, where the family moved when Tchaikovsky was eight. He developed a love of music largely by improvising at the piano, but he was sent to school to prepare for a training in law.

At the age of 19 he obtained a position in the Ministry of Justice in St Petersburg, continuing musical studies in his spare time at the St Petersburg Conservatoire. Its director, Anton Rubinstein, commented that Tchaikovsky, though careless, was "definitely talented." "With this encouragement Tchaikovsky gave up his job in order to study full time, and in 1865 he was appointed professor of harmony at the new Moscow Conservatoire.

In 1866 he suffered his first nervous breakdown, brought on by the stress of overwork on his First symphony. Tchaikovsky's "abnormally neurotic tendency" (in his brother's words) and lifelong unhappiness apparently stemmed in large part from feelings of guilt about his homosexuality and his attempts to repress it.

About this time he met Balakirev - one of the group of Russian composers known as "The Five" — and out of their friendship came the suggestion for Tchaikovsky's fantasy overture Romeo and Juliet. Tchaikovsky's attitude to The Five later soured as he grew to dislike their use of exotic oriental folk melodies (which he parodied in the dances of his ballet The nutcracker in 1892) in the name of a Russian nationalist style.

In 1877 he began to receive love letters from a woman he had never met, Antonina Milyukova. She threatened suicide unless he would meet her. At the time Tchaikovsky was working on his opera Eugene Onegin, based on Pushkin's poem, in which the hero rebuffs the love letter sent to him by the heroine.

Tatiana. Tchaikovsky had no wish to stoop to such behaviour and was trapped into marrying Antonina, with disastrous consequences. She turned out to be mentally unstable and, far from "curing" his homosexuality, the experience drove him to attempt suicide. He fled to St Petersburg in a state of nervous collapse. He never saw her again, and she eventually died in an asylum.

By this time Tchaikovsky had begun corresponding with a wealthy widow, Nadezhda von Meek, who confessed to an admiration for his music and gave him an annual pension of 6,000 roubles. It was enough to allow him to compose and tour freely in Europe, and he resigned from his Moscow professorship in 1878. Their letters were intense and passionate but, although they actually met on her estate once by chance, they never exchanged a spoken word. The relationship continued for 13 years until she broke it off suddenly without any explanation.

He completed Eugene Onegin in 1878, together with the Fourth symphony (dedicated to his "best friend", Nadezhda von Meek) and the Violin concerto. His credentials as a master of melodic invention were already established; but never before in such overtly Romantic material as these two orchestral works were lyrical themes tautly organized into a framework of such sustained dramatic impact.

Tchaikovsky had travelled in Europe almost every year since 1870, but toured as a conductor for the first time in 1888, and again in 1889. He met Brahms, Dvorak, Grieg, and others, visited London, and completed his Fifth symphony and his great ballet score, The sleeping beauty. In his last year he travelled again to England, this time to receive an honorary doctorate in music at Cambridge University in the distinguished company of Boito, Bruch, Saint-Saens, and Grieg.

He returned to complete the Pathetique symphony, of which he wrote, "I love it as I have never loved any one of my musical offspring." Its many innovative features include a "waltz" movement in 5/4 time and a slow, sorrowful finale. It stands as a fitting end to the career of a tragic man who displayed his deepest feelings in music, often with tremendous emotional power. He died of cholera after drinking contaminated water — possibly deliberately, according to recent research — just nine days after the premiere.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky



Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)



Symphony No.4
Andante sostenuto, Moderato
Andantino in modo di canzone
Scherzo: Pizzicato ostinato
Finale: Allegro con fuoco

Symphony No.5
Andante cantabile
Valse: Allegro moderato
Finale: Andante maestoso

Symphony No.6
Adadio - Allegro non troppo
Allegro con grazia
Allegro moltl vivace
Finale: Adagio lamentoso-Andante

Violin Concerto in D major Op.35

Valeria Walewska
Piano Concerto No.1 in B flat minor Op.23
Allegro non troppo
Andantino semplice
Allegro con fuoco

String Quartet No.1
Moderato e simplice
Andante cantabile
Scherzo: Allegro non tanto
Finale: Allegro giusto


Swan Lake Ballet Suite
Swan Dance

Irina Vasileva
"Grandma and a Grandchild"
"Spring Song"

Interlude from the opera "The Queen of Spades" (fragment)

"Romeo and Juliette"

Aria of Iolanta

"Eugene Onegin"
The letter of Tatiana

Women's Glee Club
Eugene Onegin

Chorus of Peasant Girls

Todd K. Frazier
Fragment (on french horn)

Overture Solennelle "1812" Op.49

Leonald Kaidja
op.37 No. 1 "January" (At the Fireside)

op.37 No. 5 "May" (Starlight Nights)
op.37 No. 6 "June" (Barcarole)
p.37 No. 10 "October" (Autumn Song)

The Seasons - Op.37b
L. Kaidja
January - At the fireside

S. Bisotti
March - Song of the lark
April - Snowdrop
L. Kaidja
May - Starlit nights

S. Bisotti
June - Barcarolle
L. Kaidja
October - Autumn Song

S. Bisotti
November - Troika

December - Christmas

J. Grocholski
Album for the Youth Op.39
Morning Prayer
The sick Doll
In the Church

Entracte from Sleeping Beauty
(Violin Solo from ballet "La belle au bois dormant")
Alexander Skwortsow, violin; Bert Mooiman, organ

Erick Friedman
Waltz Scherzo

J. Robson
Valse Bluette

J. Lebenstedt



Eugene Delacroix





















J.S. Strauss







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