Ինչ է պատահել Թամարա Պետրոսյանին, որ արցունքն աչքերին պատմում է,….պարզվում է նա իրականում… Ինչ է պատահել Թամարա Պետրոսյանին, որ արցունքն աչքերին պատմում է,….պարզվում է նա իրականում… Ինչ է պատահել Թամարա Պետրոսյանին, որ արցունքն աչքերին պատմում է,….պարզվում է նա իրականում…
The first Tchaikovsky opera to survive intact, The Oprichnik, premiered in 1874. During its composition, he lost Ostrovsky’s part-finished libretto. Tchaikovsky, too embarrassed to ask for another copy, decided to write the libretto himself, modelling his dramatic technique on that of Eugène Scribe. Cui wrote a «characteristically savage press attack» on the opera. Mussorgsky, writing to Vladimir Stasov, disapproved of the opera as pandering to the public. Nevertheless, The Oprichnik continues to be performed from time to time in Russia.
The last of the early operas, Vakula the Smith (Op.14), was composed in the second half of 1874. The libretto, based on Gogol’s Christmas Eve, was to have been set to music by Alexander Serov. With Serov’s death, the libretto was opened to a competition with a guarantee that the winning entry would be premiered by the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre. Tchaikovsky was declared the winner, but at the 1876 premiere, the opera enjoyed only a lukewarm reception. After Tchaikovsky’s death, Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the opera Christmas Eve, based on the same story.
Other works of this period include the Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra, the Third and Fourth Symphonies, the ballet Swan Lake, and the opera Eugene Onegin.
A middle aged man with dark hair and a beard, wearing a dark suit and holding a book, sits next to a young woman in a black dress wearing her hair up on her head
Tchaikovsky and Antonina on their honeymoon, 1877
Iosif Kotek (left) and Tchaikovsky (right), 1877
Discussion of Tchaikovsky’s personal life, especially his sexuality, has perhaps been the most extensive of any composer in the 19th century and certainly of any Russian composer of his time. It has also at times caused considerable confusion, from Soviet efforts to expunge all references to same-sex attraction and portray him as a heterosexual, to efforts at armchair analysis by Western biographers. Biographers have generally agreed that Tchaikovsky was homosexual. He sought the company of other men in his circle for extended periods, «associating openly and establishing professional connections with them». His first love was reportedly Sergey Kireyev, a younger fellow student at the Imperial School of Jurisprudence. According to Modest Tchaikovsky, this was Pyotr Ilyich’s «strongest, longest and purest love». The degree to which the composer might have felt comfortable with his sexual nature has, however, remained open to debate. It is still unknown whether Tchaikovsky, according to musicologist and biographer David Brown, «felt tainted within himself, defiled by something from which he finally realized he could never escape» or whether, according to Alexander Poznansky, he experienced «no unbearable guilt» over his sexual nature and «eventually came to see his sexual peculiarities as an insurmountable and even natural part of his personality … without experiencing any serious psychological damage». Relevant portions of his brother Modest’s autobiography, where he tells of the composer’s sexual orientation, have been published, as have letters previously suppressed by Soviet censors in which Tchaikovsky openly writes of it. Such censorship has persisted in the current Russian government, resulting in many officials, including the current culture minister Vladimir Medinsky, to outright deny his homosexuality.