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The life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) exhibits as close a link as you will find anywhere between an artist's inner world and the outward products of that artist's creative activity. As a man, Tchaikovsky was defined by and indivisible from his music, which became an outlet for all the shifting moods of his turbulent soul. As Professor Robert Greenberg says, "If The life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) exhibits as close a link as you will find anywhere between an artist's inner world and the outward products of that artist's creative activity. As a man, Tchaikovsky was defined by and indivisible from his music, which became an outlet for all the shifting moods of his turbulent soul. As Professor Robert Greenberg says, "If Tchaikovsky felt it, it found a way into his music." As an artist—and it is worth recalling that he was the first full-time, formally trained, professional composer in Russian history—Tchaikovsky walked a fine and difficult line between his Romantic penchant for expression and the demands of Classical structure. This delicate balancing act—between heart and head, emotion and reason, release and control, Russian expressive content and German technique—is a key to his music that you find amply illustrated by Professor Greenberg's musical selections and commentary. Course Lecture Titles 1. Introduction and Early Life 2. A Career in Music 3. The First Masterworks 4. Maturity 5. Three WomenTatyana, Antonina, and Nadezhda 6. My Great Friend 7. A Free Man 8. The Last Years, or Don't Drink the Water


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The life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) exhibits as close a link as you will find anywhere between an artist's inner world and the outward products of that artist's creative activity. As a man, Tchaikovsky was defined by and indivisible from his music, which became an outlet for all the shifting moods of his turbulent soul. As Professor Robert Greenberg says, "If The life of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) exhibits as close a link as you will find anywhere between an artist's inner world and the outward products of that artist's creative activity. As a man, Tchaikovsky was defined by and indivisible from his music, which became an outlet for all the shifting moods of his turbulent soul. As Professor Robert Greenberg says, "If Tchaikovsky felt it, it found a way into his music." As an artist—and it is worth recalling that he was the first full-time, formally trained, professional composer in Russian history—Tchaikovsky walked a fine and difficult line between his Romantic penchant for expression and the demands of Classical structure. This delicate balancing act—between heart and head, emotion and reason, release and control, Russian expressive content and German technique—is a key to his music that you find amply illustrated by Professor Greenberg's musical selections and commentary. Course Lecture Titles 1. Introduction and Early Life 2. A Career in Music 3. The First Masterworks 4. Maturity 5. Three WomenTatyana, Antonina, and Nadezhda 6. My Great Friend 7. A Free Man 8. The Last Years, or Don't Drink the Water

4 review for Great Masters: Tchaikovsky - His Life and Music

  1. 4 out of 5

    Yaaresse

    This was one of the shorter GC's at eight lectures. I think that was about the right amount for this one. Anything less would have skimped on the impact of Tchaikovsky's life on his music, but much more would have started to feel too much like a gossipy tell-all. Tchaikovsky is one of those people that, once you know the sordid details of his life, there's always that "yes, but" reaction to his work. It's the conflict between those (we'd like to think) evolved 21st century sensibilities and thos This was one of the shorter GC's at eight lectures. I think that was about the right amount for this one. Anything less would have skimped on the impact of Tchaikovsky's life on his music, but much more would have started to feel too much like a gossipy tell-all. Tchaikovsky is one of those people that, once you know the sordid details of his life, there's always that "yes, but" reaction to his work. It's the conflict between those (we'd like to think) evolved 21st century sensibilities and those of the past layered on top of the debate about whether the art can be appreciated without accepting the flaws of the artist. Yes, he was a brilliant composer...sometimes. Yes, he was a certainly a neurotic mess, probably a drunk, and definitely a pedophile. One doesn't cause or cancel out the other, but it does complicate appreciating the music. The whole debate is one I have no intention of getting into on social media. I'm merely pointing it out because the premise of the lectures is that the composer's life definitely informed his work. A less salient aspect of Tchaikovsky's work I had not know about was the conflict between his German musical education and his Russian identity/nationalism. As Greenberg said, his early music was often considered too Russian for the Germans and too German for the Russians. I also had not been aware that the dubious claims of his dying of cholera have mostly been debunked given the trove of documentation that's been released this century. Professor Greenberg, as usual, is hugely entertaining and informative. I wish I had access to more of this Great Composer series.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Completed listening to the Great Courses musical biography course _Tchaikovsky: His Life and Music_, taught by Robert Greenberg. Its eight lectures convey the life, loves, and neuroses of Peter Ilyich clearly and engagingly. Tchaikovsky's life and mine are very different, yet plenty resonates. His Piano Concerto No. 1 is the only piece of music that has ever, when I _really_ heard it for the first time, caused me to sob so uncontrollably I had to pull off the busy road I was driving on to let th Completed listening to the Great Courses musical biography course _Tchaikovsky: His Life and Music_, taught by Robert Greenberg. Its eight lectures convey the life, loves, and neuroses of Peter Ilyich clearly and engagingly. Tchaikovsky's life and mine are very different, yet plenty resonates. His Piano Concerto No. 1 is the only piece of music that has ever, when I _really_ heard it for the first time, caused me to sob so uncontrollably I had to pull off the busy road I was driving on to let the experience wash over me. Knowing more about the life and death of this passionate man helps inform that unforgettable experience. As Prof. Greenberg says, "If Tchaikovsky felt it, it found a way into his music."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    If I could give it 3.5 stars I would. Interesting and informative but not quite good enough for 4 stars.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Hank Pharis

    (NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).The great news is that I can listen to a book a day at work. The bad news is that I can’t keep up with decent reviews. So I’m going to give up for now and just rate them. I hope to come back to some of the mos (NOTE: I'm stingy with stars. For me 2 stars means a good book or a B. 3 stars means a very good book or a B+. 4 stars means an outstanding book or an A {only about 5% of the books I read merit 4 stars}. 5 stars means an all time favorite or an A+ {Only one of 400 or 500 books rates this!).The great news is that I can listen to a book a day at work. The bad news is that I can’t keep up with decent reviews. So I’m going to give up for now and just rate them. I hope to come back to some of the most significant things I listen to and read them and then post a review. flag Like  · see review Sep 10, 2019 Alex Shrugged rated it liked it Shelves: music, classical-music, education, reviewed-books I liked the lectures. I didn't love them mostly because they focused too much on Tchaikovsky's sexual deviancy, his mommy issues, his marital issues, and homosexuality. Also, the lecturer, Robert Greenberg, was such a fanboy that I couldn't trust the information I was given. The presentation was too biased and excusing of Tchaikovsky especially when it was shown he molested little boys (14 years old or so) and never really stopped.The music I adored.I will not be listening to these lectures agai I liked the lectures. I didn't love them mostly because they focused too much on Tchaikovsky's sexual deviancy, his mommy issues, his marital issues, and homosexuality. Also, the lecturer, Robert Greenberg, was such a fanboy that I couldn't trust the information I was given. The presentation was too biased and excusing of Tchaikovsky especially when it was shown he molested little boys (14 years old or so) and never really stopped.The music I adored.I will not be listening to these lectures again. flag Like  · see review Jul 28, 2020 David rated it really liked it Tchai has always brought the emotional bangers.The Romeo and Juliet Overture is a classic and reached its full potential as the soundtrack to when Sims kiss in the game.Discovering one of my favourite melody medicine men was a paedophile shook me. The art vs artist debate is alive and well here.Sad that he had to hide his sexuality and so did Russia, and yet sadder still things remain much the same. flag Like  · see review Oct 15, 2018 Gaili Schoen rated it it was amazing Fascinating story wonderfully told by Greenberg. He's the man when it comes to musical biographies! Funny, thorough and always interesting. Fascinating story wonderfully told by Greenberg. He's the man when it comes to musical biographies! Funny, thorough and always interesting. flag Like  · see review Aug 16, 2019 Ceren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition Shelves: audiobook Titizlikle hazırlanmış bir biyografi. Robert Greenberg de olmasa cahil kalacağız. flag Like  · see review Aug 16, 2017 Katarina Janoskova rated it really liked it Wonderful. Witty and tragic at the same time. flag Like  · see review Jun 02, 2020 Dr. rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction The biographer did brilliantly, but the material and life cannot be recommended for any but those wishing to know the context of his pieces. Disturbing. flag Like  · see review Oct 27, 2019 Kylie Sparks rated it really liked it Shelves: memoir-bio Tragic, but as always with Robert Greenberg, a wonderful biography combined with beautiful clips of the music. I knew that Tchaikovsky was gay, but I never knew how he died. flag Like  · see review Apr 12, 2019 Jared Gillins rated it really liked it Shelves: biography-memoir, history-european, music Tragic, fascinating man. Beautiful music. flag Like  · see review Nov 27, 2015 Heather Pagano rated it really liked it Shelves: biography, history, music I've loved Tchaikovsky's music for years and played many of his pieces, but after this lecture series I know the man and his music so much better. I had no idea the impact the composer's homosexuality had on his music, nor did I fully appreciate the conflict between his Russian nationality and German musical training. The lecturer tells Tchaikovsky's story with respect, compassion, enthusiasm for the music, and a touch of warm humor. The audio format is the perfect medium, allowing listeners to I've loved Tchaikovsky's music for years and played many of his pieces, but after this lecture series I know the man and his music so much better. I had no idea the impact the composer's homosexuality had on his music, nor did I fully appreciate the conflict between his Russian nationality and German musical training. The lecturer tells Tchaikovsky's story with respect, compassion, enthusiasm for the music, and a touch of warm humor. The audio format is the perfect medium, allowing listeners to hear key passages of music. flag Like  · see review Jul 13, 2016 Charles Dingman rated it it was amazing Prof. Greenberg helped me to a new appreciation for Tchaikovsky's music, and also his tragic life, cut short by homophobic jerks, worried for their reputations. I see now I must have discounted his works for their evident lack of formal means, while he achieves greatly moving expression of his inner emotional state using other means, such as longer quotations of Russian folk tunes that can't be readily broken into fragments in formal development sections like Beethoven's. Tchaikovsky is one of t Prof. Greenberg helped me to a new appreciation for Tchaikovsky's music, and also his tragic life, cut short by homophobic jerks, worried for their reputations. I see now I must have discounted his works for their evident lack of formal means, while he achieves greatly moving expression of his inner emotional state using other means, such as longer quotations of Russian folk tunes that can't be readily broken into fragments in formal development sections like Beethoven's. Tchaikovsky is one of the best in our tradition for this kind of immediate transfer of emotion through music. flag Like  · see review May 18, 2016 Tamminh rated it really liked it Prof Greenberg, as usual, makes the story so very fascinating --- I was sad when the course was over! flag Like  · see review Jan 16, 2015 Yi rated it really liked it Shelves: audible [audible]IMO, this one is better than his Beethoven's lecture. [audible]IMO, this one is better than his Beethoven's lecture. flag Like  · see review Sep 05, 2015 Jane De vries rated it it was amazing A great composer who suffered so much. I had no idea. flag Like  · see review Josh Morgan rated it it was amazing Dec 27, 2018 Sushmit Goyal rated it it was amazing May 22, 2016 Christopher Bates rated it it was amazing Nov 16, 2012 Jay Couling rated it really liked it Mar 12, 2013 Jen rated it it was amazing Jul 07, 2018 Aleksey Trufanov rated it really liked it Feb 22, 2018 Blake rated it really liked it Sep 01, 2020 James P. 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