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Brahms and Tchaikovsky shared a birthday but little else. Tchaikovsky thought the German a "mediocre composer" and having met him, "a frightful tippler"...
Carnegie Hall opened its doors for the first time in 1981, Tchaikovsky ushering in a thriving new age of live music and public events in New York City.
The riot that took place at The Rite of Spring premiere in Paris is almost as notorious as the work itself. Stravinsky set the stage for scandal....
After Mussorgsky's death, Rimsky-Korsokov lead the way in editing his legendary music for performance. But the Mussorgsky saga is little known ...
Prokofiev had the misfortune of dying the same day as Stalin. Entangled in death as in life, both men left their mark on the twentieth century.
Early critics of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony reacted differently to the different movements, but the finale repeatedly came in for criticism. Tchaikovsky even started to believe some of the more negative assessments himself: “I concluded that this symphony is unsuccessful,” he wrote after conducting it in Prague. “There is something repulsive about it.”
Tchaikovsky’s three ballet scores are all revered today, but they drew mixed—sometimes very negative—reviews when they were first performed. "The melody is too… how can I say it? Too confused, too capricious—in a word, it was not written 'balletically.'” (St Petersburg News, 1877) That was a critic’s verdict after the premiere of—wait for it—Swan Lake.
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