Music Week 10 – Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the romantic period. He studied music at the St Petersburg conservatory from which he graduated in 1886.

Tchaikovsky’s training set him on a path to reconcile what he had learned with the native musical practices to which he had been exposed from childhood. From this reconciliation he forged a personal but unmistakably Russian style—a task that did not prove easy. The principles that governed melody, harmony and other fundamentals of Russian music ran completely counter to those that governed Western European music. As a result, while his music has remained popular among audiences, critical opinions were initially mixed. Some Russians did not feel it was sufficiently representative of native musical values and expressed suspicion that Europeans accepted the music for its Western elements.

One of his most famous works is the ballet Swan Lake. The link below is an entrance scene from early in the Ballet.