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<<  -- 2 --  Robert Anderson    LIFE AND STRIFE


Between composition and orchestration came London and Cambridge. In London Mackenzie found him 'melancholy and lonely, devoid of self-assertion'; with Henschel 'he suddenly got very depressed and, wondering what this world with all its life and strife was made for, expressed his own readiness at any moment to quit it'. Cambridge heard Francesca da Rimini as described by Saint-Saëns: 'The gentlest and kindest of men has unleashed a terrifying hurricane, with as little pity for his interpreters and listeners as Satan for the damned.' Back in Russia, he scored the Sixth Symphony and prepared for its October première in St Petersburg. The audience was baffled by the 'unhurried adagio'. No symphony should end like that, but Tchaikovsky hoped for greater understanding in Moscow. That he was not personally to find, as cholera or suicide dictated during the next week that he should 'quit'.

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Copyright © 24 December 2003 Robert Anderson, London UK


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