Music and Vision homepage Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller


<<  -- 2 --  Robert Anderson    RAVISHING COLLOQUY


For Symphony No 4 Tchaikovsky produced his own programme to satisfy the curiosity of his invisible benefactress, Mme von Meck. Beethoven's fate knocks at the door, Tchaikovsky's is menacingly inside, poised above the victim and threatening to crash down at any minute. The first movement goes on to suggest resignation, then dreams of escape both vague and pointless. There is further depression in the Andantino, with a touch of intoxication suggested by the pizzicato Scherzo. The finale swaps introspection for plebeian festivity, which in the event proves hectic but no less neurotic. The Federals are mindful of Tchaikovsky when conducting the work in London and calling out 'Vodka -- more vodka!' They go hell-for-leather to a crash-bang conclusion [listen -- CD-9920 track 5, 7:12-8:25].

Pushkin's Eugene Onegin is as Byronic as the period demanded. The hero has been Don Juan enough for boredom and cynicism, discontented in city and on country estate. The heroine Tatiana is soaked in Rousseau and Richardson, an emotional solitary till falling for Onegin, who cannot pretend much interest. Having survived a traumatic duel with battered conscience, Onegin seeks but fails to find satisfaction in travel. Back in St Petersburg, he attends a fashionable ball where Tatiana is now mistress of the house, a poised and gracious hostess. Polonaises are all the rage [listen -- CD-9920 track 6, 0:24-1:28]. It is Onegin's turn to plead for Tatiana's love, in vain.

Continue >>

Copyright © 6 February 2005 Robert Anderson, London UK


 << Music & Vision home      Recent CD reviews       Harold Farberman >>

Download a free realplayer 

For help listening to the sound extracts here,
please refer to our questions & answers page.