Муниципальное бюджетное общеобразовательное учреждение
«Средняя общеобразовательная школа № 19» г. Балаково Саратовской области
IV муниципальная научно-исследовательская конференция обучающихся
образовательных учреждений «На пути к культуре мира»
Номинация: Выдающиеся люди в культурном наследии мира
Тема «Вклад Петра Ильича Чайковского в мировую культуру»
Выполнили: Коробова Екатерина,
Демидов Михаил (8 «А» класс)
Руководитель: Коновалова Светлана
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Biography
Descriptions of his music
We’d like to make a report on the subject “Outstanding people in the cultural heritage of the world”.
We are great theatre-goers. We try to see the most interesting performances that are on at our theatres. Recently we were lucky enough to occur in the theatre and to enjoy the magnificent ballet “Swan Lake”. We knew nothing of ballet before, but that was a moment we would have liked to be stretched out longer. The leading part dancers were brilliant beyond all doubts. It was indescribably wonderful and mysterious. This performance filled us with an emotion, which we could not understand or analyse.
When we were listening tremendous music and looking at fantastic dance we could really have stayed there for hours probably because there is so much to see in the performance, such intensity in melody of this ballet. The ballet ‘Swan Lake” is our favorite because we like how the music sounds and the rhythm. It has a long run and is always a great success with the public. Everything is magnificent there: the music and the dancing. And we thought about the great author of this miracle of art, about our prominent composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Tchaikovsky is one of the most famous Russian composers. His name is known all over the world.
So the aim of our work is to appreciate the contribution of Tchaikovsky to the world cultural heritage.
And in our research we set ourselves the following tasks:
to investigate the biography of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and to pay special attention to interesting stories and facts from his life;
to consider his influence on the world culture.
In our work we’ll try to consider these issues and reach a conclusion.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Biography
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, an outstanding Russian composer, was born on 7 May, 1840 in Votkinsk, Vyatka region in the family of an engineer. His father was 45 and his mother was 26, when he was born. All his life Tchaikovsky adored his mother and two younger brothers Modest and Anatoly, who were twins. They understood each other and had very close relations.
He was fond of music since his early childhood. His mother sang him beautiful songs and taught him to play the piano. Pyotr started piano lessons at the age of five with a local woman, Mariya Palchikova, and within three years could read music as well as his teacher.
In 1850, his father was appointed director of the St Petersburg Technological Institute. There, the young Tchaikovsky obtained an education at the School of Jurisprudence, he was only 10 years old. Though music was not considered a high priority on the curriculum, Tchaikovsky was taken with classmates on regular visits to the theater and the opera. He was very taken with the works of Rossini, Bellini, Verdi and Mozart. The only music instruction he received at school was some piano tuition from Franz Becker, a piano manufacturer who made occasional visits as a token music teacher.
Tchaikovsky’s mother died of cholera in 1854. The 14-year-old Tchaikovsky took the news hard; for two years, he could not write about his loss. He reacted by turning to music. Within a month of her death, he was making his first serious efforts at composition, a waltz in her memory.
Tchaikovsky’s father indulged his interest in music, funding studies with Rudolph Kundinger, a well-known piano teacher from Nuremberg, beginning in 1855. But when Tchaikovsky’s father consulted Kundinger about prospects for a musical career for his son, Kundinger wrote that nothing suggested a potential composer or even a fine performer. Tchaikovsky was told to finish his course work, then try for a post in the Ministry of Justice. Tchaikovsky graduated on May 25, 1859 with the rank of titular counselor. On June 15, he was appointed to the Ministry of Justice. Six months later at the age of 19 he took a post at the Ministry of Justice.
In 1861, Tchaikovsky learned of music classes being held by the Russian Musical Society (RMS) by accident. There he promptly began studies with Nikolai Zaremba. The following year, when Zaremba joined the faculty of the new St Petersburg Conservatory, Tchaikovsky followed his teacher. Tchaikovsky studied instrumentation and composition under the director and founder of the Conservatory, Anton Rubinshtein, who was impressed by Tchaikovsky’s talent. He worked for a time as a clerk in the Ministry of Justice, though music was his true passion. In his early twenties he completely turned to a life of music. Tchaikovsky became the best pupil of Anton Rubinshtein. Pyotr Ilyich graduated from the Petersburg Conservatoire in 1866.
At twenty-six Tchaikovsky became one of the first professors at the Moscow Conservatory. He gladly accepted the position, as his father had retired and lost his property. As Tchaikovsky studied with Zaremba, the critic Vladimir Stasov and the composer Mily Balakirev formed a nationalistic school of music, recruiting what would be known as The Mighty Handful (better known in English as «The Five») in St. Petersburg. As he became Anton Rubinstein’s best known student, Tchaikovsky was associated by The Five with the conservative opposition.
However, when Rubinstein exited the St. Petersburg musical scene in 1867, Tchaikovsky entered into a working relationship with Balakirev, resulting in the fantasy-overture Romeo and Juliet. Tchaikovsky remained ambivalent about The Five’s music and goals, and his relationship with its members was cordial but never close. Tchaikovsky enjoyed close relations with Alexander Glazunov, Anatoliy Lyadov and, at least on the surface, the elder Nicolay Rimsky-Korsakov.
Tchaikovsky began composing many of his masterpieces such as Characteristic Dances, Overture in F, and a cantata called Ode to Joy. But at first his music wasn’t popular, people didn’t pay much attention to anything he wrote. He was often depressed and insecure around people.
Tchaikovsky’s marriage began as a classic case of life imitating art. One of his conservatory students, Antonina Miliukova, began writing him passionate letters as he worked on the «Letter Scene» in his opera Eugene Onegin — a time, ironically, that he had made up his mind to «marry whoever will have me.» He hastily married Antonina on July 18, 1877. Within days, while still on their honeymoon, he deeply regretted his decision. The marriage was a disaster — it lasted a month. Two weeks after the wedding the composer supposedly attempted suicide by putting himself into the freezing Moscow River. Once recovered from the effects of that, he fled to St Petersburg, his mind verging on a nervous breakdown. Despite some interruptions, the six months between Tchaikovsky’s engagement to Antonina and his «rest cure» in Clarens, Switzerland, following his marriage saw him complete two of his finest works, the Fourth Symphony and the opera Eugene Onegin.
Because of the intense emotional directness now manifest in Tchaikovsky’s music, starting with the Fourth Symphony, in Russia the composer’s name started being placed alongside that of the novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
One who was especially taken with Tchaikovsky’s music was Nadezhda von Meck, the wealthy widow of a Russian railway tycoon. She loved his music, Von Meck had commissioned some minor works from Tchaikovsky and begun an ongoing correspondence just before his marital episode. Tchaikovsky in turn had asked her for loans to cover his marital and living expenses. She agreed to be his benefactor. This would also allow Tchaikovsky to resign from the Moscow Conservatory in October 1878 and concentrate primarily on composition.
Late Romantic Period
Von Meck and Tchaikovsky’s correspondence would grow to over 1,200 letters between 1877 and 1890. Tchaikovsky was also prepared to be more openly and abundantly confiding to his patroness about some of his attitudes to life and about his creative processes than to any other person. After a year away from his post following his marriage and its aftermath, Tchaikovsky returned to Moscow Conservatory in autumn of 1879.
Shortly into that term, however, he resigned. Tchaikovsky eventually settled at his sister’s estate in Kamenka, just outside Kiev. Even with this base, he travelled incessantly. With the assurance of a regular income from von Meck, he took advantage of open-ended wandering around Europe and rural Russia. He did not stay long in any one place, lived mainly solitary and avoided social contact whenever possible. During these rootless years, Tchaikovsky’s reputation as a composer grew rapidly outside Russia.
In 1880, during the commemoration of the Pushkin Monument in Moscow, Dostoyevsky gave a famous speech on Pushkin, in which he called for the Russian «to become brother to all men, uniman, if you will.» The benefit of the uniman speech for Tchaikovsky was overwhelming. Before it, Alexandre Benois writes in his memoirs, «…Tchaikovsky was a master overly dependent on the West.» After Dostoyevsky’s speech, this disdain for Tchaikovsky’s music dissipated. The composer also drew a cult following among the young intelligentsia of St. Petersburg, including Benois, Leon Bakst and Sergei Diaghilev.
In 1885 Tsar Alexander III conferred upon Tchaikovsky the Order of St. Vladimir (fourth class). This gave the composer the right of hereditary nobility. That year, Tchaikovsky resettled in Russia — at first in Maidanovo, near Klin; then Frolovskoye, also near Klin, in 1888; and finally in Klin itself in 1891. After Tchaikovsky’s death, Modest and «Bob» Davydov converted this house into a museum in the composer’s honor. Tchaikovsky took to orchestral conducting after filling in at a performance in Moscow of his opera The Enchantress (Russian: Чародейка) (1885-87). Overcoming a life-long stage fright, his confidence gradually increased to the extent that he regularly took to conducting his pieces. Tchaikovsky was a great conductor, and he conducted a lot of operas and symphonies himself.
Tchaikovsky visited America in 1891 in a triumphant tour to conduct performances of his works. On May 5, he conducted the New York Music Society’s orchestra in a performance of Marche Slave on the opening night of New York’s Carnegie Hall. That evening was followed by subsequent performances of his Third Suite on May 7, and the a cappella choruses Pater Noster and Legend on May 8. The U.S. tour also included performances of his First Piano Concerto and Serenade for Strings. However, after 13 years Nadezhda von Meck ended the relationship unexpectedly, claiming bankruptcy. During this period, Tchaikovsky had already achieved success throughout Europe and the United States by 1891.
He experienced a great deal of fame in the last 10 years of his life. In 1893, Cambridge University awarded Tchaikovsky an honorary Doctor of Music degree. Other composers similarly honored on the same occasion included Camille Saint-Saens, Max Bruch, Arrigo Boito and Edvard Grieg (who was unable to attend personally, due to illness).
Tchaikovsky died nine days after the premiere of his Sixth Symphony, the Pathetique, on November 6, 1893 from drinking a glass of unfiltered water from which he got cholera. He is buried in St. Petersburg.
Examples of his music
3 ballets: Swan Lake (1877), The Sleeping Beauty (1890) and The Nutcracker (1892)
8 operas: including Eugene Onegin (1879) and Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades, 1890)
Orchestral music: including 7 symphonies (No.1, 1866; No.2, 1872; No.3, 1875; No.4, 1878; No.5, 1888; No.6 «Pathétique«, 1893; Manfred, 1885)
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23
Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35
There are very few surviving manuscripts written by Tchaikovsky (enclosure). He was very critical of his own work, and very often burned his scores.
Descriptions of his music
Although Pyotr Ilyich had some minor nervous breakdowns before a lot of his final pieces, such as his first symphony and his first opera, he overcame his self doubts and physical ailments, and successfully earned the hearts of the critics and audience of Russia. There were also some tense moments between Tchaikovsky and the Rubenstein brothers because the Rubenstein brothers promoted strict “Russianism” in music, while Pyotr Ilyich allowed Western European sensibilities into his music. However, because of Tchaikovsky’s brazen displays of his extreme emotion, he remained popular with the public.
He created wonderful music: ten operas, three ballets, six symphonies, seven large symphonic poems and many other musical pieces. «Eugene Onegin», a new type of opera, was a great success all over the world. His «Swan Lake», «The Nutcracker», «The Sleeping Beauty» are musical masterpieces. In his music he used folk melodies for the musical descriptions of Russian nature and life. Though he wrote his operas and ballets in the 19th century they are real to us now.
Tchaikovsky died in 1893, but his music continues to live; it will live forever. His music is played by the musicians of all countries and continents. In 1958 at the First International festival named after Tchaikovsky an American pianist Van Cliburn won the first prize, brilliantly performing the first concert for the piano and orchestra by Tchaikovsky.
After researching Tchaikovsky’s biography and works we can draw the following conclusions.
Tchaikovsky’s life was tragic and short.
His compositions are so popular now that it is hard to believe that at first they were not at all popular. At last his music won the praise it deserved.
Tchaikovsky was only 53 when he died, but he lived long enough to know that his music was being played far and wide over the world.
His melodies are very haunting and tuneful. Several popular songs have tunes borrowed from them.
He used a great deal of folk music in his symphonic works.
His music is known for being both too beautiful and too depressing.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was the master of the ballet.
As it is often noted, Tchaikovsky was first professional composer in Russia. And as a composer, Tchaikovsky was distinguished by versatility of his talent – the ability to compose everything from operas and symphonies to chamber music and liturgical music. By any measure, Tchaikovsky’s work is very impressive: 6 symphonies, 10 concerts and pieces for solo instruments, over 20 orchestral works, 9 operas, 3 ballets, over dozen pieces composed for special occasions.
The classical Russian ballet has it is beginning in Tchaikovsky’s musical compositions. The ballets «The Sleeping Beauty», «The Nutcracker», «Swan Lake» are the most popular works in the «golden treasure» of our musical theatres. And we think now it’s impossible to imagine the world theatrical stage without these wonderful ballets.
Almost everybody knows «The Nutcracker Suite» with its «Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy» and «Waltz of the Flowers». «The Nutcracker Suite» was written as a ballet, but many more people have heard the music than have seen the ballet. Some of Tchaikovsky’s other compositions are well-known all over the world too. Among them are the “Swan Lake”, «Sleeping Beauty» (ballets), the «Romeo and Juliet» (overture), the «Eugene Onegin», «Mazzeppa», «Iolanta», «The Queen of Spades» (operas) and the Symphony N 6, called the «Pathetic». So we think that invaluable contribution of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in the world cultural heritage is no doubt.
Unlike most artists Tchaikovsky was able to enjoy some of his fame still alive, travelling in Russia, Europe, the USA in his later years, conducting his works. For example, he participated in opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891. During the last year of his life he was elected the Honorable doctor of the Cambridge University.
We suppose that everyone must agree with our main conclusion: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is an outstanding composer. The future generations will enjoy and love his music as much as we do.
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