Brett Langston replied to Michael Cooper:
>>death in czarist Russia... there is speculation Tchaikosky intentionally
>>contracted cholera by drinking unboiled water, knowing that his orientation
>>was dangerously close to becoming public knowledge.
>Speculation which has been quite convincingly refuted in recent years by
>the research of Alexander Poznansky and others ...
And is also quite convincingly refuted by works like the 3rd piano concerto
(three movements, op. 75 + op. 79), which was created at roughly the same
time as the Pathetique. In his notes for the Koch-Schwann recording of the
original versions of the concertos (with Hoteev/Fedoseyev), Eckhard van den
"... Moreover, it shows that his 'pathetic' farewell to life and
following suicide are pure myths. A composer who writes such music
and is content with it does not kill himself of his own free will.
It follows that Tchaikovsky's sixth symphony was only one aspect of
the secret program of which we had written, and this program would
not have been complete without the following Piano Concerto in E flat
major. In the symphony we have tragedy, in the concerto life with
mighty action obtaining the victory over all adversity... [...] ...the
same life that he had just so strongly affirmed."
For some reason, audiences seem to have a liking for the tragic,
sentimental and depressive image which the past century has painted of
Tchaikovsky (can it be that the notion of a 'tragic life' aids the public
reception of a composer's works?) - but works and recordings like these
show some interesting alternatives.