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« Malachi Black, Guest blogger February 21-26 | Main | 3 Quarks Daily Contest »

February 25, 2010


This is so sad! Knowing this certainly gives added poignancy to his music.

Lera, This is an amazing post. I love Tchaikovsky's music and came to it by way of Balanchine ballets, which I first saw as a young girl and continue to count among my favorites. To me, the tension in his music, the delayed gratification, feels sexual. I listen and feel it in my bones and can't wait for the ending while at the sime time want the ending postponed because the music is so georgeous. Balanchine had a special spiritual relationship with Tchaikovsky. He said that in everything he did to Tchaikovsky's music, he sensed his help. The Bernstein clip is brilliant. Thank you!

Dearest Lera, even in writing program notes you utilize the full potential of language, escalating mere information to something lively. Can imagine Tchaikovsky reading this and humbly thanking you for words so flattering.


another terrific piece....the torture of heart and soul...and the special torture of an artist being asked to explain his/her work and the trouble it precipitated for tchaikovsky...all artists should hold to the maxim, "I can't tell you, but i'll play it for you."

The information about Tchaikovsky's death was new to me but immediately reminded me of another forced suicide, that of Alan Turing. He, almost single-handedly, founded theoretical computer science, built the first modern computing machines, and, among many other accomplishments, helped the Allies to win WWII by cracking the German submarine code at a time when British defeat was just a matter of time. The government paid him back in 1952 by forcing him into chemical castration, since his homosexuality was considered a "gross indecency;" a sentence that eventually made him commit suicide two years later. Last fall, after 55 years, the PM released the long overdue apology for the "inhumane" and "appalling" treatment. If true, how long will we have to wait before the Kremlin gives Tchaikovsky his proper due?

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That Ship Has Sailed
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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