Eugene Onegin Overture (1879) – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

It’s raining again here in Bogotá and by golly did I need this tune on New Years Day to lift the spirits! Tchaikovsky was a Russian composer of the Romantic period. The Eugene Onegin Overture is the second featured Tchaikovsky piece here. This is from the opera of the same name where he organised the libretto himself constructed from Alexander Pushkin’s 1825-1832 dramatic novel. The story concerns a selfish hero who lives to regret his blasé rejection of a young woman’s love and his careless incitement of a fatal duel with his best friend.

Tchaikovsky believed that its performance required maximum simplicity and sincerity. With this in mind, he entrusted the first production to the students of the Moscow Conservatory. Outside of Moscow the performance wasn’t overly well-received, but in Prague 1892 Tchaikovsky got curtain calls and in October a bit later in England. It didn’t make the US until 1920 at the Metropolitan Opera.

Tchaikovsky was initially trained as a civil servant, but entered the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and received a more western-oriented teaching in music than his predecessors, but formed a unmistakeable Russian style and counter to those that governed Western European music. Despite his successes, his life was dogged by depression including his mother’s early death and of a close friend.

Wikipedia states also: ‘His homosexuality, which he kept private, has traditionally also been considered a major factor though some musicologists now downplay its importance‘. Really, I didn’t know about this until now and what does his sexual proclivity have to do with anything? Also Tchaikovsky’s music has always been popular in western classical circles as long as I have known it.

1. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – wikipedia
2. Eugene Onegin (opera) – wikipedia

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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Posted in Music
4 comments on “Eugene Onegin Overture (1879) – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  1. I love this piece – and yes it brightens a rainy day! Loved in the video the way the orchestra players are right into it! Happy 2022 Matthew!

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