Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of the most successful composers that Russia has ever produced, but his path to success was not an easy one.
A shy, emotional child, intended for the civil service by his father, Tchaikovsky came late to composing as a career, and despite his success he was a troubled character. Doubting himself at every turn, he was keenly wounded by criticism. The death of his mother haunted him all his life and his incessant attempts to suppress his homosexuality took a huge toll.
From Tchaikovsky’s disastrous marriage to his extraordinary relationship with his female patron, his many amorous liaisons, and his devotion to friends and family, Suchet shows us how the complexity of Tchaikovsky’s emotional life plays out in his music. A man who was by turns quick to laugh and to despair, his mercurial temperament found its outlet in some of the most emotionally intense music ever written. Illustrated in color throughout