This weekend will be the season opening of Orange County’s Pacific Symphony Orchestra, considered one of the top regional orchestra’s in the country. On the program is Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, Jon Kimura Parker, soloist. Tchaikovsky was a genius and his music is immortal. A radio announcer said that “Russian music, like Russian literature, is always excited about something.” That is true and Tchaikovsky’s music is often excited, but also it can be romantic and sweet. For all the excitement, he is also known for his love of the waltz tempo in his symphony and ballet music.
My photo above is of his desk in his home in Klin, north of Moscow. I visited once there and it was an experience. At this desk in 1893, he left the unfinished composition of his Third Piano Concerto, to go to Saint Petersburg to conduct the premier of his famous Sixth Symphony, It was a flop. Depressed about this, and some other things, he died a few days later from cholera, the records show. What a loss, but he was at his peak, and we have it all to enjoy today. Such a great man.