Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man

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Music Sales Limited, 1991 - Composers - 679 pages
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This monumental 656-page biography is probably the fullest, most revealing account to date of Tchaikovsky's private life. Poznansky identifies the death of the composer's mother as a shattering experience for young Pyotr Ilyich, a source of deep existential melancholy. His hypersensitivity, forged by a child's feeling of paradise lost, would manifest in neurosis, insomnia and depressive fits marked by "a sense of insurmountable terror." A Yale University librarian, Poznansky explores the composer's obsessive fear of death, his idealized relationship with eccentric, free-thinking patron Nadezhda von Meck, the fiasco of his brief, unconsummated marriage, and his involvement in a homosexual subculture that simultaneously fascinated and repelled him. Drawing on Russian sources, the author refutes the theory that Tchaikovsky's death in 1893 at age 53 was a suicide forced upon him by a conspiracy of former classmates. "The story of a soul finding itself," this remarkable book casts only an indirect light on the relationship between Tchaikovsky's life and art, as the author omits extended discussion of the music. Photos.

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Tchaikovsky: the quest for the inner man

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Poznansky, a Soviet emigre and librarian at Yale University, has amassed an impressive quantity of primary evidence--much of it in the form of letters and diary entries--that documents myriad details ... Read full review

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About the author (1991)

Alexander Poznansky is Librarian at the Slavic and East European Collection, Yale University Library. He is the author of Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man.

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