This volume uniquely combines a lively biography of one of the best-loved composers of the nineteenth century with a detailed chronological guide to much of his oeuvre, from the most popular - Swan Lake or the 1812 Overture - to the lesser known pieces. David Brown enthusiastically and sensitively guides the reader through Tchaikovsky's music in the context of his life. His writing on the music is accessible and informative, both for the professional musician and the keen amateur listener. The biographical writing includes fascinating quotations from the composer's letters, and those of his friends; the Tchaikovsky that emerges is, despite his periodic struggle with depression, a man with a positive attitude to life, and a kind and supportive friend to many around him. This is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Tchaikovsky, his music, or the culture of the time.
'One of the finest one-volume biographies to have appeared in recent years, written with such insight that it feels as though one is on a hot-line to the composer himself . . . by the end I felt I knew Tchaikovsky so much better. A classic.' Classic FM Magazine
'I can't imagine a more intelligently sympathetic treatment of the man and his music.' BBC Music Magazine
David Brown was a world authority on both Russian nineteenth-century music and Tudor polyphony, and was Professor of Music at Southampton University, a position from which he retired as Professor of Musicology in 1989. His books include major works on Glinka, Tchaikovsky (in four volumes), Musorgsky, and the English madrigalist Thomas Weelkes. He broadcast frequently throughout his life.