Dr Stuart Campbell provides here the first English translation of Tchaikovsky's critical writings on music. Much of the material originates from the numerous articles written by the composer for the Moscow periodical press between 1868 to 1875, and affords a survey of eminent performers to be heard there, including Auer, von BA low, Nilsson, Patti and the Rubinstein brothers. As well as following Tchaikovsky's reaction to the Russian musical scene - Balakirev, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov and others - much material is devoted to the operas then being experienced by Moscow audiences, with reviews of works by Halevy, Meyerbeer, Mozart, Rossini, Thomas, Verdi and Wagner and orchestral works by Beethoven, Berlioz, Saint-SaA"ns, Schubert and Schumann. The volume also covers Tchaikovsky's first visit to the Bayreuth Festival of 1876, the autobiographical account of his European concert tour in 1888, and his attitude to the music of his great contemporaries Brahms, Verdi and Wagner. The collection therefore offers valuable insight into Tchaikovsky's views on music, performance and repertoire that are relevant to the study of his own compositions.
In addition, the articles provide fascinating glimpses into the composer's personality and an appreciation of his elegant literary style. The volume is not only of importance for elucidating a time when Russian musical life was developing rapidly, but also in extending an understanding of nineteenth-century music in general.