A tortured genius, a sensitive soul, and a great composer burdened by the weight of his private desires, Tchaikovsky’s life is explored in full by the incomparable John Suchet.
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.
John Suchet presents Classic FM's flagship morning program in England. Before turning to classical music, John was one of the England's most respected television journalists. As a reporter he covered world events, including the Iran revolution, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Philippines revolution. John has been honored for both roles. In 1986 he was voted Television Journalist of the Year, in 1996 Television Newscaster of the Year, and in 2008 the Royal Television Society awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. The Royal Academy of Music has awarded him an Honorary Fellowship in recognition of his work on Beethoven, having written six books on the composer, including the highly acclaimed Beethoven: The Man Revealed. His bestselling biography of the Strauss family, The Last Waltz: The Strauss Dynasty and Vienna, was published in 2015.
"As thoughtful and reflective as was the composer himself. Biographical details are interwoven with discussion of his works and musical process, presenting a fine starting point for further exploration. Informative and lucid."
– Library Journal
"An introduction to Verdi as a man rather than as a composer. A book meant to stoke enthusiasm, ideal for someone who has seen a Verdi opera or two and wants to know more." [praise for John Suchet's 'Verdi']
– Christian Science Monitor [praise for John Suchet's 'Verdi']
"Suchet is the rare scholar who knows his subject, writes like a dream, and wears his research lightly. This book is handsomely laid out with ample illustrations. Obviously, music lovers will want this volume, but the subject is so lively and the presentation so attractive that it will appeal to all readers who value biography." [praise for John Suchet's 'Verdi']
– Library Journal (starred) [praise for John Suchet's 'Verdi']