Cover image for Tchaikovsky through others' eyes
Tchaikovsky through others' eyes
Poznansky, Alexander.
Publication Information:
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xix, 311 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML410.C4 T38 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



... intriguing collection... a recommended study for anyone interested in the habits and personalities of great minds." --ForeWord

This compilation of reminiscences about Tchaikovsky the man is unprecedented in English. The memoirs, diary entries, and interviews written and conducted by his contemporaries show us both the public and the private figure: the law student, the professor, the philanthropist, the loving brother and uncle, the intrepid traveler, and of course the composer and conductor. In more than 50 documents--some laudatory, others not--Tchaikovsky's contemporaries speak of little-known facets of the composer's life: foibles and mannerisms, politics and tastes, prejudices and preferences (sexual and otherwise). The result is a dynamic portrayal of the composer, with all the complexities and paradoxes of a real life.

Author Notes

Alexander Poznansky's many publications on Tchaikovsky include Tchaikovsky's Last Days: A Documentary Study and Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is Poznansky's third book on Tchaikovsky in one decade and--like its two well-received predecessors, Tchaikovsky: The Quest for the Inner Man (CH, Jun'92) and Tchaikovsky's Last Days (CH, Apr'97)--it deals not at all with the music but with the man and his milieu. Poznansky (Yale) divides the book into ten essentially chronological chapters, ranging from descriptions of the composer as a schoolboy to reactions to his untimely death. At the heart of each chapter are contemporaneous comments and journalistic writings; each chapter begins with an essay by Poznansky, in which he sets the scene for the era and describes the reliability--sometimes nonreliability--of those making the comments. Given the chronological order of presentation, the essays constitute a selective biography of the composer. This book serves as a companion to Alexandra Orlova's somewhat flawed compilation of writings by the composer himself (Tchaikovsky: A Self-Portrait, comp. by Alexandra Orlova, CH, Jun'91). Poznansky's project also benefits from the assistance of two experienced translators. Materials concerning Tchaikovsky have been subject to longstanding suppression, and documentation remains to published, especially in translation. Copious endnotes and a reliable index complete the volume, which this reviewer recommends to anyone interested in this composer. R. Stahura; Ripon College

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on transliteration, names spellings, and dates
I The Schoolboy (1840-1863)Fanny Dürbach and Fyodor Maslov and Ivan Turchaninov and Alexander Mikhailov and Vladimir Gerard and Rudolph Kündinger and Ippolit Tchaikovsky and Arkady Raich and Modest Tchaikovsky
II The Music Student (1863-1865)Modest Tchaikovsky and Vasily Bessel and Herman Laroche and Ivan Klimenko and Adelaida Spasskaya and Alexander Rubets
III The Conservatory Professor (1866-1876)Rostislav Genika and Mariya Gurye and Alexandra Amfiteatrova-Levitskaya and Samuil Litvinov and V. A. and Ivan Klimenko
IV The Socialite (1866-1876)Modest Tchaikovsky and Konstantin de Lazari and Alexandra Sokolova
V Marriage (1877)Antonina Tchaikovsky and Nikolay Kashkin
VI The Composer (1878-1892)Alexander Glazunov and Eduard Nápravník and Vladimir Pogozhev and Romain Rolland and Herman Klein and Julius Block and Varvara Tsekhovskaya
VII The Man (1878-1892)Konstantin de Lazari and Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich and Boris Vietinghoff-Schell and Vasily Korganov and Vasily Bertenson and Konstantin Varlamov and Nazar Litrov
VIII The Celebrity (1891-1892) Musical Courier, New York Herald, News of the Day, Petersburg LifePetersburg Gazette
IX The National Treasure (1893)Leonid Sabaneyev and Mikhail Bukinik and Anton Door and Abram Kaufman and Konstantin Dumchev and Isaak Bukinik and Yulian Poplavsky and Ivan Klimenko and Vasily Sapelnikov
X Death (1893)Modest Tchaikovsky and Vladimir Nápravník and Yury Davydov and Vasily Bertenson and Lev Bertenson and Nikolay Mamonov and Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich and Yulian Poplavsky