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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (7 May 1840 - 6 November 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic period. Tchaikovsky was the first Russian composer whose music made an international impression.

Tchaikovsky is best known for his three ballets: Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. His orchestral works, especially his symphonies, are also well-known. Tchaikovsky;s melodies had a wide range of cultural influences, He wrote original melodies inspired by Russian folk songs, and aldo borrowed Western-style melodies and Russian folk songs.

One can recognize Tchaikovsky’s music by his experiemental use of meter and harmonies that evoke emotion. One of the greatest examples of Tchaikovsky’s emotional music is the fourth movement of Symphony No. 6, commonly called the Pathétique.


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1812 Overture is one of Tchaikovsky’s most recognizable works. It commemorates Russia’s defeat against Napoleon’s invasion, and even calls for the use of a cannon. Below are a few excerpts that show how Tchaikovsky borrowed popular melodies. The piece begins with the Russian melody of "O Lord, Save Thy People" in the strings section.


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