Page 3 of 11 FirstFirst 1234567 ... LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 156

Thread: Was Tchaikovsky a Homosexual?

  1. #31
    Senior Member RockyIII's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    711
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Tchaikovsky is one of my favorite composers. I don't know if his sexual orientation influenced his emotions and music, but it certainly seems likely. If he struggled personally because of it, I feel sorry for him, but at the same time I am thankful for whatever happened in his life that helped inspire his many wonderful musical compositions.

  2. Likes Clouds Weep Snowflakes liked this post
  3. #32
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    19,051
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    It seems to me that if I didn't know Tchaikovsky was homosexual, I wouldn't be able to detect that in his music even if I were told to try.


  4. Likes Fritz Kobus, joen_cph, LezLee and 1 others liked this post
  5. #33
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,687
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fritz Kobus View Post
    right. by asking a different question with an obvious yes answer.
    It’s an indirect way of answering a very personal question related to the composer and the title of the thread.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-26-2019 at 03:57.
    "That's all Folks!"

  6. Likes Fritz Kobus liked this post
  7. #34
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    74
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbebleu View Post
    The really big question is - who really cares? His music speaks for itself and his sexual orientation has zero impact on that.
    I believe the accepted truth is that Tchaikovsky was homosexual, and at the time of his death was involved in a relationship with a fairly senior figure in the Russian army - in fact he may well have committed suicide just to avoid the 'scandal' becoming public.

    The issue of whether his sexual orientation affected his music is complex. His final 3 symphonies are all very dark, reflecting the unkindness of fate and his gradually worsening attitude to it. It's quite likely that this gloom arose from both his failed marriage and the fact that he was unable to enjoy his homosexual relationships given the attitudes and laws of the day.

    So I would say his sexual orientation did affect his music, albeit indirectly, and probably also served to deprive us of more of it.

  8. Likes RockyIII, Larkenfield, Harmonie and 1 others liked this post
  9. #35
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,687
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Tchaikovsky’s private life and letters: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...-homosexuality

    Excerpt: In one, never before published in Russian or English, Tchaikovsky wrote of a young servant “with whom I am more in love than ever”, adding: “My God, what an angelic creature and how I long to be his slave, his plaything, his property.”

    I would suggest that’s a rather obvious hint about his sexual orientation. I consider his homosexuality just as relevant to his life and music as knowing that Beethoven was deaf, but not necessarily that Tchaikovsky wrote gay music but that he sometimes wrote highly emotionally charged music and he wasn’t impersonal or detached about it. It’s not that it has to matter to us as listeners but that it probably mattered to him personally. Many listeners have come to CM through his emotionally charged symphonies and charming ballets.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-26-2019 at 06:38.
    "That's all Folks!"

  10. Likes RockyIII, Lucas liked this post
  11. #36
    Senior Member CnC Bartok's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Oxford-ish
    Posts
    1,026
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TwoFlutesOneTrumpet View Post
    What does gay music sound like? What parts of his music sound gay?
    See Starthrower's comment below your question. He makes my point about as eloquently as anyone could.

  12. #37
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    38
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    A few years ago there was discussion of an account of Tchaikovsky's death.

    Before he was able to devote himself to music he had been pressured into studying law. At what would appear to be the height of his career as a composer he was approached by a number of (now) highly placed former students of the law school who considered that irrespective of his place in Russian society as its greatest living composer, his homosexuality brought dishonour onto their law school and a "court of honour" condemned him and stated that it would bring the fact of his homosexuality to the general public. Effectively, they condemned him to death.

    Tchaikovsky took poison. His death was, however, officially passed off as the consequence of drinking unboiled water during a cholera outbreak. I recall reading somewhere that at his funeral his coffin was open. This would have been unthinkable had he really died from cholera.

  13. #38
    Senior Member Zhdanov's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    moscow, russia.
    Posts
    894
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Tchaikovsky’s private life and letters: https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.the...-homosexuality
    fake letters, that is, published in some tabloid.

  14. #39
    Senior Member Barbebleu's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Great Britain
    Posts
    3,422
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steerpike View Post
    I believe the accepted truth is that Tchaikovsky was homosexual, and at the time of his death was involved in a relationship with a fairly senior figure in the Russian army - in fact he may well have committed suicide just to avoid the 'scandal' becoming public.

    The issue of whether his sexual orientation affected his music is complex. His final 3 symphonies are all very dark, reflecting the unkindness of fate and his gradually worsening attitude to it. It's quite likely that this gloom arose from both his failed marriage and the fact that he was unable to enjoy his homosexual relationships given the attitudes and laws of the day.

    So I would say his sexual orientation did affect his music, albeit indirectly, and probably also served to deprive us of more of it.
    What I was really meaning was that his sexuality should have no impact on our appreciation of his music. It may or may not have had an effect on how he composed but regardless it shouldn't influence our understanding or appreciation of his art.
    Remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil

  15. Likes Steerpike liked this post
  16. #40
    Senior Member Dr. Shatterhand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    2,095
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    5

  17. #41
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,687
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    What gems of Russian revisionism. A thousand years from now the Russian moralists themselves will be the last ones to admit that Tchaikowsky was a homosexual. At heart, the deniers and revisionists believe that it’s fundamentally unmanly to be of that sexual persuasion. The Russian officials are worried that homosexuality is like a virus that the heterosexual males could catch and there would be no heterosexual males left to propagate the species. The more famous that one is of that sexual orientation, the greater the official and historic fairytales... This was the New Yorker article I tried to find but couldn’t. The anti-gay official policy in Russia starts from the top with somebody like Putin and filters down as a rather unenlightened example of social resistance, unconsciousness, and denial, to the point of being ridiculous and humorous. The realities and sufferings of Tchaikovsky’s life should be remembered for what it was and it wasn’t exactly like Swan Lake.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-31-2019 at 02:03.

  18. Likes Lucas liked this post
  19. #42
    Senior Member Dr. Shatterhand's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Posts
    2,095
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    What gems of Russian revisionism.
    Otherwise known as "satire".

  20. Likes Lucas liked this post
  21. #43
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,687
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Shatterhand View Post
    Otherwise known as "satire".
    Satire based on official Russian attitudes.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-31-2019 at 02:15.
    "That's all Folks!"

  22. Likes Lucas liked this post
  23. #44
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Sedona
    Posts
    3,687
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Shatterhand View Post
    Otherwise known as "satire".
    That’s obvious, but satire is based on reality, and in this instance, on official Russian attitudes, or there would be nothing to satirize.
    "That's all Folks!"

  24. Likes Lucas liked this post
  25. #45
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    19,051
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    The story of Tchaikovsky being ordered to commit suicide by a "court of honor" because he seduced the son of a nobleman came out after the opening of the Soviet archives quite a few years back. It explained a lot -- for instance would a well-regarded restaurant really have served a glass of unboiled water, even on request, in the midst of a cholera epidemic?

    However that story seems to have little support these days, for whatever reason. I'm sure Wikipedia has all the details!

    BTW I seem to recall that both Pyotr and his brother Modest were homosexuals and discussed such matters in their correspondence, which survives.
    Last edited by KenOC; Mar-31-2019 at 02:24.


  26. Likes Larkenfield, Lucas liked this post
Page 3 of 11 FirstFirst 1234567 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •