Tchaikovsky's Last Days: A Documentary Study (Hardback)
  • Tchaikovsky's Last Days: A Documentary Study (Hardback)
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Tchaikovsky's Last Days: A Documentary Study (Hardback)

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£51.00
Hardback 254 Pages / Published: 31/10/1996
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Tchaikovsky's death in October 1893 in St Petersburg, shortly after the premiere of his sixth symphony, the 'Pathetique', is one of the most thoroughly documented deaths of a prominent cultural figure in modern times. He was treated by no fewer than four physicians and surrounded by a group of relatives and friends. The official account of his death was that he died from cholera, possibly by drinking infected water, but almost since the day of his death there have been rumours that it was not accidental. It is alleged by some that Tchaikovsky either committed suicide or was murdered in order to avoid the scandal and disgrace of being unmasked as a homosexual. Alexander Poznansky is the first Western scholar to have gained access to the Tchaikovsky archives in Klin, Russia. He provides much hitherto unknown documentary material - memoirs, diary entries, letters, and newspaper reports - and adds his own commentary on the status of homosexuality in nineteenth-century Russia and on the various conspiracy theories that have been advanced to account for Tchaikovsky's death. His conclusion is that there is no factual evidence to support the notion that Tchaikovsky's death was caused by anything other than cholera.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198165965
Number of pages: 254
Weight: 585 g
Dimensions: 241 x 160 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
triumph of exemplary scholarship and judgment * The Times *
In Tchaikovsky's Last days Alexander Poznansky, a distinguished Russian-born scholar now at Yale, focuses the full armoury of modern scholarship on investigating the legend that Tchaikovsky did not die from cholera, but by his own hand. * The Spectator. *
A triumph of exemplary scholarship and judgement. * The Times. *
Poznansky's picture is of a warm-hearted, generous and gentle figure. It is possible to recognize both in Tchaikovsky's music. * John Allison, Opera *
He supports his conclusion with a meticulous examination of the evidence and with a thorough knowledge of contemporary Russian views on homosexuality ... This is a first-rate piece of scholarship which combines erudition with a readable style. * Contemporary Review, 1 August 1997 *
he painstakingly recreates the composer's last month of life. ... He supports his conclusion with a meticulous examination of the evidence and with a thorough knowledge of contemporary Russian views on homosexuality ... This is a first-rate piece of scholarship which combines erudition with a readable style. * Contemporary Review, August 1997 *
This is a book of admirably high scholarship, assessing what might be termed the cholera and the homosexual plot alternatives with great thoroughness and scholarly impartiality. It is difficult to imagine a more thorough study of this topic, and it is greatly to be welcomed as bringing some light into the confusing darkness. * Arnold McMillin, University of London, The Slavonic Review *

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