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Tchaikovsky's Last Days a Documentary Study

by Alexander Poznansky

  • ISBN: 9780198165965
  • ISBN10: 019816596X

Tchaikovsky's Last Days a Documentary Study

by Alexander Poznansky

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 12/01/1996
  • ISBN: 9780198165965
  • ISBN10: 019816596X
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Description: 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 the circumstances 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 that Tchaikovsky was forced to commit suicide 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 here 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 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 brought about by anything other than cholera.
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