Read the whole thing. The imposed fictional narrative, fits well with the general project of turning everything into progressive victimology.The Pathétique, premièred in Saint Petersburg barely a week before Tchaikovsky’s death there at age 53, belongs on even the most selective list of greatest and most fascinating symphonies. Still, when I heard that Naked Classics was taking up this particular piece, my first thought was: “Uh-oh …”Why? Because Tchaikovsky studies have become a poisoned well, rife with errors, prejudices, rumours, and conspiracy theories, which have been foisted onto a trusting public by commentators incapable of assessing the scholarly record.You’ve probably heard that Tchaikovsky was tormented by his homosexuality and lived in a state of self-loathing celibacy. You’ve probably heard that he committed suicide, either on his own initiative or on orders from “above.” You’ve probably heard that the Pathétique, with its slow, bleak finale, was a “homosexual tragedy” that expressed his depression and was effectively his suicide note.It’s all rubbish. So, by all means, go this weekend and enjoy one of the glories of the orchestral literature. But if presented, beforehand, with a salad of nonsense about the composer and his death, just clap politely and ignore it.
One of the reasons that I resist the various strategies to make classical music more "accessible" is that it usually opens the door to disinformation that always, conveniently, furthers the incremental progressive project. Take the trend towards having performers give a little chat before each piece. This is the perfect place to insert little political messages. Which is exactly why, in the traditional concert format, performers were silent and we relied on a printed program to give us the necessary information.
Let's give a listen to the Tchaikovsky, without commentary! This is Lionel Bringuier conducting the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra: