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4. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

[…] I started my ’57 Plymouth. I drove with great care and courtesy. I hummed the Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky Concerto in D major, for violin and orchestra.  I had invented a word passage that covered the major theme, the major melody: “Once more, we will be free again. oh, once more, we will be free again, free again, free again …”

 I drove out among the angry losers. their unpaid for and highly-insured cars were all they had left. They dared each other at mutilation and murder, zooming and slashing, not giving the inch. I made it to the exit at Century. my car stalled right at the turnout, blocking 45 cars behind me. I flipped the gas pedal rapidly with my foot, winked at the traffic cop, then hit the starter. It caught up and I moved out, drove on through the smog. 

Los Angeles wasn’t really a bad place: a good hustler could always make it.

Excerpt from Tales Of Ordinary Madness by  Charles Bukowski

Peter Illich Tchaikovsky would go down in history but he wouldn’t go down on your sister. He preferred his Pjotrs over his Anastacia’s. Now imagine the gay scene on the Russian countryside late 1800’s. A Godforsaken area, colder than a witches tit. Exactly. So Tchaikovsky married one of his female opera students, hoping it would all go away. It didn't. Instead he suffered a nervous breakdown, during which he took a long walk off a short pier.

After they dragged his floundering butt out of the freezing Moscow River, his physician advised him to take a long business trip through Europe without his wife. When he returned many years later he allegedly killed himself nine days after the premiere of his infamous 6th Symphony.

Bukowski’s poems show there is much love for Tchaikovsky’s music, yet there seems to be little respect for the man. It’s as if he blames Tchaikovsky for living a life in dank submission at peril, instead of freeing himself from society's morals.

In his fancy coffin Tchaikovsky might have been free at last, but his wife sure as hell wasn’t. She went mad as soon as she found out Tchaikovsky was dead, and remained under lockdown the rest of her life. Don’t expect a Disney biopic anytime soon.

Recommended recording: 
Janine Jansen, Daniel Harding & Mahler Chamber Orchestra



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