Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Classic Rock & Doris
In the taxi today I asked a Russian if he knew the mighty handful, and to my surprise he said yes and when I challenged him he reeled off the names of Alexander Borodin, Modest Mussorgsky, and Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. No they are not ice-hockey players, they are russian composers, but then again you knew that.
Apparently none of the mighty handful had any musical training yet they wanted to produce a music that was distinctly Russian, and they set about doing this by growing big black bushy beards and drinking vodka, and being critical of each other
A protege of theirs was Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky his bread was neat and trimed and grey which of course marked him out as being gay, He went ahead and married a nutcase called Antonina Miliukova, and after a couple of weeks of marriage tried to top himself by drowning. He failed since the water was only waist deep. All he succeeded in doing was catching the cold. Things went from bad to worse so he left his wife. She never gave him a divorce, and years later at the end of her life Antonina was locked up in an insane asylum and died.
Nadezhda von Meck, was next on Pyotr's list. They exchanged 1200 letters and she financed him to the tune of 6,000 roubles a year. When she discovered what the small gray neatly trimed beard ment she never wrote him another letter and never gave him another penny. Three months after Tchaikovsky died she died of a choking fit.
Everyone has heard the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, we all get our education in classical music seconf hand through films. The 1812 featured in the film Gorky Park (1983). and in Dead Poets Society (1989), Robin Williams' character (John Keating) whistles the overture.
Tchaikovsky might haved ended his life by poisoning himself or dying of cholera. Nobody seems to know.
Pyotr and Antonina, Rock and Doris everything changes yet everything remains the same.