Theories abound in regards to the exact reason behind Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s demise. Maybe one of the best article on this topic was produced for the BBC by Dr Marina Frolova- Walker. The writer is a Russian-born musicologist, music historian and professor at Cambridge College. Cogent, logical and straight-forward, her evaluation cuts via a complicated fog of conjecture, rumor, and false claims. Having examined all of the theories, Dr Frolova-Walker presents us with 4 attainable situations or variations after which addresses the plausibility of every one earlier than dismissing all however one state of affairs.
Model # 1 is that the composer died a pure demise because of a cholera an infection. There was an outbreak of the illness on the time and Tchaikovsky one way or the other turned contaminated, dying of kidney failure some days later. She implies that the composer turned contaminated after having dinner with mates at a restaurant.
Model # 2 is that the composer dedicated suicide by knowingly consuming unboiled water which led to demise by cholera an infection. Some declare he drank easy faucet water at a restaurant. His brother Modest insists Pyotr drank the contaminated water at house from a faucet. Each claims are extremely unlikely as a result of Tchaikovsky was meticulous in regards to the water he drank as a result of danger of cholera contamination on the time. The truth that his mom died of cholera solely added to his excessive vigilance on this matter.
Model # 3 has to do with a gay affair that Tchaikovsky had with a member of the Imperial Courtroom. Having acquired a letter of protest from an incensed uncle, the Tsar gave Pyotr Ilyich an ultimatum: face a humiliating public trial or commit suicide. Tchaikovsky selected the latter and with the assistance of his doctor primarily poisoned himself – in all probability with arsenic.
Model # 3-a comes primarily from the Russian musicologist Alexandra Orlova. She contends the composer’s demise was the results of a verdict of a secret Courtroom of Honor. A sure Nikolai Jacobi supposedly had in his possession a letter from a Depend whose nephew had been seduced by Tchaikovsky. The letter was meant to be delivered to the Tsar, however was not. This Honor Courtroom consisted of previous classmates from the College of Jurisprudence and after 5 hours of deliberation the composer was instructed to commit suicide to “keep away from bringing shame on the College”.
Model # 4 issues a conspiratorial homicide whereby Tchaikovsky is poisoned by his personal doctor – Dr Bertenson – on orders from the Tsar. The medical physician then covers up the crime. Dr Frolova-Walker, relying closely on biographer Alexander Poznansky’s main research on Tchaikovsky’s final days, rejects variations 2-4 as nothing greater than hypothesis based mostly solely upon rumors. She additionally dismisses the makes an attempt by some to research Tchaikovsky’s final symphony for clues of an impending suicide on the a part of the composer.
She doesn’t, nevertheless, totally endorse model #1 as absolutely the reality. Certainly, there are a variety of issues with this state of affairs. Some declare Tchaikovsky drank unboiled water along with his dinner, however Frolova-Walker particularly notes that Tchaikovsky drank “white wine and mineral water.” It’s well-documented that Pyotr Ilyich was extraordinarily vigilant about NOT consuming unboiled water as a result of he had a weak digestive system and – as talked about above – feared cholera intensely as a result of his personal mom had died of the illness.
There’s one remaining twist to this thriller story…
I used to be lucky sufficient to be a live-in visitor on the house of Svetlana Gorbacheva for every week again in 1992. A classical pianist by coaching, Svetlana was married to my finest buddy – Professor Lauren Grey Leighton. After I met her she was director of the “Bolshoi Zal” live performance corridor on the Moscow Conservatory on Herzen Road. Throughout this era, newly opened archives have been being scoured for historic paperwork that may shed extra gentle on the event of Russian Classical music.
Svetlana and her employees uncovered a letter that had been despatched to Tchaikovsky by none apart from the Russian Tsar himself. In unambiguous language, the Russian head of state clearly admonishes Tchaikovsky for bringing disgrace on the nation on account of a bootleg gay affair with the Spanish Ambassador’s son. The younger man was so distraught and emotionally shattered by the expertise his father had no selection however to specific his ethical indignation within the strongest of phrases.
The Tsar gravely and solemnly signifies on this letter what Tchaikovsky – as a gentleman and aristocrat- is predicted to do.
So many twists and turns and discrepancies….
Maybe it’s time to re-open the investigation of Tchaikovsky’s demise and at last decide as soon as and for all how and why the nice composer died on the age of 53.