Steve Forbes Tchaikovsky
The entirety of Tchaikovskys repertoire for solo violin, including his only concerto for the instrument, was written during a period of remarkable turbulence between 1875 and 1878. His recent marriage to Antonia Milyukova had plunged the composer into nearly-suicidal depression, and for a brief time his preferred method of expression became an instrument he had generally shunned early in his career. The most notable product of this anguish was Tchaikovskys Violin Concerto in D, a work that swings widely between extremes as wide as Russian gypsy music and Western European-influenced Romanticism, and was deemed unplayable at the time of its premiere. This release marks the 4th collaboration between Fischer and Russian conductor Yakov Kreizberg, and their 2nd to feature the Russian National Orchestra. Besides Tchaikovskys Violin Concerto, it contains ValseScherzo, another supposedly unplayable piece that has since attracted considerable interest from violinists. In contrast, SÃ©rÃ©nade mÃ©lancolique conveys melancholic passion, hopeless yearning and bitter thoughts of death, according to Tchaikovsky biographer Richard Stein. For Souvenir dun lieu cher, the final composition on the album, Kreizberg takes a seat at the piano to join Fischer in an intimate duet brimming with nostalgia.