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Music / Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (Russian: Пётр Ильи́ч Чайко́вский, 7 May 1840 6 November 1893) was a Russian Romantic composer, most famous for ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker. Also known for the 1812 Overture, which features cannons. His first name is usually anglicized as Peter. One of the first known gay composers, he suffered much during his lifetime, and it shows through his music.

The Capriccio italien is another reasonably famous piece, a medley of various Italian songs he claimed to have heard on vacation. Or cribbed from anthologies, showing that the practice of sampling is nothing new in music.

Tchaikovsky has a tendency to repeat motifs and themes, both large sections of a piece and small bits of a few bars that make up those themes.


Tropes present in Tchaikovsky's works:

  • Orchestral Bombing: Pretty much the entire point of the 1812 Overture, in which the score (depicting Russia's defeat of Napoleon's army) actually calls for real cannons to be fired at the finale. To quote Calvin:
    "And they perform this in crowded concert halls?? Gee, I thought classical music was boring!"
  • Standard Snippet: His music is a particularly rich source of these. Many themes of The Nutcracker (thanks to Fantasia), the 1812 Overture, Marche Slav, the swan theme from Swan Lake, and the use of the great crescendo from the overture to Romeo and Juliet used in just about every love scene ever.

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