The subtitle “Pathétique” was suggested by Tchaikovsky’s brother the day after its premiere, after they had decided against the title “Tragique”. This is a striking work in which the composer gave musical expression to his internal struggles, the desire to live coexisting with the unavoidable shadow of destiny: “I wanted to call it a Programme Symphony, without revealing the programme, so it will remain an enigma to everyone”. Carry on reading
The “Pathétique” is Tchaikovsky’s greatest work, as he himself wrote: “I love it as I have never loved any other of my musical offspring.” Tchaikovsky talked of his sixth symphony in terms he had never used before for his music, baring his emotions to a different extent from that seen in Swan Lake or the Nutcracker. The programme continues with Bartok’s most “Mozartesque” work, a sweet, emotional and lyrical piece that is at the same time wildly rhythmic, conducted by Piotr Anderszewski, followed by a work by Barcelona composer Marcos Fernández commissioned by the OBC to mark the centenary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein.