Happy Birthday Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (May 7, 1840 – November 6, 1893)

Russian composer and the Nineteenth Century's other most famous homosexual celebrates his 172nd birthday today.

To me his musical achievement has always been overshadowed by his flamboyant biography, coloured by society's view of his sexuality and struggles with mental illness.  

While details of his personal life are somewhat engaging and fascinating, pioneering almost if you look his own view of his sexuality and it's broader acceptance by his social circle, it is his melodic ingenuity I admire.

Never really having been a great admirer of Ballet, I do admire his famous scores for these, but most of all his final three symphonies and his tone poems and operas are what keep me coming back for more.

Enjoy this filmed complete performance of Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 6 in B minor op.74, the "Pathetique", one of Late Romanticism's defining  musical creations.