Monday, June 27, 2011

Tchaikovsky and Queer Russia


This photo is of a Pride Protest Against Homophobia held in June 2010 outside the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. Every year there is also an ongoing battle to hold a Pride March in Moscow. GLBTQ people are starting to demand their rights in Russia too.

All this makes me think of Russia's most famous gay son, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Now there was a poor bastard tortured by self-hatred his entire life due to his homosexuality. Yet against that tragic backdrop, he wrote the most sublimely beautiful and exquisite music that one could ever hear. Truly, he knew the highest heights and lowest depths of life and emotion.


As a gay man, it would have been better for him to have lived today instead of the 1800s. Yet as a classical composer, it was better for him to have lived when he did. Not that he had any choice about it, of course, but still. It would have been nice if both parts of his life could have been fulfilled.

15 comments:

Lois said...

How true.

Jeanne said...

Interesting about Tchaikovsky... An incredible composer!

Francie said...

Now that is intriguing. Could Tchaikovsky have been the same cultural giant had he lived in a different era? A tragic life for one person, an astounding gift for humankind.
??????

Suzie said...

I totally agree. He was SO gifted, and not only shared his music in his time, but it has lasted through the years. It is too bad that the world couldn't have given back to him.

Last night, we watched a special program on our PBS station, "Out and Proud In Chicago", narrated by Jane Lynch. It follows the Gay Rights history, including the first chartered organization in 1924, and on up through the ages. They profile stories of the famous, and not-so-famous, each one being interesting to watch and learn. ( I knew about Jane Addams "Boston Marriage", but learned more, and found the story of Jenny Hodges/Albert Cashier, a Civil War hero, to be fascinating!)

If you can't find the program listed on your public broadcasting station, you can order the 90 minute DVD from here:
http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=1,40

Mary ♥ Mur said...

Are you from Russia? I am russian...

The most famous russian gay is Moiseev.))) I know right.) He is a singer.) but.... every boy who singer in Russia - gay.(


I now spend a survey of bloggers with such questions.
1. Why did you create a blog?
2. For whom you taking him? Want to be popular?
3. How long will it keep going?

Suzie said...

Me again. .I forgot to mention that I saw on the news, where people all over the world were celebrating the new law making it legal to recognize same sex marriages in the state of New York, and in Russia, 5 people were joining in with a celebration/protest, and were arrested. How sad.

The Traveler said...

Despite the torture of his life, Tchaikovsky found a way to let the beauty of his soul transcend time and place and echo through the ages.

Wendy S. said...

It's amazing that out of such pain, came such great beauty...Inspiring to us all and a lesson to be learned that those we condemn can offer the greatest gifts, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, religion etc...

Jim said...

I never knew that about Tchaikovsky and have always appreciated his artistry.
In his own way, and every other gay/lesbian person before us,he has pushed the 'cause' to where it is today.
Thanks for this Debra.

laurie said...

thats a fact I didn't know ,, I just read the comment where the people were arrested in Russia , how sad.

DEZMOND said...

I didn't know he was gay, very interesting!

-E- said...

i think you're forgetting a man called joseph stalin.

The Frog Queen said...

Very true! Off to change he playlist on my iPod!

Cheers!

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

your right he would have loved an all male swan 'swan lake'.

Leviathan said...

Good observations on Tchaikovsky. It is said that his Symphony #6, subtitled "Pathetique" and written shortly before his death, illustrated his torment, especially the final movement. Check it out.