Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's fatalism

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's fatalism, melancholy and sexuality were conveniently overlooked in Soviet Russia, whose cultural officials urged the composers of their era to follow his musical example. Western musicologists of the same period saw him as lacking elevated thought, suspicious of the brilliant surfaces and abundant charm of his ballet scores. Audiences have always known better. Tchaikovsky's patroness, Nadezhda von Meck, felt that his Fourth Symphony spoke to her soul and nobody else's. Yet, as composer Robin Holloway has pointed out, this 'intimate singling-out' in his music applies to every sympathetic listener.