Tchaikovsky's creative process
P.I. Tchaikovsky Symphony "Manfred", part I Sketch for Maidanovo, April-May 1885

Russian National Museum of Music
Often, in our minds, a genius is an extraordinary person, endowed with superpowers that allow him to easily create what ordinary people cannot; by the whim of inspiration, practically "by the wave of the wand", like a fairy-tale character, without any effort to give birth to masterpiece after masterpiece.

Arthur Schopenhauer said about brilliantly gifted people: "Talent gets into goals that ordinary people cannot; and genius is aimed at goals that ordinary people do not see. "

Pyotr Tchaikovsky did not create as an inspired genius. He worked as a master, even as a craftsman - in the highest sense of the word. "Inspiration is a guest who doesn't like to visit the lazy," he said. Posturing, sometimes inherent in creative natures, was alien to him; both in external manifestations (costume, manners) and inwardly, he was disciplined and strict with himself.

Anton Rubinstein taught him to enter the flashed musical thoughts in a notebook on the go. Tchaikovsky worked day after day, rarely giving himself a rest. Nikolay Kashkin, a friend of the composer, recalled his style of creative process as follows:
P.I. Tchaikovsky Song "Legend" ("Christ had a baby garden ") from" Sixteen Songs for Children "Sketch Kamenka, October 1883

Russian National Museum of Music
"Through the ardor and impressionability of his nature, Pyotr Tchaikovsky has always been the personification of order and accuracy, especially in his studies, and always knew how to value time. He possessed a specially developed technique of work, in which everything was provided for in the sense of simplicity and practicality of techniques, like a surgeon during an operation. This skill also saved him a lot of time and allowed him to work at a speed unattainable for others. "

Tchaikovsky did everything quickly - his gait was quick, he quickly wrote letters, quickly read books. He knew how to concentrate on work, use time and energy purposefully and completely, being in a state of maximum concentration. Often this condition occurred to him not only during working hours; friends made fun of Pyotr's absent-mindedness, although she deserved a more respectful attitude - after all, this meant that at such moments Tchaikovsky continued to work. In a letter to Nadezhda von Meck, he wrote: "Sometimes I observe with curiosity that continuous work, which by itself, regardless of the subject of the conversation that I have, from the people with whom I am, takes place in the area of the head that given to music. "

From early childhood, Tchaikovsky loved a strict daily routine. Every minute was scheduled, starting from getting up at 6 in the morning, right up to the time for eating, walking, not to mention hours at the instrument and writing table.

"There is no doubt that even the greatest musical geniuses have worked sometimes, not warmed up by inspiration ... I am gifted with patience and have taught myself never to give in to reluctance. I learned to conquer myself ... I worked daily and carefully. In this respect, I have an iron will over myself, and when there is no particular desire for occupation, I always know how to force myself to overcome resentment and get carried away, "wrote Tchaikovsky.
Ekaterina Mechetina

Merited Artist of the Russian Federation


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