Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky

Fatum, symphonic poem for orchestra, Op. post. 77

    Description by Aaron Rabushka

    Tchaikovsky originally wrote this tone poem in 1868 to his own very abstract program dealing with the cruelty of fate in people's destinies. Tchaikovsky himself was not satisfied with the outcome--indeed he destroyed the orchestral score, which was reconstructed from a set of parts after he died. It begins with a unisonal statement of a very emphatic broad-noted theme that starts and stops several times. Several themes that express hopeful aspirations and resignation to inevitability arise against a gloomy background--the first of these is introduced imitatively by woodwinds and eventually taken up and extended by strings, and the second shows up initially in high woodwinds and is likewise extended by strings. Timpani introduce another idea as the hand of Fate shows up again in an ominous theme that is driven by some insistent motifs with some rather fanfarish and galloping material. The feeling of someone resigning himself helplessly before destiny wells up in waves of plaintive melody and rushing background figures. The introductory gesture returns, beginning the second half of the work in which previously heard themes are restated and extended in accord with the dramatic curve.

    Appears On

    Year Title Label Catalog #
    2015 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4794646
    2013 Entertainment Group 14132
    2012 Melodiya MYD 1001736
    2012 Entertainment Group 11107
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon
    2010 DG Deutsche Grammophon 4778699
    2009 INTENT 3326
    2008 Evgeny Svetlanov Foundation 7222
    2008 Melodiya MELCD 1000196
    2006 Naxos 8554845
    2004 DG Deutsche Grammophon 000247602
    2003 BIS 1283
    2003 RCA Red Seal 55781
    1998 Chandos 9587
    1994 Philips 442586
    1994 London 443003
    1994 RCA 902661821
    1993 Olympia (Classical/Jazz) 512
    Vox 5079
    Moscow Studio Archives 20008
    Lydian 18029
    Donau 8029
    RCA 60432