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The Queen of Spades: Tchaikovsky vs Pushkin

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With Dr. Marina Frolova-Walker, Maria Levandovskaya (piano) and Opera Prelude’s young artists.

Ever since Pushkin published this short story in 1834, its deceptive simplicity has fascinated scholars. When Tchaikovsky came to compose his opera in 1890, he turned the original story into a highly melodramatic spectacle on a grand scale. He changed the focus of the story and added layer upon layer of complexity, introducingdifferent time frames and musical symbols. He was quite unabashed in manipulating his literary source to his own ends, but was the gamble worth it? In this lecture we will explore what the music took away from Pushkin – and what it gave back in return.  

Marina Frolova-Walker is a Russian-born British musicologist and music historian, who specialises in German Romanticism, Russian and Soviet music, and nationalism in music. She is Professor of Music History and Director of Studies in Music at Clare College, Cambridge. She has authored several books and a number of academic articles.

Earlier Event: October 12
Music and Majesty
Later Event: October 18
Opera Salon at The Sloane Club