Discovering Tchaikovsky is a two-part series in which conductor Charles Hazlewood explores one of the works featured in BBC Two’s accompanying drama-documentaries on the composer’s life.
In the first programme he examines the “Fantasy Overture” from Romeo And Juliet – considered Tchaikovsky’s first mature masterpiece.
Working with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Charles explores how Tchaikovsky distilled the essence of Shakespeare’s great romantic tragedy into music.
He also looks at the composer’s earliest versions of the piece and the programme ends with a complete performance of Romeo And Juliet.
The second programme focuses on the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s final work, and what many regard as his greatest achievement – the Sixth Symphony, "The Pathetique", which premiered only a week before his death.
In each programme, Charles Hazlewood dissects the musical score itself, working through the music and explaining and analysing key points in the material with the orchestra performing fragments of the score to illustrate his points.
There then follows a full performance of the score, filmed at the spectacular Empress Ballroom in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.