Tschaikowsky, Iolanta

Tschaikowsky‘s Iolanta, which I just experienced for the first time at the Bolshoi, was charming.  I can see why it is not often performed, though.  The music is “western” (not especially Russian) – typical Tschaikowsky in that regard (I prefer the more authentic Russian sounds of other Russian composers), and Westerners who like Tschaikowsky usually go for his bigger works.  There are not a sufficient number of showy arias to have this one championed by some famous singer.  And for an opera which has mystical overtones, it does not have mystical music.  But it’s still a fairy tale.  Tschaikowsky himself was not sure of the work and did not champion it either.

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