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A (very) Russian composer of the Romantic era, Tchaikovsky's work includes everything from symphonies, operas and ballets to instrumental/chamber music and songs. He composed some of the most popular concert and theatrical music in the classical repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and, my personal favorite, The Nutcracker.
Although he enjoyed many popular successes, Tchaikovsky was never emotionally secure, and his life was punctuated by personal crises and periods of severe depression. His music was often dismissed by American critics in the early and mid-20th century as being vulgar and lacking in elevated thought. They accused him of being "too emotional" and a "cheap sentimentalist." ing idiots.
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